mission Arabica cake small
This cake is labor intensive, but delicious and wins the “people’s choice” award whenever we take it to a large public gathering! We always leave with many affirmations about it, which of course makes it worth it! You can also make some whipped cream and get a good deal from the Cream Charger Warehouse.

Where I Found This Recipe…

I found this recipe through Food and Wine Magazine. I left off the modeling chocolate that they recommend in their directions. If you wanted to be bit more ambitious, you could certainly add it. You can find the original recipe on their website. And here you can find cacao chips for sale.

Mandarin Chocolate Cake

Mandarin Chocolate Cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups hot, strong-brewed Mission Arabica coffee
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Ganache Filling and Glaze
  • 24 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 275°. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans with shortening. Line the bottoms, not the sides, with wax paper and grease the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients: the flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Using another large bowl, mix together the butter, chocolate, hot coffee and orange liqueur; stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter melt. Stir in the sugar until dissolved and the mixture is completely cool.
  4. Next, stir in half the flour at a time. Once all the flour is mixed in, add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until well mixed.
  5. Pour the batter between the 2 prepared pans, making sure there is an even amount in each of them.
  6. Place in the oven on the middle rack for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into the center of each round.
  7. Once out of the oven, place the cakes on a rack to cool completely before refrigerating. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. The cake is very spongy and will need this time to set.
  8. Shortly before taking the cakes out of the refrigerator, put the cream on the stove to start making the ganache. (See full directions for making the ganache filling below.)
  9. An easy way to unmold the pans is to set them, one at a time, on a burner on LOW for about 10 seconds. Then, run a knife around the edges of the pan and invert the cake onto a rack. Take off the wax paper.
  10. You'll need to split each cake in half, horizontally, to make 4 layers. An easy tip to do this as evenly as possible is to stick toothpicks around the middle of the cake and cut along them to maintain a straight line.
  11. Place 1 cake layer on a stiff cardboard round on a wire rack and spread it with 1/2 cup of the Chocolate Ganache Filling.
  12. Repeat with the remaining cake layers and ganache, ending with a plain cake layer.
  13. Pour the ganache glaze over the cake, spreading it around the top and sides with a metal spatula. Let the glaze drip for 2 to 3 minutes. Using 2 spatulas, transfer the cake to a plate.
  14. Refrigerate briefly to set the glaze.
  15. Chocolate Ganache Filling and Glaze
  16. Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl.
  17. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream just to a boil over low heat.
  18. Pour the cream over the chocolate, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  19. Whisk the ganache gently until silky and smooth.
  20. To make the filling, transfer 1 1/2 cups of the ganache to a medium bowl. Set the bowl over ice and whisk the ganache gently until thick and spreadable. The remainder should be runny enough to drip down over the cake.

I am Gabe’s Mom, and my love of cooking began as a young child. Growing up in rural America with a farming father and a mother who was a school teacher of home economics, good food was always served! My enjoyment for culinary arts spilled over into adulthood (thankfully!), and I was blessed to marry my best friend who also loves to cook!  Our goal is typically to WOW people with decadence, and we find it great fun to share our successes with others.

Recipes Navigation

Desserts         Entrees

Share the Love
Join The VIP List