Cardamom and coffee are a wonderful combination of this cardamom cake. A light and airy butter-based coffee cake delicately flavored with cardamom and nutmeg. Then, generously frosted with mocha buttercream. Perfect for a festive celebration or special occasion.

A decorated cake and a slice of cake
Layer Cake Recipe – Cardamom with Mocha Buttercream

About this cake

Cardamom with coffee and coffee with chocolate has always been classic combinations. Those flavors are beautifully balanced in this yogurt-based cake. The cake is a rich butter-based vanilla cake flavored with cardamom and coffee along with other spices that help balance them all together. While delicious on its own, this cake is frosted with a dark chocolate mocha buttercream that’s perfect to serve as a dessert, celebration cake, or just when you crave a chocolate flavored coffee treat.

A simple, easy, and fuss-free recipe that takes no more than 10 minutes to mix and 40 minutes to bake. Try using good quality dark chocolate for a less sweet yet richer dense chocolate flavor to the frosting. Alternatively, use a milk-chocolate to add more sweetness to your chocolate mocha frosting.

There are three components to this recipe

  • CakeBake the cake then cool completely – 60 minutes (this can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  • FrostingPrepare the frosting – 10 minutes (this can be done up to two days ahead as well)
  • Assemble the layers – 30 minutes (this is best done at intervals with some chilling time in between steps – can be done up to two days ahead and kept in the fridge)
A slice of cardamom cake on a wooden stand
Layer Cake Recipe – Cardamom with Mocha Buttercream

Ingredients and substitutes

  • Butter – I prefer to use unsalted butter so I can control the quantity of sugar in my recipe. And yet, if salted butter is all you gave go ahead and use it. Just omit salt in the recipe.
  • Brown sugar – The molasses in the brown sugar contributes to the soft texture and slight fudge softness.
  • Eggs – Always use large size eggs when baking unless specified. The size of eggs varies significantly these days, so as a guide one large egg weighs between 50 to 60 grams.
  • All-purpose flour – Simple plain all-purpose works just fine for this cake. If you choose to use any other type of flour, make the necessary adjustments to the leavening in this recipe.
  • Yogurt – You want to use plain non-flavored yogurt. I often use my homemade yogurt. If you don’t have yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream both will work just as well.
  • Spices – In this recipe, we are using a wonderful combination of cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. But, pumpkin spice and gingerbread spice would work wonderfully as well.
  • Coffee – I like a light coffee flavor with my cardamom, but if you are a coffee lover then go ahead and use a nice strong espresso.
  • Vanilla – A good quality vanilla will make a huge difference in anything you make. Premium vanilla can be expensive, which is why I make my own homemade vanilla extract, bean paste, or sugar.
Ingredients for the cake
Layer Cake Recipe – Cardamom with Mocha Buttercream
Mocha cake on a black stand
Layer Cake Recipe – Cardamom with Mocha Buttercream

Step by step instructions

Cake

  • Preheat the oven at 170 C / 340 F.
  • Grease and line 3 x 7-inch round cake pans or 2 x 8-inch round cake pans.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time.
  • Next, add the flour and buttermilk in three additions.
  • Lastly, add the espresso and vanilla extract.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes clean.
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert on a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  • Wrap the cake in cling/plastic wrap and chill for a few hours before you decorate.

Mocha buttercream

  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler.
  • Add coffee and vanilla to the cold cream – mix well and set aside.
  • Cream butter for a minute.
  • Strain the coffee mixture in the butter and combine it for a minute.
  • Now, add the powdered sugar and coffee mixture a little at a time.
  • Once all the powdered sugar has been incorporated, continue to mix on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes more, until you have a light and fluffy buttercream.
  • The cream in the mixture will whip and give you almost stiff peaks so don’t skimp on the whipping.

Simple syrup

  • Combine the sugar and water in a heavy-bottom saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil and let all the sugar dissolve.
  • Cool completely before using for the cake.

Assemble

  • Once cooled, cut the domes if any on the cake layers.
  • Brush each layer with the cooled, simple syrup.
  • Place a cake layer on the cake board or cake stand.
  • Top with a big dollop of buttercream – spread evenly.
  • Then top the second cake layer on top followed by buttercream and the last layer.
  • Place the cake in the fridge if necessary, so the layers hold together.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream around and top of the cake.
  • Create a rustic buttercream look by simply swirling the tip of the spatula up and down the side of the cake creating distinct lines.
  • Pipe any remaining frosting into swirls on top of the cake.
  • Top each swirl with a chocolate-coated coffee bean.

Storage

  • Once decorated, the cake does not need to be refrigerated.
  • It can stay at room temperature for two days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Once cut, always cover the cut side of the cake with cling/plastic wrap so the cake does not dry out.
  • The cake can be frozen for up to a month if wrapped well. Thaw in the fridge overnight for a moist cake.
A sliced buttercream cake on a wooden stand
Layer Cake Recipe – Cardamom with Mocha Buttercream

Frequently asked questions

Can I make this cake fudgier?
This cake does have a slightly soft texture from the brown sugar, and yet, I would not call it a fudgy cake. I do have a wonderfully moist chocolate fudge cake that you may like to consider instead.

If I omit the coffee will this be a vanilla cake?
Yes, the result is a vanilla-based cake, but it does have spices in there as well. If you’re looking for a vanilla cake, perhaps try my vanilla birthday cake, light and fluffy vanilla cake, one-bowl vanilla cake,

Can I omit the cardamom and spices in this cake?
Absolutely, it will still be a wonderful vanilla-cafe-latte cake.

What other frostings can I use instead of mocha buttercream?
There are so many other choices for frosting. Such as:
Swiss or Italian Meringue Buttercream
French or German Buttercream Frosting
Classic American vanilla or Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
I have 30 plus frosting recipes on this blog. And I highly recommend checking them out.

Can I use tea instead of coffee in this cake?
Yes, you can use tea instead of coffee for sure just like my Chai latte cake or Earl grey cake.

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Layer Cake Recipe – Cardamom with Mocha Buttercream

More similar recipes

A decorated cake and a slice of cake

Cardamom Cake with Mocha Buttercream

Veena Azmanov
Cardamom and coffee are a wonderful combination of this cardamom cake. A light and airy butter-based coffee cake delicately flavored with cardamom and nutmeg. Then, generously frosted with mocha buttercream. Perfect for a festive celebration or special occasion.
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Cooling time 4 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 servings
Calories 432 kcal

Equipment

  • 7-inch round cake pans
  • Stand Mixer
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 6 oz Butter (170 g), unsalted, room temperature
  • 1 cup Light brown sugar (220 g)
  • ½ cup White sugar (100 g)
  • 3 Eggs large
  • 2 ½ cup All-purpose flour (310 g)
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • tsp Cinnamon ground
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • ¼ tsp Ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¾ cup Yogurt plain (180 ml)
  • ¼ cup Espresso brewed (60 ml)
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp Coffee extract optional

Mocha Buttercream

  • 8 oz Butter, unsalted (227g) room temperature
  • 3 cups Powdered sugar (360 g)
  • ¼ cup Whipping cream 32% (60 ml)
  • 1 tbsp Coffee instant powder
  • 4 oz Chocolate semi-sweet (100 g) melted
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

Plus

  • ½ cup Simple syrup (120 ml)

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Preheat the oven at 170 C / 340 F.
  • Grease and line 3 x 7-inch round cake pans or 2 x 8-inch round cake pans.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time.
  • Next, add the flour and buttermilk in three additions.
  • Lastly, add the espresso and vanilla extract.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes clean.
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert on a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  • Wrap the cake in cling/plastic wrap and chill for a few hours before you decorate.

Mocha buttercream

  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler.
  • Add coffee and vanilla to the cold cream – mix well and set aside.
  • Cream butter for a minute.
  • Strain the coffee mixture in the butter and combine it for a minute.
  • Now, add the powdered sugar and coffee mixture a little at a time.
  • Once all the powdered sugar has been incorporated, continue to mix on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes more, until you have a light and fluffy buttercream.
  • The cream in the mixture will whip and give you almost stiff peaks so don’t skimp on the whipping.

Simple syrup

  • Combine the sugar and water in a heavy-bottom saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil and let all the sugar dissolve.
  • Cool completely before using for the cake.

Assemble

  • Once cooled, cut the domes if any on the cake layers.
  • Brush each layer with the cooled, simple syrup.
  • Place a cake layer on the cake board or cake stand.
  • Top with a big dollop of buttercream – spread evenly.
  • Then top the second cake layer on top followed by buttercream and the last layer.
  • Place the cake in the fridge if necessary, so the layers hold together.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream around and top of the cake.
  • Create a rustic buttercream look by simply swirling the tip of the spatula up and down the side of the cake creating distinct lines.
  • Pipe any remaining frosting into swirls on top of the cake.
  • Top each swirl with a chocolate-coated coffee bean.
Keyword cake, Cardamom, cardamom cake, fall recipes, layer cake, mocha buttercream, spice cake

Last Updated on October 22, 2020 by Veena