Marvelous Mocha Pound Cake

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This is it–the chocolatey, moist, mocha cake you’ve been looking for! Intensified by the inclusion of very-finely ground Starbucks sumatra coffee, rather than instant coffee granules of days gone by, this mocha pound cake recipe was featured 20 years ago in the Chicago Tribune. Reader Karen Stephenson misplaced her copy of the recipe and sought to find it, liking the cake for its density, and, because it isn’t overly sugary.

Makes 1, 12-cup bundt cake or 1, 10-inch tube-pan cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp each, baking powder and salt
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp very finely ground Starbucks Sumatra coffee
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • cocoa for sprinkling


  1. Set rack in center of oven. Preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan or 10-inch tube-pan. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cream butter in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add sugar slowly. Increase speed to high and beat five minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add cocoa and coffee. Blend well. Add dry ingredients alternately with wet ingredients until batter is smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 about 1 hour and 20 minutes until the cake pulls away from the side s of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer cake to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and when completely cool, dust with cocoa powder.

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