Consisting of moist chocolate cake layers infused with an espresso simple syrup and frosted in the most divine salted caramel mocha frosting, this salted caramel mocha cake is truly a spectacular treat!
  • Chocolate Cake
  • 2 Cups (250 g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, Spooned and Leveled
  • ½ Cup (52 g) Unsweetened Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs, Room Temperature
  • 1⅓ Cups (272 g) Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup (8 oz) Plain Whole Milk Yogurt, Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup (240 ml) Espresso/Strong Brewed Coffee, Room Temperature
  • ½ Cup (120 ml) Neutral Flavored Oil i.e. Grapeseed/Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • Espresso Simple Syrup
  • 1 Cup (240 ml) Espresso/Strong Brewed Coffee
  • ¼ Cup (50 g) Granulated Sugar
  • Salted Caramel Mocha Buttercream
  • 4–5 Cups (440–550 g) Confectioners’ (Powdered) Sugar, Sifted
  • 2 Cups (16 oz) Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature, Slightly Firm to Touch
  • ½ Cup (144 g) Salted Caramel Sauce, Homemade/Store-Bought, Room Temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons (6 g) Instant Espresso Powder, Finely Ground
  • 2 Tablespoons (13 g) Unsweetened Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
  • 1–2 Teaspoons Salt, Adjust To Taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Salted Caramel Mocha Cake Assembly
  • Cooled Chocolate Cakes
  • Salted Caramel Mocha Buttercream
  • 2 Ounces (57 g) Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Finely Chopped
  • ¼ Cup (60 ml) Heavy Cream, Warmed to Hot Not Boiled
  • Coffee Beans, Decorative, Optional
  1. Chocolate Cake
  2. Preheat oven to 350F(175C). Grease (3) 6” baking pans and line the base of each pan with 6” parchment paper circle cutouts.
  3. Using a fine mesh sieve, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Alternatively, the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt can be added to a large mixing bowl and whisked to combine.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or with a hand-held electric mixer, add the oil and sugar. Mix ingredients at medium speed to combine, about 30-60 seconds. Next, mix in the yogurt into oil-sugar mixture.
  5. Beat the eggs into wet batter one at a time allowing the initial egg to be fully incorporated into batter before mixing in the next egg. Next, mix in the vanilla extract into wet batter.
  6. Reduce mixer speed to low. In an alternating fashion, starting and ending with the flour mixture, mix half of the flour mixture into wet batter, followed by all of the espresso/strong brewed coffee and ending with the remaining flour mixture.
  7. Stop mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and base of mixing bowl. At medium speed, mix chocolate cake batter for an additional 30-60 seconds to ensure you have a smooth cake batter.
  8. Equally divide batter into prepared baking pans and bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
  9. Cool chocolate cakes in pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely to room temperature.
  10. Espresso Simple Syrup
  11. In a small saucepan, add and whisk together the espresso/coffee and granulated sugar.
  12. Under medium heat, bring espresso/coffee-sugar mixture to a boil and allow to cook down until mixture is reduced by half and takes on a slightly thicker consistency, about 6-8 minutes.
  13. Cool espresso simple syrup to room temperature before using.
  14. Salted Caramel Mocha Buttercream
  15. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or with a hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter and salt at medium high speed until smooth and fluffy in appearance, about 3-4 minutes.
  16. Add salted caramel sauce into bowl with creamed butter and mix to combine at medium speed, about 1 minute. Stop mixer and with a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides and base of the bowl.
  17. Reduce mixer speed to low and mix in 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and instant espresso powder into creamed butter-caramel mixture.
  18. Gradually increase mixer speed back to medium. Once all the dry ingredients have been incorporated into butter-caramel mixture, mix in the vanilla extract into salted caramel mocha buttercream. If buttercream appears to be on the soft side, mix in the remaining confectioners’ sugar ½ cup at a time until a slightly thick but spreadable consistency is reached (You may not need to use all or any of the remaining confectioners’ sugar).
  19. Increase mixer speed to medium high and mix salted caramel mocha buttercream for an additional 30-60 seconds. The resulting buttercream should be smooth and fluffy in appearance.
  20. Assembly
  21. Remove the domed tops off cooled chocolate cakes with a serrated knife or cake leveler.
  22. Place a clean surface on top of a turntable i.e. cake stand/cake board and spread a small amount of buttercream onto the center. Position the first chocolate cake layer faced up in the center of prepared surface.
  23. Using a pastry brush, coat the cake with some of the espresso simple syrup.
  24. Next, spoon ½ cup of the salted caramel mocha buttercream onto cake and spread into an even layer using an offset spatula. Repeat layering process once more with second chocolate cake layer, espresso simple syrup and buttercream.
  25. Place the final chocolate cake layer faced down on top of the second layer. This will create a flat instead of a domed cake surface once cake is completely frosted.
  26. Using an offset spatula, fill in the gaps between cake layers with salted caramel mocha buttercream and smooth out with a bench scrapper. Add a small amount of salted caramel mocha buttercream on top layer of cake – just enough to spread into a thin layer with offset spatula (about 2-3 tablespoons of buttercream).
  27. Place cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to an hour to allow crumb coat to firm up before applying final coat of salted caramel mocha buttercream.
  28. Make chocolate ganache for filling the center of cake by placing finely chopped chocolate in a small mixing bowl. Pour warmed heavy cream over chopped chocolate and allow to sit untouched for 1 minute before whisking into a smooth mixture. Set chocolate ganache aside to cool and thicken up before using.
  29. Fill a large pastry bag with some of the salted caramel mocha buttercream and cut ½ inch off the tip. Pipe salted caramel mocha buttercream along the sides of cake until it is completely covered. Spoon a good amount buttercream onto the top of cake, about ¼ cup.
  30. Using an offset spatula, spread the buttercream on top of cake into an even layer. This will push some of the buttercream over the edge of the top layer which is fine.
  31. Switch to a bench scrapper. With dominant hand, hold bench scrapper at a 45-degree angle against the side of cake and apply light pressure while rotating turntable with non-dominant hand. Repeat action until the sides of the cake is perfectly smooth.
  32. Some of the buttercream may extend over the edge of the top cake layer. Use an offset spatula, to bring extra buttercream toward center of cake and smooth out while turning turntable with non-dominant hand.
  33. Fill a pastry bag fitted with your preferred pastry tip (I used a Wilton 6B pastry tip) with remaining salted caramel mocha buttercream.
  34. Pipe desired pattern around the top border of cake.
  35. Spoon cooled chocolate ganache into the center of piped border.
  36. Add coffee beans along the lower base of cake (optional) and refrigerate cake until ready to serve.