Mocha Cream Cake
Mocha Cream Cake is a true Show Stopper but not nearly as difficult as it looks. Impress your guests with the decorative top on this delicious dessert.
I made this cake for my mom’s birthday a few years ago. She found it in a magazine years ago and thought it looked neat so she saved the clipping. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday dessert, this came to her mind. I was a little worried that mine wouldn’t turn out like the picture, but it actually did, and this was a very impressive-looking dessert but actually not difficult. It actually calls for a box mix of cake!
I almost always prefer chocolate cake over white or yellow, so if I were to make this again, I would use a chocolate cake as the base. My all time favorite chocolate cake is the Beatty’s Chocolate Cake/Hershey’s Black Magic Cake that I used for the Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge Cake. The cream filling was really good, as was the ganache, so I would keep the rest of the recipe as is. If you aren’t as big of a chocoholic like I am, you may prefer the white or yellow cake! You can customize this cake with any flavor of homemade or boxed cake.
In an effort to demystify this cake, I’ve included some step-by-step photos to guide you through the process.
Assembling Mocha Cream Cake
Two 9-inch layers are each split into 2 to give 4 thin cakes. One layer is placed on top of the cake plate. I always slide little pieces of waxed paper under the bottom edges of the cake before I decorate. Half of the filling is spread on top of the first layer.
Then another layer of cake and 1/2 cup of whipped ganache.
Next another layer of cake and the other half of the filling.
The final cake layer is added, and all except for 1/2 cup of ganache frosting is spread over the sides and top of the cake. The top doesn’t have to look perfect because the chocolate triangles will cover it. The 1/2 cup of reserved ganache frosting is piped into 16 equally spaced mounds around the edges of the cake. These mounds of frosting will support the chocolate triangle decorations. At this point, I carefully remove the waxed paper and clean up the cake plate then set aside the cake to make the chocolate triangles.
To make the chocolate triangles, you can trace the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with a pencil onto waxed paper, then cut around the circle. Spread some butter on the bottom of the cake pan and place the wax circle on top. The butter helps the wax paper stay in place.
The white chocolate is then melted and piped in a squiggle design on the waxed paper. You may use a disposable pastry bag with a tip (I believe I used a #2 Wilton tip or #3 Wilton tip) or simply fill a sandwich bag or resealable gallon bag and cut off a small piece of the corner. After creating the white chocolate squiggles, chill the pan for 5 minutes to set the chocolate. Then smooth the cooled semi-sweet chocolate over the set white chocolate squiggles. The semi-sweet chocolate needs to be room temperature or it will melt the white chocolate and disrupt the squiggle design.
Spread in an even layer, then chill. Transfer the waxed paper and chocolate disc to a cutting board and cut into 16 equal pieces (pizza slice style). Chill the triangles until ready to assemble the cake. When assembling, remove the waxed paper from the white chocolate squiggle side and place on cake with white squiggle design facing up, using the ganache frosting dollops to prop up each triangle.
Gluten Free Option for Mocha Cream Cake
I’ve made the Beatty’s Chocolate Cake/Hershey’s Black Magic Cake featured here using my favorite gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour, and it is AMAZING! Alternatively, use your favorite boxed gluten free cake mix. I have good luck with King Arthur brand mixes.
Looking for More Show Stopping Desserts?
Check out these recipes:
Bailey’s Irish Cream Mini Cheesecakes
Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Bundt Cake
Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge Cake
Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake with Coffee Buttercream
Samoa Bundt Cake
- Two 9-inch cake pans
- 1 package white cake mix (18.25 ounces)
For the filling:
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the ganache:
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips (11.5 ounces)
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur
- 16 Chocolate Triangles (see separate recipe)
To bake the cake:
- Prepare cake batter according to package directions; bake in two 9-inch round pans as directed. Cool completely on wire racks. While the cake bakes and cools, make the filling.
To make the filling:
- In a small bowl, combine gelatin and water; let stand for 2 minutes. Microwave on high for 10 seconds. Stir until gelatin is dissolved; set aside. In a large mixer bowl, combine the 1 1/4 cups cream, powdered sugar, kahlua, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed while slowly drizzling in gelatin mixture. Beat until stiff peaks form. Chill for several hours or overnight until ready to assemble. While the filling chills, make the ganache frosting.
To make the ganache frosting:
- In a small bowl, combine the milk chocolate chips, the 3/4 cup cream, and butter. Microwave for 3 minutes on medium-high (~70% power), stirring halfway through cooking time. Stir in kahlua. Chill for 45 to 60 minutes until thickened but still pourable. Beat with an electric mixer until spreadable, about 1 to 2 minutes.
To assemble the cake:
- Split each cooled cake horizontally in half. Place one layer on serving plate. Spread half of the filling over the top.
- Top with the second cake layer. Spread about 1/2 cup of the ganache over the second layer.
- Top with the third cake layer and spread remaining filling over top and place remaining layer on top.
- Set aside 1/2 cup of the ganache. Spread remaining ganache over top and sides of cake. Use reserved ganache to make 16 evenly spaced dollops around top outer edge of cake.
- Place Chocolate Triangles on top of cake, resting one edge on ganache dollop.
- Store in refrigerator. Let cake stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
- 9-inch cake pan
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (6 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons solid shortening
- 1 1/2 squares white chocolate (1 1/2 ounces)
- Cut a circle of waxed paper to fit the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan. Lightly coat the outside bottom of the pan with butter (to keep the paper from moving); place waxed paper circle on bottom of pan.
- Place semi-sweet chocolate and shortening in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds on medium-high (~70% power); stir. Continue to microwave and stir in 30-second intervals until chocolate can be stirred smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Melt white chocolate in a similar manner to the chocolate in step 2. Transfer to a piping bag with a small tip or a resealable plastic bag with a corner cut off. Make a squiggly design of white chocolate over the surface of the waxed paper. Chill on the pan until firm, about 5 minutes.
- Spread the cooled semi-sweet chocolate in a smooth, even layer over the white chocolate squiggles. Chill for 15 to 25 minutes.
- Transfer the chocolate disc to a cutting board. Using a large sharp knife, cut the chocolate into 16 wedges. Chill until ready to assemble cake. Remove waxed paper before arranging triangles with squiggle side up on cake.