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Chocolate Cake with Whipped Mocha Ganache Frosting

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A moist chocolate cake topped with a mocha-flavored ganache that has been whipped to soft peaks.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Chilling time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 12 servings
Calories 630
Author Michelle


For the Cake:

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • cup hottest tap water
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • cup half-and-half

For the Frosting:

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Kahlua
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch pan; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda, then stir in the salt.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl, then add the vanilla and beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated and the batter is smooth.
  • In a medium bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the hot water, cocoa powder and espresso powder until smooth. Add the half-and-half and whisk until smooth.
  • With the mixer on low, add the flour and chocolate mixtures alternately in thirds, beginning and ending with the flour. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl and ensure that the batter is well-mixed.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before frosting.
  • Make the Frosting: Place the chocolate, butter and espresso powder in a large bowl. Pour the cream into a small saucepan and place over medium heat until it simmers. Remove from the heat and pour it evenly over the chocolate mixture. Let stand for 1 minute, then gently stir with a rubber spatula until everything is melted and smooth. Stir in the Kahlua and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Scrape down the bowl and beat the frosting with a handheld mixer on high speed for ONLY 15 to 20 seconds, until the mixture forms soft peaks (if you overbeat it, it will curdle). Immediately spread on the cake and serve. The cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 4 days.


Note: Half and half is a common ingredient sold in the U.S. - it is a 50/50 blend of whole milk and heavy cream.
Nutritional values are based on one serving


Calories: 630kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 325mg | Potassium: 358mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 925IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 5.1mg