Typically I am a make-the-cake-from-scratch kind of gal, but for my son's first birthday party I was in a pinch. We were expecting a snowstorm and our electricity kept flickering off and on. I was afraid I wouldn’t have time to make a cake from scratch (they seem to take forever, especially with two kids to tend to), so I improvised with a cake mix I just happened to buy a few days before.
The devil's food chocolate cake mix called for water, oil, and eggs, so I substituted the water for a strong black coffee (room temp) and then mixed in some instant coffee mix for extra coffee flavor. Voila!
Tip: Add some sour cream or frosting to your cake mix to make it more moist.
For the buttercream, I made this from scratch. It’s super easy! I made a classic American buttercream which consisted of:
-I cup unsalted butter (softened at room temp; never melt your butter in the microwave as it will make your frosting greasy and chunky)
-2.5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
-1.5 tsp vanilla extract
-1.5 tsp espresso grounds/powder
Now here is where your coffee flavor will come in. Add equal parts espresso powder to your vanilla extract; mix and set aside.
Below you will find the process for how I make my buttercream:
I use my electric mixer and whip the butter on high for about 5 minutes until the butter is fluffy.
Next, I add half of the powdered sugar, mix it in completely, then add the rest and mix completely. I then increase the speed to high and whip until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high speed until it is completely incorporated.
I like to sprinkle salt in my buttercream before it’s completely mixed, as I think it’s too sweet without it, even with the coffee flavor.
After my cakes have been baked and cooled, I do a light crumb coat and put the cake in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Then I frost the cake and add my little designs with whatever cake tip I decide to use.
And there you have it! A super easy mocha cake with espresso buttercream frosting.