This Mocha Almond Fudge cake has layers of moist almond and coffee-flavored cake with espresso buttercream swirled with chocolate fudge sauce. To finish it off, a silky chocolate buttercream with a chocolate ganache glaze and sliced almonds.I take great joy in finishing a cake like this and seeing the looks on my friends’ faces when I set it down in front of them.I’m not a professional cake baker, yet I can still make a darn good cake, and one that can still be referred to as “too pretty to eat”. Although I don’t think I’ve ever let that stop me from digging in.
That is exactly the case with this Mocha Almond Fudge Cake.This cake has layers of moist almond and coffee-flavored cake with espresso buttercream swirled with chocolate fudge sauce. To finish it off, a silky chocolate buttercream with a chocolate ganache glaze and sliced almonds.It’s quite a mouthful, so make sure you grab a large fork.One of my favorite variations on my moist vanilla cake was my Mocha Cake with Kahlua Buttercream and ever since I made that cake, I’ve been wanting to turn it into a layer cake.I’ve made some alterations to the cake itself by reducing the espresso powder for a subtler coffee flavor because we’re adding some almond extract.If you Google mocha almond fudge, you’ll find that most recipes are coffee-flavored with swirls of fudge and sliced almonds, but that wasn’t enough almond flavor for me.
At first, I was unsure if the almond extract would work well with the coffee-flavored cake, but boy was I wrong.Neither flavor overpowers the other, but instead complement each other and it smells just amazing, especially when it’s baking. Think of that nutty aroma you get from a freshly brewed cup of coffee.For the almond extract, it’s important to use a high-quality pure extract. Thankfully my friends at Rodelle are there by my side.
Their pure almond extract uses the purest ingredients and is actually free from tree-nuts. This means if you have a tree nut allergy, you can still make this cake! When you’re decorating it, just leave off the sliced almonds and you’re good to go.I don’t like to mess around when it comes to flavors in my baking, and ever since I was introduced to Rodelle vanilla extract, I’ve never looked back.
You might have seen my Instagram last week, when I was visiting my fellow blogger and baking friend, Lindsay, I opened her cabinets and she had several large bottles of Rodelle Vanilla Extract.I promptly asked her where she got them, and she said her local Costco carries them. I asked her if we could go so I could pick up a few bottles.Together we checked out with 7 bottles of vanilla extract and I packed 4 of them away in my suitcase to bring back to Portland.I’m obsessed. But I also love the partnership that Rodelle has formed with their vanilla farms, and their dedication to improving the lives of their those farmers and the community. I’ve always had an appreciation for the hard work that goes into farming our food.So, let’s get back to this cake.There are several steps involved to make an assemble, but once you break it down, it’s much less intimidating. Once the cake is cooled, we can get started on the filling and the frosting.
For the filling, I made an espresso buttercream. Then I swirled the buttercream together with hot fudge sauce.Between each cake layer, I added three or four concentric circles of the espresso buttercream, leaving a gap in between them. Then I filled in those gaps with hot fudge sauce.It’s a beautiful thing to cut into this cake and see the pocket of hot fudge on the inside, am I right?For the hot fudge sauce, I used a store-bought version, which you can usually find near the ice cream and toppings. It’s very easy to work with.Once you’re done with the filling, it’s time to frost this cake. I chose a chocolate frosting because the hot fudge sauce just wasn’t quite enough chocolate required for this recipe. You’ll notice my recipe starts with cold butter. This is not a mistake.
I am a firm believer that starting with cold butter and whipping it until it’s light and fluffy produces the best frosting, especially for piping. It’s full of air pockets and is incredibly smooth.Since the butter is cold, you’ll spend several minutes whipping it before adding any of the dry ingredients and you’ll need to scrape down the bowl a few times.Don’t skimp on the cocoa powder here, that’s where this frosting gets all of its flavor from. As I mentioned previously, I am using Rodelle’s gourmet baking cocoa, which is a Dutch process cocoa powder.When it’s time to frost your cake, you’ll want to add a crumb coat layer of chocolate frosting. This ensures you have a smooth surface to work with.To add the final layer of frosting, I used a large piping bag fitted with a cake icing tip (789) which pipes large ribbons of frosting that are even and much easier to smooth out. If you don’t have one of these, then I suggest using a large open round tip.
You’ll definitely have some leftover chocolate frosting. This is intentional, because you can use the leftover to decorate the top.I also think there is nothing worse than running out of frosting before you finish your cake. So, I err on the side of having too much rather than too little.Once your cake is fully frosted, it’s time to garnish. I pressed sliced almonds along the bottom edge of the cake so there was a little bit of crunch.Then, I added a chocolate ganache drizzle. This is totally optional, but I think it gives this cake the ultimate wow factor.Finally, pick your favorite piping tip to decorate the top. I like to use a large open star tip such as the Ateco 846 or 849. Then crush some of the sliced almonds in your hands and sprinkle them around the top.When you’re finally ready to dig in, make sure you grab a glass of milk to wash this one down, then invite me over for a slice.
For the cake:
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons Rodelle pure almond extract
1 teaspoon Rodelle pure vanilla extract
½ cup light sour cream
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons espresso powder (or finely ground coffee)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups strong brewed coffee, cooled
For the filling:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons espresso powder
1 ½ tablespoons strong brewed coffee, cooled
1 teaspoon Rodelle pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup hot fudge sauce
For the frosting:
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup Rodelle dutch process cocoa powder
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon Rodelle pure vanilla extract
For the ganache (optional):
1 ounce dark chocolate
2–3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 cup sliced almonds
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare 3 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides. Prepare your bake even stripes if desired.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla and almond extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, espresso powder, baking powder and salt. Add half the dry ingredients and beat on low speed while pouring in half of the coffee and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate.
Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed while pouring in the remaining coffee and beating until all of the ingredients are well combined.
Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
Divide the batter evenly between the three pans, about 1 2/3 cups of batter per pan. Bake at 350°F for 20-24 minutes. Rotate your pans in the oven halfway through baking.
Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
For the filling: Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until butter looks light in color.
Next add the powdered sugar, espresso powder and liquid ingredients. Beat at a low speed until the ingredients start to incorporate.
Once incorporated, whip at a high speed for 2-3 minutes until the frosting is light and airy. Place the frosting in a large piping bag and snip the end of the bag off about ½-inch up.
For the chocolate frosting: Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until butter looks light in color. Next, beat the cocoa powder into the butter until well mixed.
Alternate adding 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time with the liquid ingredients: vanilla extract & heavy cream. Ensure all the powdered sugar is well combined, and once completed, whip for 3-4 minutes until the frosting is light and airy.
To assemble this cake, level off your cakes by removing any domes. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake on top.
Pipe half of the filling on the first layer by making 3 concentric circles from the outside edge to the middle, leaving a gap in between the circles.
Heat the hot fudge sauce for 30-45 seconds until it’s warm (but not hot) and can be evenly stirred. Place the fudge in piping bag and cut off the tip. Fill in the gaps between the circles of frosting with hot fudge.
Spread evenly with an offset spatula to smooth out the top. Add the second layer of cake and repeat the above steps. Place the third layer of cake on top.
Take your offset spatula and spread any excess frosting from the edges around the outside of the cake.
Next, add a thin crumb coat with your chocolate frosting, making sure to fill in any gaps between the layers. Refrigerate this cake for 20 minutes.
Take ¾ of the remaining frosting and place in a large piping bag fitted with tip 789 (cake icing tip) or other large open round piping tip.
Pipe the chocolate frosting around the edges of the cake. Then use an offset spatula or icing smoother to create a smooth edge.
Use your hands to press the sliced almonds along the bottom edge of the cake.
For the chocolate ganache: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate and 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 50% power in 30-second increments.
Once the chocolate is fully melted add the corn syrup and stir the mixture until it’s well mixed. Add additional heavy whipping cream if needed to thin the chocolate. Use a spoon or piping bag to drizzle the ganache along the edges of the cake.
Use remaining chocolate frosting to pipe large rosettes on top of your cake and garnish with sliced almonds.