1 box yellow cake mix (including water, eggs and oil on box)
3/4 c. strong brewed coffee
2 Tbs. brandy
2 Tbs. powdered sugar
3 c. mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbs. brandy
3 tsp. vanilla
1 c. whipping cream (cold)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 9 inch round baking pans with non stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Whip up the cake mix as directed on the box and pour the batter evenly into the three prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove gently using the parchment paper and let cool fully on a baking rack.
In a small bowl, mix the coffee, 2 Tbs. brandy and 2 Tbs. powdered sugar together. Set aside. In an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone, powdered sugar, brandy and vanilla together at medium speed until the mixture is smooth. Scrap into a bowl, wash the bowl out, and using the whisk attachment, whip the whipping cream on high until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
To assemble, Brush the tops of each cake layer with the coffee syrup. Spread about 1 cup of the mascarpone filling on top of the bottom layer (syrup facing up). Add another cake layer on top. Spread another cup of filling on top of that layer, and place the remaining cake layer syrup side down on top. Use the remainder of the mascarpone frosting to spread on the sides and top of the cake (the consistency of this frosting makes that hard, but be patient!). Dust the cake with cocoa powder and decorate. You could even add chocolate covered coffee beans if you weren't using the cake for a themed party. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.