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Irresistible Mocha Coffee Cake

This Mocha Coffee Cake recipe is simple to make and always a showstopper. It’s delicious to serve for any special occasion, whether that’s a Sunday brunch of a holiday gathering with friends and family.

We have a tradition in our house that every morning we had coffee cake for Christmas breakfast, just like we have my favorite lasagne every year on Christmas Eve.  My mom makes an amazing blueberry coffee cake with a streusel topping that quickly disappears.

I created this recipe when a friend had a back-to-school gathering and asked that I bring something to eat. I was going to make my mom’s recipe until I realized I had no blueberries.

Just like mocha donuts and mocha scones, adding coffee and a little cocoa powder to baked goods transforms them into a delicious treat. This disappeared quickly, and everyone begged for the recipe.

This version uses no sour cream and is not overwhelmingly sweet, which makes it unique. This is best the day of, but you could make it the day before and drizzle the topping over it as you serve it.

Mocha coffee cake recipe plated

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What pan should I make my coffee cake in?

When I make coffee cake, I generally use a springform pan. It makes it easy to release the coffee cake to serve it on a platter and keep every slice pretty.

If you don’t have a springform pan, you can also make it in a baking dish. I have made it in a 9 inch round cake pan successfully, but this would also work in an 8 by 8 square pan, depending on how you want to cut and serve it.

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What can I use in place of Greek yogurt?

The plain Greek yogurt adds a tang in the coffee cake, as well as moisture. You want to use plain Greek yogurt – not vanilla and definitely not another flavor.

I usually use the whole Greek yogurt, but this will work with nonfat, though it won’t be quite as moist or rich. Keep in mind that whole Greek yogurt does not have a ton of fat in it, so you don’t have to feel guilty about using it.

If you don’t have Greek yogurt, regular yogurt is not quite the same and not a great substitute when it comes to flavor, although it works for texture. Sour cream is a much better substitute.

How to make Mocha Coffee Cake

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease your springform pan. If you use a 9-inch cake pan or 8×8 baking dish, do the same.

Cream 6 tablespoons of butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy for two to three minutes. When it is lightened in color and comes back together while being mixed, it’s ready for the next step.

Slow the beater to low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add 2 tablespoons of espresso, the vanilla, and the yogurt and mix until thoroughly combined.

Add the baking soda, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder and mix again until thoroughly combined. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and mix until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan.

Coffee cake in pan before baking

Make the mocha “layer” next. Place the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder, 1/2 t salt, and the last 1/4 cup of flour.

Use a fork to ensure everything is evenly distributed. Add 2 tablespoons of the espresso and 2 teaspoons of melted butter and stir until it’s completely mixed.

Using the same fork, drop dollops of the mocha mixture onto the cake so that it is covers the base of the coffee cake here and there. Dip the fork into the cake and swirl a bit to distribute the mocha mixture around without truly stirring the mocha into the rest of the cake.

Mocha topping mixed into coffee cake batter

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool your mocha coffee cake completely.

Perfectly baked mocha coffee cake

Make the drizzle to spoon over slices of the mocha coffee cake as you serve it. You can make this ahead of time if you keep it tightly covered to ensure it doesn’t harden, though you may need to warm it slightly before you serve it.

Melt the last two tablespoons of butter and mix them with the milk and the last 3 tablespoons of espresso. Add the powdered sugar and stir with a fork until all the lumps are gone.

Making drizzle for mocha coffee cake

Drizzle this over your slices of coffee cake as you serve them. Reserve whatever you don’t use for leftovers.

If you don’t eat all the mocha coffee cake, store it in a tightly sealed container for up to two days. Reheat the glaze as needed before you serve it again.

Bookmark this Mocha Coffee Cake recipe to make again!

Mocha Coffee Cake

This coffee cake is simple to make, and the mocha flavor and drizzle amp up the flavor. Wow your family and friends at your next brunch!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 338kcal
Author: Michelle

Ingredients

For the Coffee Cake

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons brewed espresso
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups flour divided

For the Filling

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons brewed espresso
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter melted

For the Drizzle

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3 tablespoons espresso

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease springform pan.
  • Cream 6 tablespoons of butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy for two to three minutes. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs
  • Add 2 tablespoons of espresso, the vanilla, and the yogurt and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the baking soda, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder and mix again until thoroughly combined. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and mix until just incorporated. Pour batter into your prepared cake pan.
    1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons brewed espresso, 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, 1 1/2 cups flour
  • In a new bowl, place the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the last 1/4 cup of flour. Mix well, then add 2 tablespoons of the espresso and 2 teaspoons of melted butter and stir.
    1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons brewed espresso, 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • Drop dollops of the mocha mixture onto the cake. Dip a fork into the cake and swirl to distribute the mocha mixture.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely.
  • To make the drizzle, combine 2 tablespoons melted butter, milk, and the last 3 tablespoons of espresso. Add powdered sugar, and mix until it's smooth.
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon milk, 3 tablespoons espresso, 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Drizzle the glaze over slices as you serve them.

Notes

  • You can also make this with a 9-inch cake pan or an 8×8 baking dish.
  • You can make the glaze ahead of time and just heat slightly when you’re ready to serve. Be sure to store it in a tightly sealed container.
  • For more tips and tricks, be sure to read the full article above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 363mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g

This site uses an online source to provide nutrition estimates as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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  1. Linette says:

    This sounds delicious! I’m a big fan of anything with coffee and chocolate in it:-)

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