Recipe: Make our ultimate coffee cake

PUBLISHED: 10:52 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:52 24 April 2019

Make the best coffee cake ever  Picture: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

Make the best coffee cake ever Picture: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis


This three layer sponge is ideal for coffee lovers.

We're in the midst of UK Coffee Week at the moment so I thought there's no better time to roll out one of my very favourite bakes.

All hail the coffee cake. Sweet, fudgy, slightly bitter, smoky – this teatime treat takes me right back.

I remember, as a child, my mum visiting the WI cake sale in our local church every Friday morning for our post-school, end-of-the-week treat.

All day my brother would anticipate what she'd bring home. Perhaps some cheese straws – positively flowing over chewy, crusty, gnarly orange bits of cheddar (the best part).

There might have been tiffin cake (another favourite of mine), made simply with crushed digestives, chocolate, golden syrup and sultanas and topped with a thick layer of chocolate-flavoured cake covering.

But the almighty goldmine was the coffee buns, topped with coffee fudge icing and a milk chocolate button. I can still remember the sweet sweet scent of these cakes as I peeled open the cellophane and paper wrapper.

This week's recipe takes a fair bit of time to prepare so set yourself a morning or afternoon aside. You've got three layers of sponge (vanilla, cappuccino and rich cocoa coffee) drenched in coffee syrup. In between is a fudge frosting. And the outside is coated in blend of vanilla and cappuccino buttercreams, with a drizzle of chocolate over the top.

It's just the thing for a special occasion. If you love coffee, this is the cake for you!

The ultimate chocca mocha cake

(serves 12-16)


Sponge part 1:

200g sunflower spread

200g caster sugar

4 large eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

200g plain flour

2tsps baking powder

2tsps instant coffee granules dissolved in 1tbsp hot water

Splash white wine vinegar

Sponge part 2:

100g sunflower spread

100g dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

80g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

20g cocoa powder

3tsps instant coffee granules dissolved in 1tbsp hot water

For the coffee syrup:

50g caster sugar

100ml water

1tsp instant coffee granules

For the fudge frosting:

85g butter

225g icing sugar

1tbsp very strong coffee

Pinch salt

For the vanilla buttercream:

100g butter

225g icing sugar

1tsp vanilla extract


For the cappuccino buttercream:

100g salted butter

225g icing sugar

2tbsps cocoa powder

1tbsp strong instant coffee


To decorate: Dark chocolate


Line and grease three 20cm, deep, loose-bottomed round cake tins and set the oven to 180C.

Make sponge part one first. Beat the spread with the sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs one by one, beating between additions, and adding the flour alternately. Beat in the baking powder and a splash of vinegar. Beat until thick and creamy.

Weigh the mix and split it in two. Add the coffee to one half of the mix. Spoon the plain mix into one tin and the coffee mix in another.

Now make sponge part two, using the same method. Put all three cakes in the oven for 20 to 22 minutes until risen and bouncy.

While the cakes cook make the coffee syrup. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until the sugar's dissolved. Simmer for five minutes. When the cakes come out of the oven, brush with the syrup and set on a rack to cool.

When the cakes are totally cool, make the icings. Beat all the ingredients for the fudge icing together and use it to sandwich the cakes – with the darkest layer at the bottom, coffee layer in the middle and plain layer on top. Use any leftover icing to fill any gaps between the edges of the layers and pop in the fridge.

Now beat together the ingredients for each of the buttercreams. Add a little milk to them at the end, drop by drop, until you have a very creamy consistency.

Coat the cakes in the buttercreams, alternating them around the cake for a marbled effect. Smooth it out and pop in the fridge.

Melt the chocolate, allow to cool slightly and drizzle over the cool cake.

I also made chocolate coffee spoons- the mould was from Lakeland Ltd.

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