Mocha Snack Cake is an amazingly simple cake recipe to make! You don’t even need a bowl for this cake! See what you’ll need to make this fab cake with a luscious mocha frosting.

A square slice of No Bowl Mocha Snack Cake on a round white plate. The cake is covered with mocha frosting and has sprinkles around the edge.

If you had asked me a couple years ago, I would have told you that I only drink coffee a couple times a week.

These days, it’s an every day sort of thing. And more often than not, it’s an iced vanilla latte or a hot latte.

I refuse to call it an addiction because I can, if I’m forced to by a mile-long drive-thru line that I refuse to wait in, go without my morning cup and still feel ok.

But when it comes to coffee in my cake, there’s no way I can pass it up. 

No Bowl Mocha Snack Cake is a square cake covered in mocha frosting with chocolate sprinkles around the top edge of the cake. The cake is on a square white plate set on a white napkin with a red stripe on it.

And when that cake is made by hand, and without a bowl – yes, without a bowl – get the heck out of my way! I about passed out (a forehead slap definitely happened) when I saw this no-bowl cake technique pop up on The Cake Essentials DVD I watched over the weekend.

My friends at The King Arthur Baking Company were kind enough to send me a copy of this DVD along with a few other goodies and asked me to make a cake inspired by the DVD. 

How to Make a Cake Without a Bowl

I made this double mocha snack cake – double, as in mocha cake and mocha frosting – using a stir-together technique directly in the cake pan.

That’s right! No bowls, stand mixers, or hand mixers are needed to make this cake! What a wonderful concept!

Overhead photo of the ingredients for No Bowl Mocha Snack Cake in the cake pan.

So in essence, making this mocha cake happened almost faster than it takes to get a non-fat vanilla latte at Starbucks.

If a from-scratch cake can be popped in the oven in under 7 minutes without any bowls or beaters to clean up, I am ALL IN.  

What Is Snack Cake?

Snack cake is a simple single layer cake that can be cut into squares for serving.

It’s the kind of cake that doesn’t necessarily need frosting; powdered sugar dusted on top of this cake would have been lovely here. But really, it’s cake. 

Overhead photo of the No Bowl Mocha Snack Cake ingredients being stirred together in the cake pan.

I would risk sleeping in another room if I served Kyle cake without frosting. And I’m only sort of kidding!

The mocha frosting I made for this cake is worthy of its own post and perhaps it will land there in the future but I had to share it with you today. You need it today.

The frosting is a-freaking-mazing! It’s light, fluffy, rich, and coffee-e. It’s just perfect.

And in fact, the cake and frosting reminded me a lot of the Café Mocha Cupcakes I made years ago so I knew this mocha cake and frosting couldn’t possibly be bad.

Other Frosting Suggestions

If you want to try a different frosting with this mocha cake, my favorite peanut butter frosting or the whipped vanilla frosting from my cannoli cake recipe would be amazing too!

Overhead photo of mocha frosting for No Bowl Mocha Snack Cake in a bowl on a gray striped napkin. Next to the bowl is an off-set spatula with some of the frosting still on it.

My chocolate cream cheese frosting would be fantastic as well. And if you want a straight-up EASY chocolate frosting, the one I made with the “I Want Chocolate Cake” Cake is the one you should go for!

More Easy Snack Cakes to Make

A square slice of No Bowl Mocha Snack Cake on a round white plate. The cake is covered with mocha frosting and has sprinkles around the edge.

No Bowl Mocha Snack Cake

Yield: 12 servings of cake and plenty of frosting for the top of the cake (plus a little extra). Double these recipes for a 8- or 9-inch layer cake or 24 cupcakes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Mocha snack cake is an incredibly simple cake to make and you don't even need a bowl to make it! Just mix all the ingredient up IN THE CAKE PAN! Dust the top of the cake with some powdered sugar or slather it with some mocha frosting (recipe below) for a fantastic and super easy cake recipe!

Ingredients

For the mocha cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • ½ tsp espresso powder or 1 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil (any neutral oil – not olive oil)
  • 1 cup (8oz) hot brewed coffee

For the mocha buttercream frosting:

  • 8 tbsp (½ cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter
  • pinch of table salt
  • 2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
  • ¾ tsp espresso powder or 1 ½ tsp instant coffee granules
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly spray an 8-inch square or round cake pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with two criss-crossed pieces of parchment paper that hang over the sides of the pan. Lightly spray the parchment paper.
  2. Measure the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, espresso powder, and baking soda directly into the pan. Stir all of the ingredients together until they are well-combined. Make three little wells in the dry mixture and pour the vanilla, vinegar, and oil each into a separate well. Pour the hot coffee over all of the ingredients and stir lightly with a fork until a batter forms and there are no streaks of dry ingredients remaining – be sure to check the corners well. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick poked into the center of the cake comes out clean. (My dark pan baked this cake in 26 minutes.) Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Serve the cake either right from the pan (either warm by itself or completely cooled with the frosting below) or pull the cake out using the parchment paper sling and place it on a cake plate.
  3. To make the frosting: While the cake bakes, make the frosting. Beat the butter and salt in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Once incorporated, beat on medium for 1 minute. With the mixer on low, pour the vanilla and heavy cream into the bowl and mix it into the frosting. Increase the speed to medium and beat the frosting for 30 seconds.

Notes

adapted from King Arthur Flour

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Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by King Arthur Flour.  I was provided with the same package that is being given away here.  I was not compensated for writing this post and all of the opinions are of course, my own.

  • Prep Time: 10min
  • Cook Time: 25-35min
  • Yield: 12 servings of cake and plenty of frosting for the top of the cake (plus a little extra). Double these recipes for a 8- or 9-inch layer cake or 24 cupcakes.

Ingredients

For the mocha cake:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
½ tsp table salt
½ tsp espresso powder or 1 tsp instant coffee granules
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil (any neutral oil – not olive oil)
1 cup (8oz) hot brewed coffee

For the mocha buttercream frosting:
8 tbsp (½ cup) unsalted butter
pinch of table salt
2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
¾ tsp espresso powder or 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream

Instructions

  • 01

    To make the cake:  Preheat oven to 350° F.  Lightly spray an 8-inch square or round cake pan with cooking spray.

  • 02

    Measure the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, espresso powder, and baking soda directly into the pan.  Stir all of the ingredients together until they are well-combined.  Make three little wells in the dry mixture and pour the vanilla, vinegar, and oil each into a separate well.  Pour the hot coffee over all of the ingredients and stir lightly with a fork until a batter forms and there are no streaks of dry ingredients remaining – be sure to check the corners well.

  • 03

    Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick poked into the center of the cake comes out clean.  (My dark pan baked this cake in 26 minutes.)  Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Serve the cake either right from the pan (either warm by itself or completely cooled with the frosting below) or gently coax it out onto a cake plate.

  • 04

    To make the frosting:  While the cake bakes, make the frosting.  Beat the butter and salt in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso powder.  Once incorporated, beat on medium for 1 minute.  With the mixer on low, pour the vanilla and heavy cream into the bowl and mix it into the frosting.  Increase the speed to medium and beat the frosting for 30 seconds.  Frost cake as desired.

adapted from King Arthur Flour (cake and frosting)