This recipe, which is over 100 years old, was one of my grandmother's (she raised 11 children and three grandchildren) favorites. Anytime I serve this cake I get requests for the recipe.

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Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease and flour three 9 inch round cake pans.

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  • Place the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl, and beat until light colored and smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir the coffee and cocoa into the egg mixture until well blended. Measure the buttermilk, and remove 1 tablespoon, placing it in a separate small bowl, and set aside. Stir the remaining buttermilk into the egg mixture, beating until smooth.

  • Stir the baking soda into 1 tablespoon buttermilk until smooth, and mix into the egg mixture. Stir in the flour, beating until smooth. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.

  • Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick or small knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool in the pans about 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  • To make the frosting, beat 1 cup butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually sift in the confectioners' sugar, and beat until smooth. Stir in the coffee, cocoa, and vanilla until well blended.

  • Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread top with about 1/5 frosting. Place the second layer on top of the first, and frost. Repeat with the third layer. Use remaining frosting to frost top and sides.

Nutrition Facts

823.9 calories; 8.2 g protein; 111.7 g carbohydrates; 191.6 mg cholesterol; 450.2 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (10)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
11/24/2008
My kids & I loved this cake. It was not dry & the frosting was the best. Couldn't really taste the coffee in the cake, & the chocolate flavor was mild but there was a "subtle" difference compared to most cakes. The kids asked for seconds. Read More
(18)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
06/15/2016
It was fine nothing special though. It's kind of like red velvet cake without the red color. It looks like a spice cake and tastes... sweet but doesn't have an identifiable flavor. I should've added some vanilla. I made six cupcakes & a 9x13. The 9x13 would've been fine for the entire recipe but I wasn't sure with all those eggs how big this baby was going to get. 'Didn't make the frosting; used homemade cream cheese frosting instead. If it were as good as the batter I'd be in trouble. Read More
(2)
10 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
11/24/2008
My kids & I loved this cake. It was not dry & the frosting was the best. Couldn't really taste the coffee in the cake, & the chocolate flavor was mild but there was a "subtle" difference compared to most cakes. The kids asked for seconds. Read More
(18)
Rating: 5 stars
03/17/2010
This cake is wonderful and I've never been a huge fan of coffee. The coffee flavor is very subtle and it's mostly the moist chocolate cake that you taste. It's my youngest daughter's new favorite cake and I know I'll be making this for her birthday for many years to come! Thanks for the great recipe!! Read More
(7)
Rating: 4 stars
06/22/2010
Made this cake last week. This was the: 1. First layer cake I have ever made 2. First cake I have ever made from scratch 3. First icing I have ever made from scratch This cake could not have been easier to make. However, it didn't taste like I anticipated it. The cake did turn out very moist and very rich. I would make it again for company! Read More
(7)
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Rating: 3 stars
06/15/2016
It was fine nothing special though. It's kind of like red velvet cake without the red color. It looks like a spice cake and tastes... sweet but doesn't have an identifiable flavor. I should've added some vanilla. I made six cupcakes & a 9x13. The 9x13 would've been fine for the entire recipe but I wasn't sure with all those eggs how big this baby was going to get. 'Didn't make the frosting; used homemade cream cheese frosting instead. If it were as good as the batter I'd be in trouble. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
03/10/2019
This cake is absolutely delicious! My family loved it Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
01/29/2012
I just made this cake and it is amazing!! This is now one of my favorite cake recipes:) Read More
(1)
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Rating: 2 stars
04/09/2014
The cake portion of this is fine. The frosting recipe has a major flaw! Either too much butter or not enough confectioner's sugar. I had to add more too it and ran out bc I didn't have enough. The taste was good but the consistency was horrible!! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
03/28/2019
My grandmother made this cake but I couldn't find her recipe. Glad to have it. I would suggest to everyone to check your ingredients. Only use the finest ingredients. The cocoa powder vanilla and espresso coffee should make a deeper chocolate flavor without too much added sweetness. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
03/07/2020
I made this and it turned out fine. I’d call it a mocha cake. The buttercream turned out fine, but there is not enough to frost a three layer cake. I had to go back to the store for more sugar and butter so I could halve the recipe and frost the sides. Unfortunately, halving the recipe made for an inconsistent frosting. If I make this again, I would double the buttercream recipe. Read More