Mocha Chip Cake

Rich chocolate mocha cake layers with toasted mocha chip marshmallow filling, salted caramel and mocha frosting. As you can probably tell by now, I love creating cakes inspired by other types of treats. My recent Caramel Apple Cake was inspired by the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Apple Pie Caramel Apple. My Tonight Show Cake was inspired by Ben and Jerry’s Tonight Dough Ice Cream. And my Peach Crisp Cake was inspired by the traditional dessert we all grew up on. (The list could go on and on). I love the challenge of trying to put the flavors and textures of other desserts into a cake. I love even more when I’ve succeed and create a delicious and memorable cake!

Mocha Chip Cake

For this Mocha Chip Cake, I used the Mocha Chip SmashMallows as my initial inspiration. I am obsessed with their Cinnamon Churro marshmallow and now use it on top of all my Churro Cakes. And while I don’t drink coffee, I love coffee flavoring in my desserts and have been eager to make another coffee flavored cake since doing my Gingerbread Latte Cake a couple years ago. I decided to pair the Mocha Chip SmashMallows with my chocolate cake. Chocolate and coffee are like peanut butter and jelly – they were meant for each other! For the filling, I adapted the toasted marshmallow filling from my Ultimate S’mores Cake and replaced regular marshmallows with the SmashMallows. The one difference to be aware of is that the SmashMallows don’t need as much time in the oven to soften as the typical Kraft marshmallows. Keep your eye on them while they’re browning in the oven. They’ll only need about 30 seconds to cook. I added a little more coffee emulsion to the marshmallow filling to amp up the flavor. I also used a good amount of the emulsion in my frosting too.

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.

A Few Extras

With all the sweetness in this cake, I felt like it needed a little contrast. The bittersweet chocolate cake helps with that, but I also decided to add salted caramel to the cake. I use it in between each layer and a little on top, but don’t shy away from pouring even more on each slice of cake when you’re serving it. I also threw in a handful of mini chocolate chips in between the layers for a little more texture contrast. If you don’t want to use actual coffee in the cake, just replace it with hot water. You’ll still get great flavoring from the emulsion but you don’t want to lose the liquid. Alright, with all that said, it’s time to get baking! Enjoy!

Mocha Chip Cake

Yield One 4-layer, 6-inch round cake

Mocha Chip Cake.

Rich chocolate mocha cake layers filled with toasted mocha chip marshmallow filling, salted caramel and mocha frosting.


For the Chocolate Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups, plus 2 tablespoons (225 g)  all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups, minus 2 tablespoons (375 g)  granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (88.5 g) good quality dark cocoa powder, (THIS is my favorite)
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g)  baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5.6 g) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (109 g) vegetable oil
  • 3 large or extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (236.6 g) hot coffee (can use decaf or substitute with hot water)
  • 3 teaspoons (12.6 g) LorAnn Coffee Emulsion

For the Mocha Chip Filling

  • 20 marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cups (187.5 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks)(226 g)  unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.1 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup marshmallow fluff
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g)  LorAnn Coffee Emulsion
  • Pinch of salt

For the Salted Caramel

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (118.3 g) water
  • 4 teaspoons (82 g) light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (115.5 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons (11 g) kosher salt

For the Frosting

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.8 g) Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons (16.8 g) LorAnn Coffee Emulsion
  • 2 tablespoons (28.9 g) heavy whipping cream
  • *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 1/2 batch.


  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Coffee beans
  • Marshmallows


For the Chocolate Mocha Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
  3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, hot coffee (or water), vanilla and coffee emulsion.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans, and bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out almost clean. (A few crumbs on the toothpick is definitely ok!).
  6. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  7. Level each cake layer with a cake leveler. Use immediately or wrap in plastic wrap twice and freeze for up to a week. If you'd like to freeze the cake layers longer than a week, also wrap each layer with tin foil. 

For the Mocha Chip Filling

  1. Place the marshmallows on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place on the middle rack of the oven, and broil the marshmallows until golden brown on top, about 30. Keep your eye on them!
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, powdered sugar and salt, and beat on low until blended. Add the vanilla and coffee emulsion and mix on medium speed for about three minutes
  3. With the mixer on low speed, add the marshmallow cream and (cooled) toasted marshmallows, and mix for about one minute. 
  4. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using on the cake.

For the Salted Caramel

  • Mix the sugar, water and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Bring the mixture to boil, but DO NOT STIR! (Stirring encourages crystallization). Let the mixture cook until it turns to a golden brown/amber color. It happens quickly, so keep an eye on it.
  • Remove the caramelized sugar syrup from the heat and very slowly stir in the cream, pouring it in little by little, to temper the cream and sugar syrup. If you pour it in all at once, your sugar will turn into hard candy. You can start adding more and more as you go along.
  • Once the cream is mixed in, add the salt, and vanilla. Stir to combine and then set aside to cool to room temperature before using.    

For the Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and light in color, about 2 minutes.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, followed by the salt, vanilla and coffee emulsion.
  3. Add the heavy cream and then turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 5 minutes.
  4. Frosting can be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for up to a month.
  5. When you're ready to frost the cake, bring the frosting back to room temperature and mix by hand with a wooden spoon to push out all of the air pockets. 


  1. Place the first cake layer, top side (crumb side) up on a cake board, set on a turntable. Spread 1/3 of the marshmallow filling on top of the cake layer. Drizzle with salted caramel and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Place the next cake layer on top and repeat with filling, caramel and chocolate chips.
  2. When you get to the final cake layer, place it top side (crumb side) down. Cover the entire cake with a thin coat of frosting and freeze for 10 minutes. This is called a crumb coat and will lock in the crumbs of the cake so you get a much cleaner looking cake.
  3. When the crumb coat is set, continue frosting the cake with the remaining frosting and garnish with caramel, chocolate chips, coffee beans and Mocha Chip SmashMallows.

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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Leave a Comment


    1. It’s actually not sponsored. I didn’t get paid. Just love the marshmallows and like to try incorporate different treats, flavors and textures in my cakes.

  1. You mention salt in the instructions for the marshmallow filling but not in the ingredient list. I will do a pinch just to be safe, but what is the quantity?

  2. His looks lovely! Do you use just any black coffee? I’m not a coffee drinker either so I’m not very familiar with it.

  3. Thanks for answering my coffee question! I’ve got one more for ya… I haven’t been able to find the mocha chip smashmallows at any targets near me and I don’t have time to order them online. Any ideas for a substitute? I know I could just use regular marshmallows, but I wanted that mocha flavor. Thanks again! Can’t wait to make this cake 😁

  4. Any ideas for which flavor or what to replace the Mocha Chip SmashMallows with since they discontinued Mocha Chip??

    1. I would just do the regular marshmallows and add a coffee flavoring or the new vanilla bean one they have

  5. Hi Courtney, I am so inspired with this cake and can’t wait to make one. I want to make on my birthday this coming Friday. I have all my ingredients but the smashmallow mocha chips. I am having a hard time finding it. I was wondering where I can purchase it, or there is there other substitution you can suggest. thank you so much!

  6. If I can’t find the coffee extract do you have any recommendations? I wanted to make the cake today. Thanks!

  7. I want to convert this to cupcakes. Any suggestions on cook time and how many the recipe could make? Thinking would put marshmallow filling, glaze with salted caramel and then frosting on top. Thanks!

  8. Hi, you say to use 20 marshmallows, but Im not sure what size you mean. I have only found giant ones in my local store. Do you know what weight I should be aiming for? Thank you for your help!