Moist and Flavorful Mocha Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

February 18, 2022

This Mocha Banana Chocolate Chip Cake is a delicious combination of sweet, bitter and tangy flavors thanks to the tender banana cake layers, mocha buttercream, and mascarpone chocolate chip filling.

The most delicious banana cake

Banana Cake

With the weekend upon us, it’s time for a new recipe! I know you probably have a cake already picked out for your weekend baking, but if you’re looking for a melt-in-your-mouth, unforgettable combination, you’ve got to try this Mocha Banana Chocolate Chip Cake.

We’ll be using my banana cake recipe for the layers. If you haven’t tried this cake yet, I’m so excited for you to get started on it. The cake layers are so flavorful and moist.

Banana Cake

How to Make Moist Cake Layers

When making the cake layers, don’t forget to follow my go-to tips for getting your cakes to rise and bake well:

  • Preheat your oven for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • Use good quality pans like Fat Daddio.
  • Spray your pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. 
  • Don’t overmix your cake batter once you add the dry ingredients.
  • Use room temperature wet ingredients.
  • Use fresh baking powder.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
  • Use overripe bananas.

Mocha Buttercream

This buttercream is just as silky and smooth as my go-to chocolate buttercream, but it has a hint of coffee flavoring thanks to these Nestle Espresso Morsels. Continue to read below for substitutions and my tips for making the best buttercream frosting.

What if I Can’t Find Espresso Baking Chips?

If you don’t have the Nestle Espresso Morsels, you can easily substitute the chips with chocolate chips and add a teaspoon of coffee extract.

What if I Don’t Like Coffee Flavoring?

No worries! Just make the buttercream with chocolate chips!

Mocha Buttercream Frosting

Coffee Replacements

Love coffee flavoring but can’t drink it for religious or dietary reasons? No worries, try Pero! This coffee substitute is naturally caffeine-free and blended from all-natural ingredients, including malted barley, barley, chicory, and rye and can be found at most grocery stores.

How to Make the Best Buttercream Frosting

To get this silky smooth buttercream, make sure you follow my tips: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM

  • Sift your powdered sugar
  • Use slightly cold butter
  • Use heavy whipping cream
  • Beat for 5 minutes
  • Stir by hand

You’ll want to check out the post linked above for more details on each step to make sure you get the best buttercream frosting. And remember, these steps can be used for any buttercream recipe on my blog.

IMPORTANT For buttercream with baking chips specifically, remember to heat the cream and baking chips together first. You’ll then stir the mixture until it becomes a smooth ganache. Once the ganache has cooled slightly, you’ll add the mixture to the butter and continue making the buttercream according to the instructions.

Banana Cake Layers

Make Ahead Tips

  • Cake layers – The cake layers are a great element to make ahead of time. I like to let my layers cool to room temperature and then wrap them well with plastic wrap. Let the layers thaw for about an hour before you decorate the cake.
  • Filling – you can also make the filling ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use.
  • Buttercream – this buttercream recipe can be made a week ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Make sure to let the buttercream get back to room temperature and beat it again for a few minutes to restore the fluffy texture.

Mascarpone Chocolate Chip Filling

For the mascarpone chocolate chip filling, you’ll find mascarpone in the specialty cheese section of your grocery store. This is usually next to the deli. This cheese gives the filling a slightly tangy flavor, which pairs so well with the sweetness of the cake.

Banana cake layers with chocolate chip mascarpone filling and mocha frosting

Other Recipes You’ll Love
Banana cake layers with chocolate chip mascarpone filling and mocha frosting

Mocha Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

5 from 4 votes
Tender banana cake layers with chocolate chip mascarpone filling and mocha buttercream.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Inactive Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours


For the Cake

  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4.2) g salt
  • 3/4 cup (169.5 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (20 g) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (73.3 g) light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup (360 g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6.3 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 3 medium-sized over-ripe bananas, mashed

For the Mascarpone Filling

  • 8 oz mascarpone
  • 1 cups (125 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 1 tsp (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (170 g) mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (115.5 g) heavy whipping cream

For the Mocha Buttercream

  • 1/4 cup (57.75 g) heavy cream
  • 8 ounces Nestle espresso flavored chips FIND HERE
  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
  • 5 cups (625 g) cups confectioners' sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.1 g) pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping you’ll want to make an extra ½ batch.


For the Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch pans with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil, and sugars on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next (about 30 seconds). Add the vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk mixture into the creamed mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated and remove bowl from stand mixer. Using a large stainless steel whisk, stir/whisk the mashed banana into the mixture–you can use use some strength and blend well, ensuring all of the ingredients are well mixed. (If you don’t have a large stainless whisk, you can fold the banana mixture in using a rubber spatula until incorporated.)
  • Divide the batter evenly between the pans, using a kitchen scale for the best accuracy. (For this recipe, you'll have about 20 ounces of batter in each of the three 8-inch pans). 
  • Carefully smooth the batter with small offset palette knife, and bake until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. 
  • Let pans cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently, peeling away parchment rounds. Let cool completely. 
  • When the cakes are completely cooled, level the cake layers if necessary
  • The cake layers can be made up to a week in advance. If you plan to make it in advance, cover each cake layer with two layers of plastic wrap. When you’re ready to frost your cake, take the cake layers out of the freezer an hour before you decorate.

For the Mascarpone Filling

  • Combine the mascarpone and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until combined, about one minute.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture, followed by the vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
    Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Mocha Buttercream

  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat the cream and the espresso chips on medium-high heat for about a minute. Stir until smooth.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Gradually add the espresso ganache to the butter mixture and beat until smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar to the bowl and mix in, slowly at first until incorporated, then increasing the mixer speed to high. Blend in the vanilla extract and salt. Continue to whip on medium-high speed until very fluffy, about 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Continue to mix by hand using a wooden spoon to smooth out air bubbles.


  • Place the first cake layer, top side up, on a cake board.
  • Pipe a rim of mocha buttercream around the cake layer. Evenly spread the half of the mascarpone filling across the cake layer.
  • Repeat these steps with the next cake layer and then place the final cake layer, top side down.
  • Apply a thin layer of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  • After the crumb coat is set, continue to frost the cake with the remaining buttercream.
Author: Courtney Rich
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: Banana Bread, Banana Cake, Chocolate Chip, Mascarpone, Mocha, Mocha Banana Cake

Join the Conversation

  1. Hi Courtney! In the recipe it says you canmake the cake layers a week in advance and freexe. Is one week the max freeze time? I had 3 ripe bananas, so I made the cake and am freezing the layers, but I don’t need a cake for anything this week. Does this make sense?? Thank you!

  2. Jessica Spendlove says:

    5 stars
    This cake was not only fun to make, but it was so delicious! The banana cake was tender and super moist, the filling was absolutely delicious with the mascarpone cheese, and the buttercream was to die for! I made this cake for my birthday, and it was definitely a hit! Thank you for sharing your talent with others, so that we can feel successful at making award worthy cakes!

    1. Thank you so much! happy belated birthday!

  3. I’d love to make this cake, but I can’t find the espresso chips anywhere! Can I use espresso powder and regular chips? If so, how much espresso powder would you recommend? Thanks in advance!!

    1. Yes that should work. I’d start with just a teaspoon and see what you think of the flavor.

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