Coffee Infused Cake with Mocha Frosting

Hi everyone! Today’s recipe is the latest rendition of crazy cake (also known as depression cake). Crazy cake is super simple and has no eggs, milk, or butter, making it vegan. However, I made a traditional style buttercream frosting, but the whole cake is still egg-free and it’s also possible to use a vegan frosting if need be.


What makes this crazy cake different than most, is the coffee infusion and mocha frosting! First, I made a coffee syrup with a recipe from The Spruce Eats . Then I mixed some into the cake batter, giving it a mild essence of coffee. But where the flavor is especially evident is in the frosting! It really takes the cake to the next level and is a pleasant surprise to anyone expecting just plain chocolate!

Mocha cake



1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vinegar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup water

1/4 cup coffee syrup


Powdered sugar

Unsweetened cocoa


Coffee syrup

Half and half


Start by making the simple coffee syrup. The recipe is very simple, only requiring coffee and sugar. The recipe is linked above.

Preheat the oven to 350Β°F and grease either an 8×8 baking dish or two round 6 inch cake pans. Any regular cooking spray will work as will this cake release recipe from The Barefoot Baker.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Then add the wet ingredients without mixing them separately first. Stir until a smooth batter is achieved.

Pour the batter in the cake pans, ensuring even distribution if using two pans. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool. When they are, a square cake can remain in the pan and be frosted. For a round, layer cake, I highly recommend removing them from the pans, wrapping, and freezing them before attempting to frost and decorate. (I will cover this in more depth in an upcoming cake frosting tutorial.)

While the cake is cooling, making the frosting. There aren’t amounts of each ingredient specified, because just like pie crust, I never use an actual recipe. To give an idea, a layer cake will need roughly four cups of sugar and anywhere from a stick to a stick and half of butter. Then add half and half and coffee syrup, mixing with electric beaters until it just comes together. With a round cake, having a thick frosting is key, but consistency is less crucial with a square cake. A good test is to dip a finger into the frosting. If nothing, sticks it is too dry and if it feels very wet and sticky, it needs more sugar. If the consistency is just right, a little should stick, but it should feel thick.

I apologize for the ambiguity in the frosting recipe. I’m a firm a believer that the best method is to guess and add a little of this and that until it’s right. If you ever have questions though, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Enjoy!


15 thoughts on “Coffee Infused Cake with Mocha Frosting”

  1. Is it bad that I’d like that for brunch right now? It looks divine. ;D

    1. That’s totally acceptable! 😊Besides, it’s technically “coffee cake” which is a breakfast food anyway!

      1. Nice. I promise to help you justify your next questionable decision! πŸ˜πŸ˜˜πŸŽ‚πŸ·

      2. I’ll keep that it mind!πŸ˜… Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

  2. chef mimi says:

    That is a beautiful cake! You’re so talented. Just reminded me of a coffee butter recipe I made that I found on Food 52 or one of those. If you love coffee, search for it on my blog. It’s so unique and amazing.

    1. Aww, thank you! I appreciate you stopping by! That sounds delicious and I will definitely check it out!

  3. The cake looks so good!

    1. Thank you so much!

  4. The key to every good cake is the frosting! Amazing recipe!

    1. Very true! Thank you for stopping by!

  5. jyo says:

    Such a gorgeous cakeπŸ”

    1. Thank you! 😊

  6. Hobby Tube says:

    It’s a work of art that finishing of the edges of that cake πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ‘Œ

    1. Thank you so much! ☺ It’s definitely taken practice. At some point I will do a cake frosting tutorial and will be sure to share photos of my past cake fails!πŸ˜‚

      1. Hobby Tube says:

        True… I’ve beed baking for a while now and some of them turn out better than the others…
        I would love to see a frosting tutorial from you xx

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