Mochas are dainty sponge cakes dipped in vanilla icing and rolled in crushed peanuts. A Swedish family favorite!Jump to Recipe
If I had to pick one recipe that is closest to my heart, it would be Mochas. These little cakes are something that my Swedish grandparents made every time I visited them, and the recipe was handed down from my grandfather’s Aunt Sena, who was a master Mocha-maker. My grandparents would sit together, assembly line fashion, one of them dipping and the other rolling the Mochas, getting me involved in learning the art of proper coating. They even made over 200 of these Mochas for my wedding! Now, they are a treasured treat every holiday season.
Making the Mochas:
Learning to make these cakes teaches one the art of making a “sponge”. The cake has simple ingredients: eggs, sugar, cake flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. The key is creating volume with the eggs for a sponge-like texture.
Separate the eggs, making sure they are room temperature for best results. Beat the yolks with the sugar until thick and pale yellow. In a separate bowl, whip the whites until quite stiff, but not dry.
Fold half of the whites into the yolk mixture, being careful not to lose their volume.
Sift the dry ingredients over this mixture and carefully fold in.
Finish with the remaining whites and vanilla, mixing until well-incorporated.
Transfer the batter into an oiled and parchment-lined 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and set.
Cool the Mochas upside-down on a cooling rack to keep the volume, then remove the pan and parchment paper once cool.
Cut the cooled cake into squares or rectangles in a size of your choosing.
Prepare the Confectioner’s Icing by whisking together all ingredients until smooth. Add a little more milk if needed to thin for coating. Dip each Mocha cake into the icing, taking care to coat all sides while scraping the excess off on the side of the bowl.
Immediately roll the coated cake in ground roasted and unsalted peanuts, again taking care to coat all sides.
Allow the mochas to dry on a rack or sheet of parchment. They are then ready to serve!
For the Sponge Cake:
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the Confectioner's Icing:
- 1½ pounds confectioner's sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons warm milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 20 ounces roasted and unsalted peanuts, ground fine
To Make the Sponge Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a mixing bowl, beat yolks with sugar and vanilla until pale yellow and thick.
- In a separate bowl, beat whites until stiff peaks form.
- Add ½ whites to yolk mixture and fold in.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt over yolk mixture and fold in carefully. Add remaining whites and fold in.
- Transfer mixture to an oiled and parchment-lined 13×9-inch baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool upside down on rack.
- When cake is completely cool, cut it into small squares or rectangles.
- Coat the cake bars in Confectioner’s Icing (see below) by dipping and coating all surfaces, scraping off the extra on the edge of the bowl. Immediately roll dipped cakes in ground peanuts to cover. 24 large/32 small bars.
- Mochas freeze extremely well if stored in an airtight container with parchment or waxed paper between layers. They thaw quickly and can be ready to eat in minutes!