The Coffee-Lover’s Coffee Cake

As a child I remember my aunt taking me to a teashop in Dublin, and me choosing a Coffee Choux bun as my afternoon treat – my love affair with coffee probably started that day!

Coffee Cake has always been a favourite of mine – and this one is very ‘Coffee-ish’! Probably not suitable for the kiddies unless you want them swinging from the chandeliers at midnight, nor for grown-up late-night foraging either, for the same reason :)

This is a very easy recipe and makes 2 x1lb loaves, or a 2lb Loaf. To make a large Coffee sponge cake, please check out the NOTES at the bottom of the recipe.



  • 2 x 1lb loaf tins, lined
  • Electric mixer
  • cup and spoon for the coffee
  • Spatula
  • flat-bladed knife

INGREDIENTS: makes 2 x 1lb loaves. Scroll down to the NOTES for variations.

  • 175g Self Raising Flour
  • 1 level teaspoon of Baking powder
  • 175g Butter – I use Golden Cow in a tub
  • 175g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of Instant Coffee *see NOTES* dissolved in 2 tablespoons of boiling water, cooled
  • 50g Chopped Walnuts (optional) We’re a nut-free house, but everyone knows that Coffee and Walnut is a great combo!


  • Heat the oven to 160º Fan or the equivalent.
  • Grease and line the loaf tins
  • Make up the coffee mixture in a mug or small bowl – stir well to dissolve the granules then let it cool
  • Measure the flour, baking powder, eggs, sugar, butter and liquid coffee into the mixer bowl, and beat together for about 3 minutes until well combined. Use a spatula to give the mixture a few extra turns to make sure all the coffee is incorporated.
  • Divide evenly between the two tins – I weigh mine because I can’t judge by eye at all.


  • Bake at 160º Fan for 30 minutes
  • Remove and cool completely.
  • When cool, making the icing, and ice the cake!

Glace Icing:

  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tablespoons proper Espresso, or 1-2 teaspoon of granulated coffee and 4-5 teaspoons of boiling water, mixed.
  • Sift the Icing sugar into a bowl.
  • Use the freshly made-up coffee to make a thick icing. Don’t add it all at once – try 2 teaspoonfuls first and go from there.
  • Use a flat-bladed knife dipped in boiling water to smooth the icing
  • These amounts cover 2 x 1lb loaves, or 1 x2lb one.

The only thing that’s better than one Coffee cake is TWO coffee cakes!

  • Decorate with chopped walnuts if desired.



  • Instant coffee – I use decaffeinated coffee, so I can have a late-night slice without staying awake all night! Of course, you could also use 3 tablespoons of cooled Espresso, if you’re a coffee purist!
  • To make 2 large 8inch/20cms sponge cakes which will be sandwiched together, I suggest that you double this recipe. Bake for approximately the same length of time – 30 minutes, or until the sponge springs back when you gently press it.

Sandwich the coffee sponge cakes together with Mascarpone Icing which is:

  • a 250g tub of mascarpone
  • 150g sifted icing sugar
  • 100mls Double cream
  • 1 tablespoon proper Espresso – or 1 teaspoon of granulated coffee and 2-3 teaspoons of boiling water, mixed.
  • Whip them all together until thickened – 3-4 minutes – then sandwich the sponges together. Make up some Glace Icing as in the original recipe above or keep some of the mascarpone icing back to cover the top.
  • ** You’ll need to keep this cake, covered, in the fridge**
  • A 2lb Loaf tin with the original recipe will take between 40 and 50 minutes to bake -turn it around in the oven after 35 minutes.
Mascarpone Coffee Icing/filling

Mascarpone Coffee Icing/filling

  •  If you’d like to make one/freeze one, just freeze the cooled cake un-iced.

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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