Easy Mocha Cake Recipe from a Cake Mix

There's something magical about the combination of chocolate and coffee. Individually, they're delicious, but when paired together, they create a flavor explosion that's hard to resist. If you're a fan of this classic duo, then you're going to love this recipe for chocolate mocha cake made with a boxed cake mix. Not only is it easy to make, but it's also incredibly tasty making it the perfect dessert for any occasion.  

Close up of a slice of mocha cake topped with a delicious fluffy and creamy mocha frosting on a black plate.

This simple recipe was inspired by my mocha frappe recipe and easy tiramisu recipe without eggs and is another great treat for coffee lovers. 

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😋 Why You'll Love This Recipe

square piece of freshly made mocha cake with mocha frosting on a black plate with a fork.
  • Perfect for pot lucks, family dinners, or entertaining. ​
  • It's incredibly easy to make since it starts with a cake mix as its base. This means you don't have to worry about measuring out a ton of ingredients or spending hours in the kitchen. But just because it's simple doesn't mean it's not delicious.
  • The addition of instant coffee gives the cake a bold coffee flavor that enhances the rich chocolate flavor and is perfectly balanced.
  • The moist and fluffy texture of the cake is sure to impress anyone who tries it. Whether you're a fan of chocolate, coffee, or just cake in general, this recipe is a winner. 


This is an overview of the ingredients. Full instructions and amounts can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Overhead view of ingredients used to make a mocha cake recipe from a cake mix including the ingredients used to make a fluffy creamy frosting - Aldi's Devil's Food Cake Mix, 3 eggs, Instant Coffee granules, cream cheese, Cool Whip Whipped Topping, confectioner's sugar, and granulated sugar
  • box of chocolate cake mix - I used devil's food from Aldi's which calls for 1 cup of water, ½ cup vegetable oil, and 3 large eggs
  • granulated sugar
  • boiling water 
  • instant coffee granules
  • cream cheese
  • confectioners' sugar
  • Cool whip
  • cocoa powder or semisweet chocolate chips 

See recipe card for quantities.


This is an overview of the instructions. The full recipe and instructions as well as nutritional information can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Chocolate cake mix in the bowl of an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment after being mixed.

Heat oven to 350 degrees f. 

Spray bottom only of two 9-inch cake pans or one 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. 

Prepare cake batter in a large bowl following the directions on the box and pour batter into cake pans (divide batter evenly if using two cake rounds) or baking dish. 

freshly baked mocha chocolate cake from a mix in a large white 9 x 13 inch baking pan

Place in preheated oven following the bake time as indicated on the box testing for doneness with a cake tester. 

Cool cake on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from cake pans if desired. If baking in a baking dish you can leave it in the dish for serving. 

pyrex glass measuring cup with boiling water, glass measuring cup with instant coffee granules, and granulated sugar along with a black measuring spoon and silicon pastry brush on table

In a small bowl combine boiling water, granulated sugar, and ½ tablespoon of the instant coffee granules stirring until dissolved; set aside. 

Combine cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of instant coffee in a mixing bowl if using a hand electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment and mix at medium speed until smooth. Gently fold in the Cool whip. Set aside one cup of the frosting to decorate the cake with for a garnish. 

freshly baked chocolate cake brushed with a coffee mixture to give it a rich and deep mocha flavor.

Brush the top of the cake with the coffee mixture using a silicone basting brush. 

Mocha cake topped with fluffy mocha frosting

Spread the remaining mocha frosting over the top of cake. If making a layered cake frost the top of the bottom cake layer, add the second layer and frost that as well. 

Pipe rosettes of filling on top of the cake and sprinkle with cocoa powder or grated chocolate morsels. 

Mocha cake freshly baked and frosted with a piece missing.

Free Grocery List Printable


  • Espresso Powder - can be used in place of instant coffee and will take the coffee flavor to the next level for a stronger richer flavor. 
  • Whipped Cream can be used in place of the Cool Whip - use half as much homemade whipped cream (1 cup vs 2 cups). 
slice of mocha cake with mocha frosting on a black plate ready to be served to guests

🍽 Equipment


If not serving immediately, place cake in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. I usually make this a day in advance and use a 9 x 13 inch pan so it's easier to store. I don't have a lid for my baking dish so I cover the cake with a layer of plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. 

If you LOVE mocha and the flavor of coffee you may also enjoy these recipes!

If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card below ⬇️ you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need.

If you love this recipe please give it a 5 star rating. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖 Recipe

Easy Mocha Cake Recipe from a Cake Mix

This recipe for mocha cake made with cake mix is a decadent and delicious dessert that's sure to impress. With rich chocolate and coffee flavors, this cake is moist and fluffy, making it a perfect choice for any occasion.
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slice of mocha cake with mocha frosting on a black plate ready to be served to guests
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:35 minutes
Allow to cool and frost:1 hour
Total Time:1 hour 45 minutes



Mocha Infusion

  • ½ tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • cup boiling water

Mocha Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese one package, softened
  • 1 ½ tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces Cool whip one container
  • cocoa powder for dusting



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray bottom only of pans or baking dish.
  • Mix cake following the directions on the package.
  • Bake following package directions. Check for doneness with a cake tester.
  • Cool on wire cooling rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pans if using round cake pans or leave in baking dish if preferred.

Mocha Infusion

  • In small bowl combine granulated sugar, ½ tbsp. coffee granules, and boiling water.
  • Brush top of cooled cake layers with mocha infusion.

Mocha Frosting

  • In large mixing bowl or bowl of stand mixer combine softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 ½ tbsp. coffee granules on medium speed until smooth.
  • Fold in whipped topping.
  • Set aside one cup for rosettes.
  • Spread frosting over cake and decorate as desired.
  • Sprinkle with cocoa powder.


This cake needs to be refrigerated for freshness. 

As with any of my recipes, calorie counts and nutritional information varies greatly depending on which products you choose to use when cooking this dish.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 290mg | Potassium: 157mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 261IU | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 302kcal
Author: Mary Beth
Cost: $6.00
Signature Block - with photo of Mary Beth, your homemaking coach, and a pink stand mixer

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Recipe Rating


  1. How much of the mocha infusion do you use? All of it? It just says "brush top of cooled cake"

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Hello, Yes, brush all of the infusion on the top of the cooled cake. 🙂

  2. Hi, there is a typo that could lead to a mistake! On the picture instructions it says to add 1/2 tbsp of instant coffee to the cocoa fusion but down below on the written in instructions it says to add all two tbsp of the instant coffee which left us with nothing left for the frosting. Just to note!

    1. Mary Beth Sharkey says:

      Hello and thank you so very much for letting me know about the error. I corrected it. Thank you, again. 🙂