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Mocha sour cream cake recipe

Perfect for tea time or dessert, you could sneak a piece of this mocha cake for breakfast, too.

At 7:15 in the morning, I fired up the mixer to make the batter for this cake. At 7:28, it went into the oven. At 7:45, I finished cleaning up the flour, sugar, butter and chocolate that had sprayed around the kitchen when I accidentally switched the mixer to high speed too soon. Yes, friends, no matter what time of day I bake, and no matter how much coffee I've had in preparation, baking is always a bit of a misadventure. No matter, this mocha sour cream cake is worth the mess, and a last-minute sprinkling of confectioners sugar on top right before you serve hides any little bits that stick to the pan (I'm sure this never happens to you, right?). Even though I baked it, and tasted it, at breakfast time, it's more of a dessert or tea-time cake, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and served with a rich cup of coffee.

Mocha sour cream cake, on The Perfect Pantry.

Mocha sour cream cake

From the pantry, you'll need: all-purpose unbleached flour, white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, butter, granulated sugar, eggs, pure vanilla extract, sour cream, unsweetened cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, baking spray, confectioners sugar.

Adapted from several recipes, including Joy the Baker and my favorite cake recipe from Lorna, this cake serves 8-10 generously.


1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
Baking spray (something like Baker's Joy, or PAM with flour)
2 Tbsp confectioners sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a small glass measuring cup, combine the cocoa powder and espresso with 2-1/2 tablespoons of hot water. Stir to dissolve, and set aside.

In the work bowl of a Kitchenaid-type stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.

Add to the egg mixture, alternating, the dry ingredients and sour cream. When the batter is combined, pour in the cocoa-espresso mixture, and stir to incorporate it throughout the batter.

Spray a small (5- or 6-cup) Bundt pan with baking spray. Transfer the batter to the pan, and use a rubber spatula to distribute it as evenly as you can; the batter will be quite thick, so it won't be perfectly smooth.

Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then invert the pan and remove the cake. Let it cool completely on the wire rack. When the cake is cooled, sift the confectioners sugar through a fine-mesh strainer directly onto the cake.

Note: You can cool and freeze this cake, but if you do, don't top with the confectioners sugar until you are ready to serve.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Yogurt coffee cake with pecan filling
Coffee cake with espresso-cocoa swirl
Lorna's sour cream cake
Double chocolate pumpkin pecan loaf cake
Chocolate chip spice pound cake

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Chocolate-glazed mocha fans, from Sass & Veracity
Mocha toffee bars, from Andrea Meyers
White chocolate mocha cupcakes, from Gimme Some Oven
Chocolate cinnamon Bundt cake with mocha icing, from Honey & Jam
Mocha brownies, from Brown Eyed Baker

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


This looks like a lovely, fuss free cake perfect for when you want just a little something sweet without going over the top. When I make a cake like this I like to cut it into portions to freeze individually wrapped. My freezer can use some restocking. This is just what it needs.

Donna, this cake freezes beautifully. Just be sure not to dust it with confectioners sugar before freezing. Defrost the piece you're going to serve, then add the powdered sugar right before serving. Or not -- I like it equally well without added sugar on top.

Had to laugh at your misadventure but the result looks so tasty and moist. I love coffee cake but most of my family don't - all the more for me. TeeHee.

This looks like a good one - satisfying without being to "rich" - Wish I had apiece with my coffee right now!!

Katie, clearly I am not a baker! But I love this basic cake recipe, and the mocha variation is delightful.

Carol, same here, I don't love super-sweet cakes. This one is subtle, and perfect with afternoon coffee or tea.

One summer in a previous life I worked on a dairy farm in Finland. It was light when I'd wake up, being so close to the Arctic circle, but that didn't mean I was really awake for a while. I'd manage to get out of bed, get my boots on, and get out to the barn where I'd wake up while scooping grain for the ladies to nosh on while they were in the barn.
I can function before I'm fully awake. However, I don't know that I've operated heavy machinery like a mixer while still dozy . . . that's more advanced than stirring up muffin batter.

This cake looks perfect for tea time--I'm a fan of the 'little something sweet' eaten with a fork alongside my afternoon tea.


Oh, this is coffee cake, literally. I just love it! I don´t think I ever made a mocha cake, and with some whole wheat flour even better. I might add a shot of kahlua or baileys to the batter...

Kirsten, I love the story! I know just how you feel; I can go through the motions, make coffee, even read email, but when it comes to baking, I need to be more truly awake. Enjoy the cake -- not too sweet.

Paula, love the idea of adding some booze here!

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