Coffee Cake – not to be confused with Coffee Cake

coffee cake

Coffee Cake

It may have taken me years but I recently worked out the difference between British coffee cake and American coffee cake. I can’t speak for other nations! British coffee cake is coffee flavoured cake. American coffee cake is cake that you eat while drinking coffee. I know I am biased but I know which name makes more sense to me…

So this is a coffee flavoured cake with coffee icing. And you might be surprised by how many children enjoy coffee cake. It can be made with decaffeinated coffee if you don’t want to give your little ones the caffeine, and I would advise against giving them chocolate covered coffee beans on their slices! You can also get chocolate decorations that look like coffee beans.

coffee cake

Coffee cake – cake flavoured with coffee

I used a minimal amount of coffee flavoured buttercream as I don’t think coffee cake needs a lot of icing: you can of course use more if you like it sweeter. I used about two thirds of the recipe quantity below.



2 heaped teaspoons instant coffee

225g butter

225g caster sugar

4 eggs

225g SR flour


Grease two 8″ sandwich tins and line the bases. Set the oven to 175°C.

Dissolve the coffee in a teaspoon or so of boiling water and allow to cool.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.

Add the eggs, one at a time.

Sieve in the flour and fold into the butter mixture.

Add the cooled coffee mixture to the cake mixture and mix in.

Divide equally between the cake tins.

coffee cake

Ready to bake

Bake for around 20-25 minutes or until springy to the touch.

Allow to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Make the icing:


1-2 teaspoons instant coffee

250g icing sugar, sieved

80g butter

20ml milk


Dissolve the coffee in a teaspoon or so of boiling water and allow to cool.

Beat the icing sugar and butter together until it is well mixed and starts to come together.

Add the coffee mixture to the milk and slowly add to icing sugar mixture while still beating.

Beat for a few minutes so the frosting is light and fluffy. Add more dissolved coffee if you would like the taste to be stronger.

To assemble, spread just under half the buttercream on one of the cakes.

coffee cake

Ice the bottom layer

Top with the other one and spread the remaining icing over the top layer.

coffee cake

Coffee sponge cake

This looks really cool decorated with coffee beans, whether real or chocolate, but you could also leave it plain or grate some plain chocolate over the top.

So there you have it. Coffee cake. Great with coffee!

coffee cake

This Coffee Cake qualifies under both definitions

Categories: Baking, Cakes, Recipes

Tags: , , , , , , ,

35 replies

  1. Well, you learn something new every day.

    We side with the British on this one, but maybe that’s because of my UK ancestry. Pity I’m the only one in the family who likes coffee in any form 😦

  2. Looks lovely! Would like a slice of that

  3. I only found that out recently as well, I just presumed it meant coffee-flavoured cake. I don’t really like coffee, so always steered clear of even reading coffee cake recipes, then came across one in a magazine, and kept re-reading the recipe list for the coffee, before realising it’s just meant to be eaten with a cup of coffee!

  4. oooh love it! I recently blogged about one as well, looking at this is making me want more!

  5. I love anything that is flavored with coffee 🙂

  6. Looks delicious. Just enough icing for my taste.

  7. I love coffee taste, the 2 photos of the single slices are mouth-watering!

  8. Your post title caught my eye! How funny some trans-Atlantic differences are. I love the sound of this British coffee cake, but would also happily have it with coffee – a coffee coffee cake? 🙂

  9. You had me at Coffee Cake! ❤ I love anything with coffee flavor. So you could guess by now which coffee cake is coffee cake for me. 😀

    Lovely photos as well. 😉 Enjoy the week ahead. xx

  10. I have never tried the British version, but it sounds delicious — and looks even better. Feel free to send me one anytime 🙂

  11. I am American and I agree with you: your cake name makes much more sense than ours (besides, almost every cake goes well with cup of coffee!). Also, your coffee flavored cake looks better to me than most American coffee cake. I wish I had a piece of it right now!

  12. I’m with you. when I think coffee cake I think of coffee flavoured cake….of which I haven’t had any for agggggesss. Must sort that!

  13. It tasted as good as it looks

  14. I love coffee!!! 😀 I am pinning this for later.True coffee cake? Maybe it is time for me to have an early birthday. Thanks so much for the recipe!!!

  15. Hi!

    I know this is an old post but I just wanted to let you know that I found your recipe when searching for a coffee flavoured cake for my husbands birthday and yours looked delicious!

    I’m gluten free and dairy free at the moment so I substituted the SR flour for gluten free flour mix and gluten free baking powder and the butter for Nuttelex dairy free spread and it turned out great!

    For the icing I ran out of icing sugar and didn’t have quite enough for the icing so added some brown sugar to it and used the Nuttelex again and rice milk instead of cows milk. Also added a touch of salt and vanilla to give it a salted caramel coffee flavour!

    Everyone raved! It was a big hit!

    Thank you!

Leave a Reply to fransiweinstein Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: