Grammy A's Mocha Cake

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Yield: 1 large cake

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Reader Kelly Keller sent us this unusual and delicious fruitcake recipe, with the following note:

"We grew up knowing this cake as Grammy A's Mocha Cake. Grammy A had eight children, one of them my father. So I have many cousins, aunts and uncles who know this recipe, and some of them make variations of it. But as far as I know my dad, my mom and I are a few of the biggest fans and carriers-on of the tradition. We're all big coffee drinkers, and we love dark, bitter chocolate. And we all pretty much detest fruitcake. So this has always been our holiday cake. When we make it, it is breakfast, lunch, and sometimes even dinner. It's. That. Good.

The cloves and allspice, bitter chocolate, and very faint hint of coffee seem an unusual flavor combination, but they actually play together nicely in this cake. Not as dense/moist as traditional fruit cake, but not as light as a standard cake, this dark and delicious cake falls somewhere in between.

Thanks, Kelly, for sharing this special family recipe.

Grammy A's Mocha Cake

star rating (2) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 large cake
Published: 12/09/2010



  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt; use the greater amount if you use unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup strong cold coffee
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk or half & half
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup raisins, golden or regular
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 1/2 cups bitter (unsweetened) chocolate chips/flakes/small chunks*
  • *Use unsweetened baking chocolate, pounded with a heavy object to break it into small pieces. If you're afraid to use unsweetened chocolate, use a dark, bittersweet chocolate.


  • simple syrup, Kahlua, brandy, or a mixture, to brush on baked cake

Tips from our bakers

  • Can you leave out/change the spices? Can you leave out/change the nuts? How about the chocolate? Feel free to change any of these "add-ins" without affecting the structure of the cake; you just won't have Grammy A's Mocha Cake.


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a full-size (10- to 15-cup) Bundt pan.

2) Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until smooth.

3) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4) In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.

5) In another bowl, mix the cold coffee and evaporated milk or cream.

6) Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the coffee, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once everything is added, and mix briefly, just until smooth.

7) Stir in the pecans, raisins, currants, and chocolate.

8) Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, leveling it as best you can.

9) Bake the cake for 55 to 65 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a bit of melted chocolate.

10) Remove the cake from the oven, wait 10 minutes, then loosen the edges with a spatula and turn it out onto a rack.

11) Brush the cake all over with the simple syrup, Kahlua, brandy, or a combination. This step is optional, but adds to the cake's flavor and moistness.

12) Serve the cake at room temperature. Keep any leftovers wrapped airtight at room temperature, or freeze.

Yield: 1 large cake, about 16 servings.


  • star rating 12/15/2013
  • LSP from Starksboro, VT
  • Perfect combination of holiday spices and dark chocolate. Delicious with simple chocolate glaze.
  • star rating 11/19/2013
  • Bobby from NH
  • Loved it! And so did the many people I gave slices to. I've been stopped numerous times as people give thanks for the delicious slices of cake I gave them. The only thing I think I'd do differently (as I didn't measure my pan so think it was too small) is to bake it in 2 separate pans next time. This time I had to bake it a lot longer than the recommended time which caused for me, the outside to be a bit overcooked. The inside was moist and delicious though.