A moist coffee-flavored cake in coffee-flavored buttercream and decorated with pretty coffee-flavored chocolate chips.
This delicious coffee cake was part of my cakes menu when I was running a cake decorating business. So I have baked this cake a countless number of times in a variety of different sized cake tins. And just like my other calculated cake recipes, this easy coffee cake recipe was one of my most used recipes. It is also one that is very much liked by my customers who want something other than the normal vanilla and chocolate flavored cakes.
And so here I am sharing with you, not only a true and tried aromatic easy coffee-flavored cake recipe, but also the recipe measurement for baking this pound cake based coffee cake in various round and square cake tin sizes.
The Best Coffee-Flavored Cake
This is basically a butter cake flavored with real coffee. It has a soft and firm texture, and is not only suitable for stacking, it is equally awesome for carved cakes too.
This cake is good to be eaten on its own and is equally delicious when covered in icing. While I often use vanilla buttercream to fill and cover this cake (unless there is a special request from my customer for a different frosting), a coffee-flavored buttercream will be a nice choice for this cake, and so does any chocolate flavored icings.
The cake stays soft and moist for a good 4 to 5 days at room temperature. Seen in the image on this page is my 2 layered coffee-flavored cake sandwiched and covered in coffee buttercream and decorated with coffee-flavored chocolate chip polka dots.
How to Make a Moist Coffee-Flavored Cake
- Self-raising flour + salt + baking powder
- Castor sugar
- Butter (at room temperature)
- Eggs (at room temperature)
- Instant coffee powder
- Hot water
- Icing sugar
- Instant coffee
- Hot water
- Coffee flavored chocolate chips
Making the coffee cake
- Start by mixing instant coffee with hot water and set it aside to cool down.
- Next, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This should take a good 2 minutes (for the recipe measurement below).
- Add in the eggs, one at a time. Beat well and make sure all traces of the eggs are no longer visible before adding more.
- After that, fold in the sifted flour and alternate this with the milk.
- Start with the flour and end with flour.
- Finally, mix in the coffee solution. Give the batter a good mix to make sure the coffee is well distributed.
- Pour the coffee-flavored cake batter into prepared tins.
- Bake until the cakes are done. Test with a skewer in the center – ideally, it should come out with a few moist crumbs (not wet crumbs).
- Remove the cakes from oven and turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
- If you do not intend to decorate the cakes immediately, cover them with cling wrap as soon as they turn warm. Keep them refrigerated until ready to be frosted or served.
Decorating the coffee-flavored cake
Prepare the buttercream
- I used a combination of shortening and butter in making the coffee buttercream. To start with, add instant coffee and hot water into your mixing bowl. Stir to dilute the coffee. Let the coffee mix cool completely and then add the butter and shortening. Cream these until they turn light and creamy.
- Sift in the icing sugar and beat until the buttercream is all smooth and creamy. If it is too stiff, you can add some cream or milk.
- Start by layering each cake into 2 (click here to see the many ways you can layer a cake).
- Fill and stack the cake layers with the coffee buttercream.
Assembling the coffee-flavored cake layers
- Give the stacked cake layers a thin crumb coat and chill it for about 15 minutes.
- Apply another layer of coffee buttercream and smooth it all around. For the embossed pattern on the cake, I used my kitchen towels. To emboss the pattern, place the kitchen towel smoothly on the surface of the buttercream. Use your fingers to very gently rub the pattern on the buttercream with a fondant smoother or your fingers.
- Carefully peel off the kitchen towel and repeat the process until the whole cake is covered.
- For the polka dots design, I used coffee-flavored chocolate chips. Place the cake on a decorating mat that has gridlines on it. This helps in guiding the placement of the chocolate chips. Start by placing them in vertical lines on the sides of the cake. And then fill more in between these to complete the polka dots design.
And here is the completed coffee-flavored cake with coffee buttercream:
Coffee-Flavored Cake with Coffee Buttercream and Chocolate Chips
Easy Coffee Flavored Cake – My Recipe Notes
Line and grease your cake tins well
- Having your gorgeously baked cake stuck to the cake tin is the most frustrating thing that can happen when baking cakes. So always remember to grease and line well.
- I normally apply shortening to my cake tins and then dust them with flour. In doing this, you have to make sure every nook and corner of the cake tin is well greased, or you will end up with some parts of the cake stuck to the tin while the rest is out.
- You can also line your cake tins with grease and parchment, the choice is up to you. You can see the many ways of lining cake tins in my post here.
Use good quality ingredients
- The main ingredients in this easy coffee recipe are flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. And of course since this is a coffee-flavored cake, coffee is another main ingredient. To these, I add baking powder and milk to help with the texture and size of the cake. This cake is called a coffee-flavored cake for a reason, so the type of coffee you use is important. I use instant coffee in my recipe and I find this better compared to filtered ones. It is hard to gauge the thickness of coffee in the filtered coffee so the results can vary every time you make this cake. With instant coffee, the coffee taste in the cake is more consistent.
- The other important ingredient in this easy coffee-flavored cake recipe, just like my other cake recipes is the butter. Butter gives this cake the richness in taste that makes this coffee cake taste so good. So it is worth the cost to use good quality butter. I use salted butter in this recipe. It is for this reason that the salt I add separately to the cake batter is rather little. If you prefer to use unsalted butter, it is perfectly ok. But just be sure to increase the amount of salt in the cake batter.
Measure the ingredients accurately
- The other important factor when it comes to the ingredients in the cake is how they are measured. Accuracy is very important for the best results. I would strongly recommend using a kitchen scale, either a digital or mechanical one instead of cups as I find measuring by cups can vary each time.
Cream the butter and sugar well and fold in the flour
- This coffee-flavored cake is made using the creaming method, which means the butter and sugar are beaten until they turn light and fluffy. It is rather hard to decide when the mixture has reached the creamy and fluffy level required, so for the recipe measurement on this page, you would need to cream the two ingredients for a good 2 minutes. Well creamed cake will give you a soft and fluffy cake.
- The other point to remember is when you add flour to your batter, do it in at least 3 parts (for small cakes) and up to about 4 to 6 times (for larger cakes). This means, you add one part of the flour first, fold it in with a spatula, and then fold in the milk and followed by the second part of the flour. Continue with milk, and finally, end with the last part of the flour.
- It may not be practical to fold the flour by hand for large cakes, and if you prefer to use a cake mixer, make sure it is at its utmost minimum speed and you do not mix the batter too long. Suffice if the flour and milk are all incorporated.
Adding coffee to the cake batter
- If you are using instant coffee, you need to dilute the granules with some hot water first. Never add the coffee directly into your cake batter or you will end up with specks of coffee in the batter.
- There are 2 ways in which you can mix the coffee into this coffee-flavored cake. Both methods start with the creaming of butter and sugar, followed by the eggs. In the first method, the coffee is diluted with hot water and mixed into the milk. This is then added into the cake batter alternately with flour. This is the method I have used.
- The other method is to mix the coffee powder with hot water, let it cool to room temperature, and then fold it into the cake batter right after all the flour and milk have been added in. Both methods will yield the same results and it is up to you to choose your preferred way.
Constantly scrape the sides of your mixing bowl
- When mixing the batter, right from the point where you cream your butter and sugar, always scrape the sides of your bowl frequently. This will ensure the ingredients are well mixed and your cake batter is all smooth and even. The same goes for when the coffee is added. This is to ensure the cake batter is evenly colored and there are no white/light-colored streaks in your baked coffee-flavored cake.
Butter and eggs should be at room temperature
- Sometimes, you find your cake batter curdling after you add the eggs to the butter-sugar mixture. This is mainly due to the temperature of the butter and eggs. If either the eggs or the butter is cold, your cake batter will tend to curdle. If both are of the same temperature, this is unlikely to happen, however, since it is hard to cream butter when it is cold, it would typically be softened by leaving it at room temperature for a while. When cold eggs are added to this room temperature butter and sugar mixture, curdling will happen. To prevent this, it is best to have both the eggs and the butter at room temperature. If at all your batter still curdles, do not worry. Add some flour and mix until it is no longer curdled and bake your cake as usual.
How to double or triple the cake recipe
- If you wish to double or triple this easy coffee-flavored cake recipe, you may wish to refer to the cake tin sizes I have indicated in the recipe card. This recipe has been calculated to produce cake layers that are approximately 2 inches high.
- If you use a small cake tin for the batter that is meant for a larger cake tin size, you could end up with a cake that is a little too dry on the sides as you would need to bake the cake for a longer time to get the middle to cook well. And this increase in baking time will end up drying out the sides of your cake. So, if you want taller cakes, it is best to bake them in a few tins and sandwich the layers together.
- Also, if you intend to make cakes larger than 10 inches in diameter, I would strongly suggest that you use cake strips or a heating core. These will prevent the sides of the cakes from drying out due to longer baking time for larger cakes. See my post here on how to achieve leveled cakes to learn more about using cake strips and heating cores.
Do not over bake the cake
- Just like any other cakes, the baking time plays a very important role in the taste and texture of this coffee-flavored cake. Baking the cake for too long can result in a dry cake and under baking can cause the cake to sink.
- When placing in the oven, always put the cakes on the 3rd rack. This helps prevent the top of the cake from browning too much.
- Check if the cake is done at least 5 to 10 minutes before the baking time is up by inserting a long skewer in the center of the cake. If the skewer comes out without any wet batter sticking to it, the cake is done and can be removed from the oven. Ideally, there should be soft cake crumbs sticking to your skewer. If the skewer comes out totally clean, the cake could have been overcooked. Also, when the cake is done, the sides will pull away from the tin.
Refrigerating the coffee cake
- This cake can be served on the very same day it is baked, even while it is still warm (without any frosting). It is also equally good when baked in advance and stored in the fridge until it is ready for use, within one week.
- To store the cake in the fridge, once it is baked and has cooled down slightly, wrap it tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate. Wrapping the cake while it is still warm locks and distributes the moisture in the cake making in soft and moist after refrigeration. When you need to use it, remove the cake from the fridge and with the cling wrap still intact, let it warm up to room temperature. Remove the wrapping only after the cake has reached room temperature to prevent condensation on the cake which can reduce its shelf life.
Storing the leftovers
- Leftovers of this cake can be stored at room temperature for a good 4 to 5 days provided it is handled without any moisture. Always ensure the knife used to cut the cake is all dry and the container you intend to store the cake has no traces of water in it. The leftovers can last up to one week if refrigerated. If you wish to use this coffee-flavored cake for carving, the cake is best left to rest for at least one day after baking for the texture to stabilize for easy carving with fewer crumbs.
Coffee Flavored Cake Recipe
Here is the printable version of my easy coffee-flavored cake recipe and while you are at it, don’t miss my recipe notes right below. They contain absolutely useful tips for the best coffee cake ever!
Easy Coffee Flavored Cake with Coffee Buttercream
- 360 g self raising flour
- 360 g castor sugar
- 360 g butter at room temperature
- 6 eggs at room temperature
- 60 ml milk
- 2 tbsp instant coffee powder
- 2 tbsp hot water
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 800 g icing sugar
- 200 g butter salted
- 200 g shortening
- 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
- 1 tbsp hot water
- Coffee flavored chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 170 °Celsius.
- Mix instant coffee powder with hot water. Add to milk and leave aside to cool.
- In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar till soft and creamy for approximately 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In another separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in the sifted ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the coffee mixture, starting and ending with flour.
- Pour the batter into two well greased and floured cake tins. Level the top and bake the cakes for 45 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cakes come out clean.
- Remove cakes from oven and let them cool completely before decorating. Baking time may vary slightly for larger cakes.
- To make the coffee buttercream, dilute the coffee powder in hot water, in a large bowl. Let the coffee cool down to room temperature.
- Add in the shortening, butter and sugar. Beat light the icing turns light and fluffy.
- Fill the cake layers with the coffee buttercream and cover the sides of the stacked cake with the remaining buttercream.
- Decorate with the coffee-flavored chocolate chips.
Calculated Tin Sizes9 inches round/ 8 inches square (makes 2 layers of 2 inch high cakes)
- 600 g butter
- 600 g castor sugar
- 550 g self-raising flour
- 2 ½ tbsp instant coffee powder
- 10 eggs
- 120 ml milk
- 2 tbsp hot water
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
- 840 g butter
- 840 g castor sugar
- 840 g self-raising flour
- 4 ⅔ tbsp instant coffee powder
- 14 eggs
- 150 ml milk
- 4 tbsp hot water
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 ¾ tsp baking powder
- 1200 g butter
- 1200 g castor sugar
- 1200 g self-raising flour
- 6 ⅔ tbsp instant coffee powder
- 20 eggs
- 210 ml milk
- 6 tbsp hot water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
And that is pretty much all I have for you on my moist and aromatic coffee-flavoured cake recipe.
2 slice of pretty coffee-flavored cake slices in polka dots design
Here are my other posts you might want to check out:
Happy baking 🙂