Black, White & Mocha Coffee Cake

With Mother’s Day just a few hours away, I thought I’d share a favorite with you. This has been my go-to for over a decade when I want to make something beautiful and delicious for a brunch, or a casual morning gathering. This week, such rainy weather called for something tasty to serve with scrambled eggs in the morning with some sweet strawberries, or a nice thick slice to go with an afternoon cup of tea. But let me warn you, even the batter for this cake is so good, it’s hard to stop licking the spoon! The cake is super moist, definitely due to the addition of sour cream. Make this for “Mom” or for yourself (and when you wake up tomorrow, you’ve spoiled yourself with a treat!).



Black, White & Mocha Coffee Cake

Recipe from Breads for Breakfast by Beth Hensperger

Note: The recipe calls for a buttered and floured bundt pan to bake this in, which I usually do. But I was just in the mood for simple this week, and opted for two loaf pans (so much batter makes one to eat now, one to freeze for later). Do as you please, but if you use loaf pans, start checking for doneness at about 30 minutes and pull them when a toothpick comes out clean from the chocolatey swirly parts.


  • 8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into pieces
  • 1 and 1/4 Tbsp. instant espresso powder
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar (I decrease the sugar by about 1/4 cup due to taste and altitude, but up to you!)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sour cream (I love the Super Kalona brand, but just make sure it’s a high quality sour cream for best flavor)
  • if you wish, a little powdered sugar or some fresh strawberries to serve with


  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (I’m at 7,200 feet altitude, so I bake at 350ºF). Grease and flour a 10-inch plain or fluted Bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate and espresso powder over hot water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large work bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add the vanilla and sour cream, blending on low speed just until smooth; the batter may be very thick. Beat an additional 30 seconds on high speed.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sour cream mixture and beat on low speed until fluffy and smooth yet thick, 1 to 2 minutes. There should be no lumps or dry spots (which is why I throw my mixer on high speed for a few more seconds to whip those away). Remove 1 cup of the batter, place in a small bowl, and stir in the melted chocolate.
  5. With a large spatula, scrap half of the vanilla batter into the prepared pan. Gently top with half of the chocolate batter. Layer the remaining vanilla batter over the top and finish with the remaining chocolate batter. Place a butter knife straight down into the batter and gently swirl around the pan once or twice, marbling the batters.
  6. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the top of the cake is no longer shiny. Remove from oven and let stand in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan by inverting the cake onto a rack; cool completely. Serve as is or with a dusting of powdered sugar and some fresh strawberries.


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2 Responses to Black, White & Mocha Coffee Cake

  1. karen kunstle says:

    I am printing this to use for my Bible study group. It will disappear!

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