Traditional Mocha Chocolate Cake

Waldorf Astoria Hotel Mocha Chocolate Cake

Fabled $100 Waldorf Astoria Hotel Recipe Cake a Favorite Dessert

This famed cake recipe has traveled across families and cyberspace to today. The rich coffee, chocolate, butter and eggs make it dense, delicious, and a special treat.

This Mocha Chocolate Cake was said to have been enjoyed so much at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City that diners asked for the recipe. They got it, but it came with a bill for $100. To recover the money, some were said to have sold the recipe to 100 friends for one dollar each.

The $100 Recipe Cake legend has been handed down from mother to daughter and from friend to friend through generations and today it changes cyber-hands on the Internet — though probably without the one dollar charge. Does this chocolate cake story contain a crumb of the truth? It probably depends who you ask, but it may contain a hint of the truth that is as tasty as the mocha flavored batter. Who knows? One legendary sleuth says the $100 Recipe Cake is a Red Velvet Cake, not the mocha cake described here!

In any case, the mocha version of the $100 Recipe Cake has become a family favorite and centerpiece for birthdays and holidays. Although it requires lots of ingredients, bowls, and pans, the cake is well worth the effort and is relatively simple to make.

Gather the Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 5 tablespoons strong coffee (liquid)
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • dash of salt

Line Up Your Bowls and Begin

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Gease and flour 3 9-inch or 4 8-inch round cake pans. This recipe makes enough for 2-two layer cakes or 1-three layer cake.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the sugar and butter and beat until the consistency is creamy.
  3. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks well. Add the well-beaten egg yolks to the creamed sugar and butter in the large bowl and mix to blend.
  4. In another bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Alternately, add and stir these dry ingredients and the coffee and buttermilk into the bowl with the creamed ingredients in the large mixing bowl.
  5. Add vanilla and blend it into the mixture.
  6. In a metal bowl, beat the egg whites until they are stiff. Fold them into the mixture in the large mixing bowl.
  7. Divide the mixture in round layer cake pans.
  8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean. Touch the top center with a finger to test: the cake should spring back into shape with only the hint of the impression left by the finger showing.
  9. When done, cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pans to cool thoroughly.

Mocha Icing Makes the Cake!

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons strong coffee (liquid)
  • 1 box Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
READ Related Article:  The Ultimate Coffee and Dessert Pairings

Combine all ingredients and cream well.

Any Way You Slice It

Most of us slice our cakes from the center to the edge is pie-shaped wedges. However, this dense cake may be slice another way. First, slice the cake down the middle to create 2-half moon sections. Take one section aside and begin slicing 1/2 to 1 inch slices (depending on your guests’ preferences) from edge to edge. Cut the long slice into 2, 3, or 4 servings, again depending on your guests’ wishes.

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Self-proclaimed coffee drinker. I would, on a typical day, start my day by grinding my coffee with a manual grinder and use a French Press as a starter (2 cups), then a pour-over in the afternoon (4 cups). I had my fair share as a barista but I prefer to drink it, not serve it.