Waldorf Astoria Mocha Cake - triple decker

Waldorf Astoria Mocha Cake

Since I’m on a roll with cakes, I thought I’d bring this Waldorf Astoria Mocha Cake recipe back from my archives. It’s from an earlier post about the comeback of quality corner grocers and the unique ingredients you can find in them.

This cake is a very nostalgic one.

It’s from the turn of the 20th century and The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Though the hotel is a landmark and, the Astor family who owned it were aristocrats, the cake itself is humble. It was devised by a clever chef wanting to deliver posh goods in wartime America when eggs were hard to find. He substituted something we all have in our homes – mayonnaise. And I, for one, will be eternally grateful for this grand triple decker beauty of a cake he created. The recipe follows.

Waldorf Astoria Mocha Cake

Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 10 – 12 servings

Equipment: Stand mixer, bowls, 3 x 8-inch cake pans, parchment paper

  • 1 – 2 teaspoons butter (for greasing the cake pans)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup strong coffee (cooled)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉ and butter then line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda through a sieve and place in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  3. Add the sugar followed by the coffee, vanilla and mayonnaise and beat into a smooth batter on medium speed.
  4. Pour the batter evenly between the 3 cake pans and place in the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out cleanly from the middle of each cake.
  5. Remove the cakes from the oven, invert onto racks, remove the parchment paper from the bottoms and let cool.

Mocha Icing

  • 2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 Tablespoons of butter
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • ¼ – ½ cup coffee (cooled)

  1. Make the icing while the cakes cool.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at half power for 2 minutes, then add it and the butter to the bowl of a mixer and beat on medium high until smooth and creamy – about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the icing sugar alternating with the coffee. Use just enough to form a spreadable frosting.
  4. Ice the cakes and decorate them as you like. I used cute little kumquats, chocolate shavings and fancy bourbon cherries from the Corner Grocers I visited.

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