Louise Read's Coffee crunch cake

Louise Read's Coffee crunch cake

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(33 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 eggs



    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, questions and tips

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14th Mar, 2013
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!
26th Aug, 2012
really yummy, made it the other day:)
1st Jul, 2012
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!
16th May, 2012
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.
13th May, 2012
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!!!
19th Apr, 2012
great recipie cant wait to try it out!!
14th Apr, 2012
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.
14th Jan, 2012
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.
11th Oct, 2011
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!
20th Sep, 2011
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.


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