Coffee cake with buttercream and nuts on stand

Coffee cake

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(107 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 8

Whip up a classic coffee cake with ease. You can freeze the sponges, without the buttercream icing, if you want to save time later on. Ideal for a bake sale

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving (without optional items)

  • kcal559
  • fat30g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs66g
  • sugars49g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt1.12g
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  • 170g caster sugar
  • 170g butter or margarine, plus extra to grease



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 3 large eggs
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 1 ½ 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…

  • 1 tbsp instant coffee (add more if you like it strong) dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water

For the icing

  • 225g icing sugar
  • 100g butter or margarine



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 ½ tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
  • strawberry jam (optional)
  • walnuts or cherries, to decorate (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Line and grease 2 x 18cm sandwich tins. Add the sugar and butter to a bowl and whisk until very fluffy and pale.

  2. Whisk the eggs in a mug with a fork, then add them gradually to the mixture with 1 tbsp of flour each time. (Make sure you don't use all the flour.) When the eggs have been fully combined into the mix, add the rest of the flour and the baking powder and fold it in gently.

  3. Add the dissolved coffee to the mixture, still folding. Divide into the sandwich tins and cook for 25-30 min until risen and firm and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Can be frozen at this stage.

  4. Meanwhile make the icing by beating the icing sugar with the butter until light and fluffy, then add the dissolved coffee. Whisk then cover and put to one side until ready to ice the cake.

  5. Once the sponges have completely cooled, spread half the icing on the bottom of one (leaving around half for the top) and spread the strawberry jam on the bottom of the other, if using. Sandwich together, spread the remaining icing on top. Decorate with walnuts, or cherries if you prefer.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Therian Mysti's picture
Therian Mysti
31st May, 2020
Same experience as many others here. Temperature was way too low and failed to rise, turning crumbly. Still tasty though, and managed to get it to hold together by half-setting the icing first. Would definitely try again, but would be turning up to 180. Every other cake have made was done at 180, and turned out perfectly.
29th May, 2020
This cake was great! Although i would say the icing recipie makes too much icing - i halved the recipie and there was still extra! The recipie was super easy to follow and my whole family agreed that it was delicious :)
29th May, 2020
24th May, 2020
Didn't rise at all and despite being in the oven for the recommended time, the cake was still undercooked.
23rd May, 2020
Brilliant recipe, faultless!! Absolute perfection
cdibling's picture
22nd May, 2020
Worst cake ever! Too cool a temp. Was supposed to be taking it to my mothers today for her birthday! That won’t be happening now :( Flat like a cow pat!! Grrr Will try something else next time!
My Little Family Kitchen's picture
My Little Famil...
19th May, 2020
Really disappointed with this recipe, the oven temperature was completely wrong! Flat sponges, waste of food when food is so valuable in lockdown, really really annoyed. Cannot understand why this recipe has 4 stars, wish I’d read the reviews 1st
19th May, 2020
Very disappointing.Tha cakes did not rise very much at all and nothing like the photo.
Florence Rigley's picture
Florence Rigley
10th May, 2020
Awful recipe - the cake didn’t rise at all and now I’ve got a very flat cake. Do not use
April van Es's picture
April van Es
9th May, 2020
The oven temperature is just too cool to ensure a rise for this cake. I've been baking for years but I saw the 4* rating and thought that I should ignore my misgivings and just make the cake. How wrong could I be! I'll have a good look at reviews next time - I would have had my reservations confirmed and tweaked this recipe to ensure it works next time. After 25 minutes the cake mixture was like a jelly with a crust so I whacked the oven up to 160C and left it for another 15 minutes by which time it was cooked. The buttercream was good.


Nikki's picture
23rd May, 2020
This is more a sandwich than a sponge. Hardly more than the depth of a piece of sliced bread. Looks nothing like the picture.
lulu_grimes's picture
26th May, 2020
Hello Nikki, I'm sorry this didn't work for you, I will get the recipe retested. Thank you for commenting. Lulu
13th Mar, 2019
Can I use this recipe to make cupcakes instead? If so, roughly how many can be made with this recipe? And how long should I leave it in the oven? At what temperature?
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Mar, 2019
Thanks for your question. You can use this recipe if you like but we'd suggest using our coffee cupcake recipe so you have exact quantities and timings:
25th Jul, 2018
What size square tin is this for? I’m looking to make it in either a 10 or 14 inch tin, how many times do I have to multiply?
goodfoodteam's picture
26th Jul, 2018
Thanks for your question. This would be the equivalent of a 6 inch (15cm) square tin. We haven't tested it in a larger tin so cannot give precise recommendations unfortunately.
8th Jun, 2018
Can this cake be made using a 20cm (8 inch) square tin? If so, will the ingredients quantities need to be doubled, halved or stay the same?
25th Jul, 2018
Did you find this out? I’m also looking along the lines of this
goodfoodteam's picture
13th Jun, 2018
Thanks for your question. As a direct swap to a square tin, you could make this in 2 x 15cm square tins, the cooking times would be roughly the same. If you cook the whole mixture in a 20cm square tin, you'll need to adjust the cooking time and the finished cake will have less height.
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