Cardamom Cake With Chocolate Mocha Buttercream

Cardamom Layer Cake Frosted with Mocha Buttercream

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.

How to Make a Cardamom Layer Cake with Mocha Buttercream
Cardamom Cake with Mocha Buttercream

About This Cardamom Cake

Cardamom with coffee and coffee with chocolate have always been classic combinations. Those flavors are beautifully balanced in this yogurt-based cake. The cake is a rich butter-based vanilla cake flavored with cardamom and coffee along with other spices that help balance them all together. While delicious on its own, this cake is frosted with a dark chocolate mocha buttercream that’s perfect to serve as a dessert, celebration cake or just when you crave a chocolate flavored coffee treat.

A simple, easy and fuss-free recipe that takes no more than 10 minutes to mix and 40 minutes to bake. Try using good quality dark chocolate for a less sweet yet richer dense chocolate flavor to the frosting. Alternatively, use a milk-chocolate to add more sweetness to your chocolate mocha frosting.

THERE ARE THREE COMPONENTS TO THIS RECIPE

  • Bake the cake then cool completely – 60 minutes
    (this can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  • Prepare the frosting – 10 minutes
    (this can be done up to two days ahead as well)
  • Assemble the layers – 30 minutes
    (this is best done at intervals with some chilling time in between steps – can be done up to two days ahead and kept in the fridge)
Photo of cardamon cake with slice cut out and ready to eat
A Cardamom Layer Cake with Mocha Buttercream

Useful Tips and Tools

  • If you bake often, it would be a good idea to invest in a cake mixer. Because often we try to mix by hand and then we are too tired to give it enough creaming or mixing. So, if you are making this cake go ahead and remove that K-Mix or Kitchen Aid from your kitchen cabinet. You don’t have to buy an expensive stand mixer, a simple hand mixer works great too.
  • Personally, I believe in measuring ingredients by weight, which makes my kitchen scale one of the most valuable items when baking.
  • And the same goes for my measuring cups and measuring spoons. It’s always a good idea to have these handy and use them when baking rather than trying to guess measurements.
  • Also, I think one set of baking pans is a must for anyone a home baker. I often use 3 x 6-inch round cakes which I often split into 4 layers for a tall display. Some times, I use 3 x 8-inch round pans or 3 x 7-inch cakes 
  • Once baked, always invert your cakes on a cooling rack. This enables air circulation and prevents the steam from pooling at the bottom of the pan.
  • Lastly, every oven works differently. So the baking times are just guidelines. In the case of cakes, a skewer inserted in the center is a great indication. If the cake bakes too fast or too slow compared to the time given, it might be a good idea to check if your oven needs calibration. An oven thermometer is a great little gadget to help keep the oven temperature in check. All you need to do then is adjust the temperature 

INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTES

  • Butter – I prefer to use unsalted butter so I can control the quantity of sugar in my recipe. And yet, if salted butter is all you gave go ahead and use it. Just omit salt in the recipe.
  • Brown sugar – The molasses in the brown sugar contributes to the soft texture and slight fudge softness.
  • Eggs – Always use large size eggs when baking unless specified. The size of eggs varies significantly these days, so as a guide one large egg weighs between 50 to 60 grams.
  • All-purpose flour – Simple plain all-purpose works just fine for this cake. If you choose to use any other type of flour, make the necessary adjustments to the leavening in this recipe.
  • Yogurt – You want to use plain non-flavored yogurt. I often use my homemade yogurt. If you don’t have yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream both will work just as well.
  • Spices – In this recipe, we are using a wonderful combination of cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. But, pumpkin spice and gingerbread spice would work wonderfully as well.
  • Coffee – I like a light coffee flavor with my cardamom, but if you are a coffee lover then go ahead and use a nice strong espresso.
  • Vanilla – A good quality vanilla will make a huge difference in anything you make. Premium vanilla can be expensive, which is why I make my own homemade vanilla extract, bean paste or sugar.
Photo of recipe ingredients
Frosted Cardamom Layer Cake Ingredients List

How to Make A Cardamom Cake with Mocha Buttercream

FOR THE CAKE

  • 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 eggs, one at a time.
  • Next, add the flour and buttermilk in three additions.
  • Lastly, add the espresso and vanilla extract.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 30 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.

FOR THE MOCHA BUTTERCREAM

  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler.
  • Add coffee and vanilla to the cold cream – mix well and set aside.
  • Cream butter for a minute.
  • Strain the coffee mixture in the butter and combine it for a minute.
  • Now, add the powdered sugar and coffee mixture a little at a time.
  • Once all the powdered 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 so don’t skimp on the whipping.

FOR THE SIMPLE SYRUP

  • Combine the sugar and water in a heavy-bottom saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil and let all the sugar dissolve.
  • Cool completely before using for the cake.

ASSEMBLE

  • Once cooled, cut the domes if any on the cake layers.
  • Brush each layer with the cooled, simple syrup.
  • Place a cake layer on the cake board or cake stand.
  • Top with a big dollop of buttercream – spread evenly.
  • Then top the second cake layer on top followed by buttercream and the last layer.
  • Place the cake in the fridge if necessary, so the layers hold together.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream around and top of the cake.
  • Create a rustic buttercream look by simply swirling the tip of the spatula up and down the side of the cake creating distinct lines.
  • Pipe any remaining frosting into swirls on top of the cake.
  • Top each swirl with a chocolate-coated coffee bean.

STORAGE

  • Once decorated, the cake does not need to be refrigerated.
  • It can stay at room temperature for two days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Once cut, always cover the cut side of the cake with cling/plastic wrap so the cake does not dry out.
  • The cake can be frozen for up to a month if wrapped well. Thaw in the fridge overnight for a moist cake.
Photo of cardamon cake with slice cut out and ready to eat
A frosted layer cake flavored with cardamom and frosted with Mocha Buttercream

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze this cardamom cake?
Yes. Freeze it on a tray for a few hours then wrap well in cling/plastic wrap, followed by a parchment paper and then aluminum foil. Thaw wrapped in the fridge for 24 hours so the condensation will stay on the papers, not the cake.

Can I add orange to this cake?
Cardamom and orange are a great combination, but perhaps not with coffee. I do have an orange cake recipe that could use a dash of cardamom spice to make a wonderful orange cardamom cake.

Can I add cocoa powder to this chocolate cake?
Yes, you can substitute some flour with cocoa powder or you can try one of my tried and tested chocolate cake recipes with a dash of cardamom spice, such as simple moist chocolate cake, death by chocolate cake, classic chocolate cake, chocolate birthday cake, one bowl chocolate cake.

Can I make this cake fudgier?
This cake does have a slightly soft texture from the brown sugar, and yet, I would not call it a fudgy cake. I do have a wonderfully moist chocolate fudge cake that you may like to consider instead.

If I omit the coffee will this be a vanilla cake?
Yes, the result is a vanilla-based cake, but it does have spices in there as well. If you’re looking for a vanilla cake, perhaps try my vanilla birthday cake, light and fluffy vanilla cake, one-bowl vanilla cake,

Can I omit the cardamom and spices in this cake?
Absolutely, it will still be a wonderful vanilla-cafe-latte cake.

What other frostings can I use instead of mocha buttercream?
There are so many other choices for frosting. Such as:
Swiss or Italian Meringue Buttercream
French or German Buttercream Frosting
Classic American vanilla or Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
I have 30 plus frosting recipes on this blog. And I highly recommend checking them out.

Can I use tea instead of coffee in this cake?
Yes, you can use tea instead of coffee for sure just like my Chai latte cake or Earl grey cake.

Cardamom Cake with Mocha Buttercream

Cardamom and coffee is a wonderful combination in 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 Time50 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Chilling time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Middle-Eastern
Keyword: birthday cake, cake, cake recipe, cardamom, frosted cakes, Layer cake
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 432kcal
Cost: $10

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE

  • 170 grams 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 200 grams 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 100 grams 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 320 grams 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 180 ml 3/4 cup plain Yogurt
  • 60 ml 1/4 cup brewed espresso/coffee cooled
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp coffee extract optional

FOR THE MOCHA CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM

  • 228 grams 1 cup / 2 sticks butter
  • 375 grams 3 cups powdered sugar/confectioners sugar
  • 60 ml 1/4 cup fresh cream
  • 1 tbsp Coffee or espresso ground
  • 100 grams 7 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

FOR THE SIMPLE SYRUP

  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 180 ml 3/4 cup water

FOR DECORATIONS

  • 8 to 10 chocolate-coated coffee beans

Instructions

FOR THE CAKE

  • 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 eggs, one at a time.
  • Next, add the flour and buttermilk in three additions.
  • Lastly, add the espresso and vanilla extract.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 30 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.

FOR THE MOCHA BUTTERCREAM

  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler.
  • Add coffee and vanilla to the cold cream – mix well and set aside.
  • Cream butter for a minute.
  • Strain the coffee mixture in the butter and combine it for a minute.
  • Now, add the powdered sugar and coffee mixture a little at a time.
  • Once all the powdered 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 so don’t skimp on the whipping.
  • FOR THE SIMPLE SYRUP
  • Combine the sugar and water in a heavy-bottom saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil and let all the sugar dissolve.
  • Cool completely before using for the cake.

ASSEMBLE

  • Once cooled, cut the domes if any on the cake layers.
  • Brush each layer with the cooled, simple syrup.
  • Place a cake layer on the cake board or cake stand.
  • Top with a big dollop of buttercream – spread evenly.
  • Then top the second cake layer on top followed by buttercream and the last layer.
  • Place the cake in the fridge if necessary, so the layers hold together.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream around and top of the cake.
  • Create a rustic buttercream look by simply swirling the tip of the spatula up and down the side of the cake creating distinct lines.
  • Pipe any remaining frosting into swirls on top of the cake.
  • Top each swirl with a chocolate-coated coffee bean.

STORAGE

  • Once decorated, the cake does not need to be refrigerated.

Notes

 

Storage 

  • Once decorated, the cake does not need to be refrigerated.
  • It can stay at room temperature for two days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Once cut, always cover the cut side of the cake with cling/plastic wrap so the cake does not dry out.
  • The cake can be frozen for up to a month if wrapped well. Thaw in the fridge overnight for a moist cake.
 

Save this Recipe on Pinterest for Later

Image of cardamon cake with Veena Azmanov name
Cardamom Cake with Mocha Buttercream

 

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