A dense mocha sponge cake with a Kahlua and coffe frosting topped with chocolate sprinkles. The slice of cake is on a white cake plate drizzled with chocolate.

Mocha Cake with Kahlua Coffee Buttercream

  • Author: Julianne Dell


This homemade Mocha cake is a dense and moist coffee flavored cake with a decadent Kahlua Coffee Frosting. This mocha cake is for true coffee lovers with an intense coffee flavor.


For the cake:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder (or finely ground coffee)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups strong brewed coffee, cooled

For the frosting:

  • 1 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 3 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 1 ½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  4. Add half the flour followed by the espresso powder, baking powder and salt, and beat on low speed while pouring in half of the coffee and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate.
  5. Finally add the remaining flour, mixing on low speed while pouring in the remaining coffee and beating until all of the ingredients are well combined.
  6. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  7. Pour the batter in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and bake at 350°F for 28-32 minutes, keeping a careful eye on the baking during the last few minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, you cake is done.
  9. For the frosting: Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 3-5 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until the butter looks light in color.
  10. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and espresso powder and mix on low speed until incorporated into butter.
  11. Next, add the Kahlua and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
  12. Finally, add the last two cups of powdered sugar and the heavy cream. Beat on low speed until the sugar is incorporated then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes to whip the frosting. Spread over cooled cake.