CDM Mocha Birthday Cake

Welcome to the marketThe CDM mocha cake Rivista bakery's Lisa Barbato made for our birthday last year was such a huge hit that we asked her to bake one for us this year too. One of our most recent Crescent Fund election winners, Lisa is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new commercial oven that the cash infusion our market community voted to give her is helping her buy. Lisa has already begun paying back our community by donating homemade apple bread for a recent Slow Food Time for Lunch event, and now, birthday cake for this Saturday's celebration. Check out what else this busy lady has cooking on her new blog, Breaking Bread with Lisa.


3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans
3/4 cup hot water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 cups cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Butter two 9-by-2 inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment paper. Dust with cocoa powder, tap off excess.  In a medium bowl whisk together the water and cocoa powder until smooth. Whisk in the buttermilk and set aside. In a medium bowl sift together the cake flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each; scrape down sides of bowl as needed.  Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the cocoa mixture and starting and ending with the flour. Beat until combined.

Divide batter between prepared pans, smooth with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean - about 40 minutes. Let cakes cool on a wire rack for about 15 min. Invert cakes on to the rack, remove parchment paper from the bottoms and reinvert cakes. Let cool completely, top sides up.

Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cake to level. Baste the top of cakes with coffee simple syrup. (one cup sugar, one cup water - heat until sugar is completely disolved. add one cup strong brewed CDM coffee & chicory or espresso)

Coffee Buttercream

6 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 pound unsalted butter, must be soft
1/2 cup strong brewed CDM coffee & chicory or espresso


Grease a 1 cup heatproof glass measuring cup. In an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks until light in color.  Meanwhile, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly util sugar dissolves and the syrup is boiling.  Stop stirring and boil to the soft ball stage (238 degrees F). Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking.

With the mixer on med-high speed, beat the syrup into the egg mixture in a slow stream, making sure not to get the sugar on the whisk of the mixer. Continue beating until completely cool. Gradually beat in the butter and slowly add the coffee until combined.

Place one half cake on cake board or serving dish. Place 1/3 to 1/2 of buttercream on the layer and spread to the side. Top with the second layer, inverted so the bottom of cake is the top. This will give you a flatter top. Frost with the remaining buttercream. 

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Market Umbrella


Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.

Crescent City Farmers Market


The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.