A showstopping 3-layer 6-inch white chocolate mocha cake. White chocolate and espresso cake and espresso frosting are topped with white chocolate ganache for an unforgettable cake.
Why you'll love it
This white chocolate mocha cake is for people who are in love with the white chocolate mochas from the coffee shop. They love that mix of espresso and sweet white chocolate. Its a delicious combination that needs to be celebrated in as many different ways as possible.
We use instant espresso to give the cake and frosting a nice coffee flavor throughout. It isn't in your face with the coffee flavor like my coffee flavored cake, but instead gives you a delicious base flavor of coffee that blends with the white chocolate.
We don't go heavy-handed with the white chocolate either. The white chocolate is used to add its unique vanilla-y flavor in the cake and gives you a pure white chocolate taste in the ganache.
Since we are using white chocolate which can be tricky to bake with and easily weigh down a cake, we use the reverse creaming method. It gives the cake more structure and helps it hold up against the heaviness of the white chocolate.
We need a few pantry ingredients, plus a few others you may need to run to the store for to make this white chocolate mocha cake. Luckily, there are substitutions for some of the ingredients. Let's go over what we need and what can and cannot be substituted here.
- Flour - I recommend using all-purpose flour for the best texture. Cake flour is also recommended, if you have it available. It holds up beautifully to the reverse creaming method for a deliciously light and tender crumb. I do not recommend using bread flour as it will leave you with a dense and tough cake.
- Salt - All my recipes are tested and baked with fine sea salt and what I recommend you use unless otherwise instructed. You can try to use your regular table salt, but it may have a saltier taste, so you can experiment with lowering the salt amounts in that case.
- Leavening - We use baking powder in this recipe. Make sure your baking powder is fresh (anything over a year old will not work as well). I would not recommend substituting the baking powder with anything else.
- Sugar - For the best results, use Domino Golden Sugar. It has a very light molasses flavor that complements the flavors of the other ingredients incredibly well. Any powdered or confectioner's sugar will work for the frosting.
- Butter - The key to some of the best cakes ever, right? You should be using softened unsalted butter. This recipe does not work well with margarine or other butter replacements.
- Espresso - I use instant espresso for an easy coffee flavor without adding too much liquid. If you cannot find instant espresso in your grocery store, you can use instant coffee.
- Eggs - Use large eggs at room temperature. If you forget to put your eggs out to come to room temperature, place the whole eggs in their shells in a bowl of very warm water while you prep your other ingredients and by the time you need them, they will be room temperature.
- Milk - Use room temperature milk. I will heat mine in the microwave for a few seconds to help speed up the process. You can also use buttermilk.
- Vanilla - For the best flavor, you should be using pure vanilla extract. Vanilla bean paste is also very delicious in this recipe, if you have it available.
- White chocolate - I highly recommend using a nice brand of white chocolate bar. White chocolate chips do not melt well and can often give you a lot of issues when baking. If you want the best cake, it is worth spending a little more on good quality white chocolate. You can also check out my guide on how to melt chocolate.
- Cream cheese - To add more creaminess and flavor, I like adding some cream cheese to the frosting. Use full-fat block cream cheese. Other types of cream cheese will usually leave you with a runny frosting.
Do not over mix the batter. The reverse creaming method can give you a very nice and tender crumb, but you can still end up with a dense cake if you are over beating the mixture at any step.
When you make your white chocolate ganache, it is important to let it cool completely. I recommend letting it chill in the refrigerator for about half an hour and checking it. Parts may be cooler than other areas, so giving it a good stir will help even it out.
Pour the ganache on only after you've chilled the frosted cake. The cold frosting will help the ganache stick and not drip down and create puddles around the base of the cake. !
Absolutely! I do think that instant coffee does get a little lost in the cake itself compared to the instant espresso, so I recommend upping the coffee to 2 tablespoons.
If your ganache is runny, leave it in the refrigerator for longer. It will thicken up slowly as it chills. If you also chill your cake, it will help the ganache thicken enough to not drip and pool all down the cake. If your ganache seems too thick, it may be too cold. A few seconds - about 5 - 10 seconds - in the microwave will help to loosen it enough to drip down the cake. The most important thing to do is to stir the ganache well during each process (thickening or loosening the ganache).
White Chocolate Mocha Cake
- ¾ cup High-quality white chocolate chopped
- 3 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups Domino® Golden Sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons Instant espresso powder
- 1 ½ tablespoons Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Sea salt
- ⅔ cup Unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 large Eggs room temperature
- 1 cup Whole milk room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 1 cup Unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 ounces Cream cheese room temperature
- 1 ½ tablespoons Instant espresso
- 4 cups Domino® Confectioners Sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Sea salt
- 4-5 tablespoons Heavy cream or more as needed
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 8 ounces High-quality white chocolate
- ¼ cup Heavy cream
- White chocolate
- Espresso beans
- Line the bottom of 3 6-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides and bottom of the pans. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Add the white chocolate to a metal bowl and place the bowl over a small saucepan filled with simmering water.
- Stir the white chocolate continuously until it is fully melted. Set aside to cool.
- Add the flour, Domino® Golden Sugar, instant espresso, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir to combine.
- Run the paddle attachment on the mixer on medium-low as you add in the butter one tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated. The mixture will look like wet sand.
- Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl and whisk together.
- Drizzle the milk mixture into the stand mixer slowly and mix to combine, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl frequently.
- Fold in the melted white chocolate until just combined.
- Evenly divide the cake batter into the cake pans.
- Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
- Allow to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then remove before placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Once at room temperature, wrap well and chill in the refrigerator.
Prepare the frosting
- Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
- Mix in the espresso, Domino® Confectioners Sugar, and salt. Mix until combined. The mixture may seem crumbly, but this is normal.
- Add in the heavy cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
- Melt the white chocolate on the double boiler just as you did earlier. Stir in the heavy cream, then pour the mixture into a container and chill until needed.
Assemble the cake
- Take out the cakes and level the tops.
- Spread frosting over one of the cakes, then top with a second cake. Repeat until you place the final cake.
- Spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake and chill for about 15 minutes.
- Take out the cake, and frost it, then chill for another 15 minutes.
- Add the ganache to the top of the cake and allow it to drizzle down the sides.
- Use any remaining frosting to decorate the top and/or sides of the cake.
- Garnish with white chocolate and whole espresso beans, or other tasty garnishes, if desired.
- The cake can be made several weeks in advance, if kept tightly wrapped and in an airtight container in the freezer prior to leveling and freezing. Thaw in the refrigerator the day before assembling.
- The ganache may also be made in advance, if kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Place in a bowl of hot water to gently loosen.
- If you do not have instant espresso, instant coffee will work, as well as coffee-flavored extract (1 ½ teaspoons of extract per tablespoon of instant espresso)