Go Back
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


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



  • 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


  • ½ cup Simple syrup (120 ml)



  • 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 the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
  • Next, add the flour mixture and the yogurt in three additions. Followed by the espresso and vanilla extract
  • Divide batter equally between the prepared baking pans 
    Tip - I like to use cake strips to ensure my layer cakes bake flat.
  • Bake for 35 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

  • Add coffee and vanilla to the cold cream – mix well and set aside
  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler - set aside
  • Add the coffee mixture and cream some more. The mixture will curdle and become smooth again.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter until smooth.
  • Now, add the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  • Once all the powder 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.
    Tip- If the buttercream is too soft, you haven't whipped enough. However, If the butter is melting chill the bowl for 10 minutes then whip again. (this can happen in warmer temperatures)
  • Now, add the melted and cooled chocolate. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides to ensure you have a smooth chocolate buttercream with no white streaks.
    Tip- if the chocolate is not cooled, it will seize when added to the buttercream and you will end up with small shards of chocolate in the buttercream. So, make sure the chocolate is cooled.


  • Prepare simple syrup - cool completely before using.
    Tip- Simple syrup is just sugar water that has been boiled and cooled. Used to keep cake layers moist.
  • Once cooled, cut the domes off the cake layers with a serrated bread knife
    Tip - see my tutorial on how to level, torte, and fill cakes like a pro
  • Brush each layer with simple syrup on both sides.
    Tip - Simple syrup is just water and sugar boiled then cooled. This keeps the cake moist.
  • Place a cake layer on the cake board or cake stand. Top with about a cup of buttercream – spread evenly using a spatula
  • Place the second layer followed by more buttercream and then the last layer.
  • Place the cake in the fridge to chill for 10 to 15 minutes.
    Tip - Chilling the cake at this point will ensure the layers don't move when you frost the outside. Though, if you leave the cake uncovered in the fridge for too long it can dry out. So, 10 minutes is all you need.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream around and top of the cake.
    Tip - A straight-edge spatula for the top, an off-set-spatula, and bench scraper for the sides work better.
  • Create a rustic buttercream look by simply swirling the tip of the spatula up and down the side of the cake creating distinct lines.
    Alternatively - you can also place the remaining frosting in a piping bag with a large star piping tip into swirls on top of the cake.
  • I decorated with whole spices used in the cake for a rustic buttercream look.
  • Enjoy
Keyword cake, Cardamom, cardamom cake, fall recipes, layer cake, mocha buttercream, spice cake