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Chocolate Mocha Cake

Recipe by Janet Gill, Canton, Ohio
First place, Cakes (Chocolate), 2017

Baking temperature: 350 degrees
Baking time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: 1 three-layer cake


  • 1 c unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 c hot water
  • ½ c unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken in pieces
  • 2 ½ c all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ c sugar
  • 2 t baking soda
  • ½ t baking powder
  • 1 ½ t salt
  • 1 ½ c sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla
  • ½ c coffee flavored liqueur (1/2 c strong, cooled coffee can be substituted)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9” cake pans
  • Stir cocoa into hot water until smooth, set aside to cool. Microwave chocolate with butter in small bowl, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for 20-30 minutes
  • Add flour, sugar, soda, baking powder and salt to a 5 or 6 quart mixing bowl. Mix on low for a few seconds to combine. Add sour cream, eggs, vanilla and both chocolate mixtures. Mix on low to moisten dry ingredients then increase to medium and beat 2 min. Decrease speed to low again and slowly pour chocolate liqueur into batter. Mix until combined
  • Divide batter evenly among the 3 pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean
  • Cool 10-15 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely
  • To make filling: Melt cream and semi-sweet chocolate in microwave, stirring frequently, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in coffee powder. Chill 30 min. Cream butter, add chilled chocolate, then slowly add 3 c powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Add additional powdered sugar until filling is of spreading consistency
  • To make frosting: Beat butter until light. Sift powdered sugar and cocoa together and slowly beat into butter, along with vanilla and water. Beat until creamy. Add more water to thin or more powdered sugar to thicken if needed
  • To assemble cake: Place 1 layer on plate, spread half of filling on top. Place second layer over filling and spread remaining filling over it. Place third cake layer on top of second. Spread frosting on top and sides of cake
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