Louise Read's Coffee crunch cake

Louise Read's Coffee crunch cake

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(31 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 40 mins

More effort

Serves 8
This recipe pairs a nutty meringue with coffee-flavoured Victoria sponge. No wonder it made it into the top three in our 20th birthday cake competition

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal565
  • fat33g
  • saturates19g
  • carbs66g
  • sugars49g
  • fibre1g
  • protein6g
  • salt1g
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  • 175g softened butter, plus extra for greasing



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 medium egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

For the meringue topping

  • 2 egg whites
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 25g chopped walnuts



    Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're…

For the filling

  • 100g softened butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 50g icing sugar, sifted

For the drizzle icing

  • 3 tbsp icing sugar


  1. Make the meringue: whisk the egg whites until stiff, add half the sugar, whisk again until stiff, then repeat with the remaining sugar. Mix the coffee with 3 tbsp boiling water to dissolve the granules. Gently fold the walnuts and 1 tsp of the coffee into the meringue. Set aside while you make the cake mixture.

  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease 2 x 20cm loose-bottomed sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually whisk in the eggs. Fold in the flour and baking powder, then finally fold in 2 tsp of the coffee liquid. Divide the mixture between the 2 tins, putting a little more mixture in one than the other.

  3. Spread the meringue on top of the tin containing less cake mix. Bake the untopped sponge for about 20 mins until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Continue baking the meringue-topped sponge for an additional 20 mins, then carefully remove both cakes from their tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.

  4. To make the filling, beat the butter and icing sugar together, adding 2 tsp more coffee. To make the icing, mix a final tsp of the coffee into the icing sugar. Add a drop more water to make a runny icing. 5 Sandwich the 2 cakes together with the coffee filling, putting the meringuetopped sponge on top. Drizzle all over with the coffee icing to finish.

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Comments (35)

HRG's picture

Made this and it was delicious!! Thanks for sharing it.

julieigg1962's picture

I made this for my daughter's birthday. I found that it needed an additional 20 minutes to cook and I think thats due to the meringue topping kept the centre of the cake runny for ages. Once it was cooked properly it was fantastic. Love the flavour and the meringue really makes it a bit different. I think I'll do this again but next time I might do the cake separately from the meringue, or perhaps part bake the cake first to rule out the soggy centre.

princessdaisy's picture

Easy to make, followed baking instructions but added another 10 minutes to the meringue top. Filled with mascarpone flavoured with baileys. Also used coffee icing on top. I shall make it again .

Ozzy_and_Elvis's picture

made this for mothers day and my mum loved it! it was gone in a matter of days! many people are saying to make the meringue at the end but just follow the recipe, I mean it worked for me and im 13! but would recommend to put little extra coffee mix in!

wolfette's picture

for the buttercream filling the quantities of the ingredients seem to be reversed - twice as much butter as sugar, but buttercream is usually twice as much sugar to butter.

mrs_eyre's picture

Made exactly to the recipe and it was a huge hit. Lots of processes, but completely worth it.

Dear_Abby's picture

This cake was such a huge hit @ a Kitchen Tea I went to!! It was gone within minutes and everyone was so impressed they asked if I do catering!! LOL!! I changed the recipe a little and worked really well. I used Hazelnuts instead of Walnuts. Instead of butter cream filling I used Creme Fraiche sweetened a little with icing sugar and coffee. (would just advise putting it in the fridge while the cake is being made and baked to stiffen it up. (I wanted Mascarpone but the supermarket didn't have stock - didn't have time to run around!) It gave the cake a twist but really awesome!! Definately will try with the mascarpone (was trying for almost a tiramisu filling).

sllyst's picture

I had no problems with the sponges. I'd read the comments so made the meringue last and sprinkled sugar on the top sponge. I would say though that the butter to sugar ratio for the filling is wrong, far too little sugar. It was very sickly too so think I would make with mascarpone next time. You can't taste the coffee in the sponge so would just put that in the filling next time.

ladyaimee's picture

Gutted! 1st sponge came out beautiful 2nd with meringue not so good, the meringue started burning slightly so I turned oven down a touch and tried to remove burnt parts but the cake underneath still seemed very soggy and still had 15mins left to bake. I'm stood by the oven now waiting but I think this time I'll end up with just the 1 cake!!!

acripot's picture

This cake is fantastic! It is my girlfriend's birthday today, and I baked this for her early this morning.

A few things though -

1) I replaced the self raising flour with all purpose flour.
2) Just as the others have mentioned, I too made my meringue at the very end.
3) The cake mix + meringue takes 40 minutes to cook. And that is what the recipe says. 30 minutes aren't sufficient.

I'd give it 5 stars. It tastes absolutely brilliant!

cupcakes321's picture

really yummy, made it the other day:)

baisha's picture

I made this cake for a birthday and it went down like a treat :)
The only thing that I would critisise about it is that I found that the place where the top cake layer and the meringue touched didn't fully cook. It was only a small part and you couldn't really notice it, but I found that if you put a small amount of sugar on the cake mixture before adding the merigue, it fixes it. But overall a very lovely cake!

ruthvs's picture

Fantastic cake!!! It looked great once assembled and tasted just as good! The sponges were moist and light and I'll definitely be using the same sponge recipe with different flavours in the future. I docked one star as the buttercream filling needed tweaking (I used equal quantities of butter and sugar and increased the amount so I could spread around the outside of the cake as well) and for the slight alteration needed for the oven temp. The top sponge had actually risen beautifully but I could not see that until we cut into it. Delicious.

ruthvs's picture

I have just taken my cakes out of the oven and they look just like the picture! The topped sponge hasn't risen much but the meringue gives it height, and the lone sponge has risen beautifully! I agree that preparing the meringue after the cake mix is better, I had to throw away my first batch as it became quite liquid whilst waiting. I also reduced the temp to 150 and gave an extra 5 mins for the meringue topped sponge as it did start to catch slightly. I've made this for my husbands 30th birthday tomorrow so will update with rating on final success!!!

sachandsacha's picture

great recipie
cant wait to try it out!!

sweet2's picture

I just made this cake and it tastes lovely and looks just like it does on the picture. i did have to make more filling to what the recipe said as there was not enough for the cake.

heloisa's picture

This is like a tea drinker's cake, bland. I wouldn't have noticed the coffee except I made it. The sponge was forgettable, and the meringue would only scorch at that temp for so long.

Best to bake the sponges, then top one sponge after with the meringue and continue baking at a lower temp.

eleanormayo's picture

Fantastic cake - it gets 5 stars from me as I know Lousie Read's lovely daughter! Tasted fantastic and was a great texture - only complaint was that, like one of the other users, by the time I made my cakes, the meringue had turned to liquid so I had to do that again. The end result was MORE than worth it though!

emsmith's picture

Just gorgeous! The only reason I felt the need to dock a star was that I had some trouble with the top layer. It took an age for the sponge to cook through and by the time it was cooked the meringue was rather dark. Perhaps a slightly lower temperature and maybe covering the tin with foil might help (although I suppose that might make the meringue/cake a little soggy). Other than that, the textures were just gorgeous....crunchy, spongey, creamy. I did add slightly more coffee to all the component parts too because I was worried the coffee flavour was getting a little lost. Oh, and I doubled the amount of walnuts and buttercream. But that's just because I'm a piggy.

lizzi89's picture

I love this recipe! Made it a few times now... my boyfried doesn't like coffee so I usually make a toffee version. The meringue works better if you turn the oven down to around 150 after the first cake comes out, and cook it for another 30 mins instead of 20.


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