Coffee cake with buttercream and nuts on stand

Coffee cake

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(57 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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Steve Hickman's picture
Steve Hickman
2nd Feb, 2020
I shouldn't have departed from my usual recipe. This was a total disaster. Anaemic, flat as a pancake and straight in the bin. Not sure how others made this work, from the instructions. I should have guessed when the first instruction was to whisk butter with sugar! Even with softened butter that's a challenge. Avoid.
Bethan Lygo's picture
Bethan Lygo
2nd Nov, 2019
Made into cupcakes instead of a cake and added loads more coffee than the recipe said to. They were SO nice. Would highly recommend
Ellie stones's picture
Ellie stones
27th Oct, 2019
The coffee cake is so delicious. I advise people to try the coffee cake but try and do 2 spoonfuls of coffee.
13th Oct, 2019
I recommend double the amount of coffee and half the amount of sugar.
2nd Sep, 2019
Lovely cake! Done twice and super results each time. Def do not need all the coffee/water mixture though. 1tbsp is sufficient.
Sammi Penn's picture
Sammi Penn
26th Jul, 2019
We added some chopped walnuts and added some bailey's to the buttercream and it tasted divine!
20th Jul, 2019
2nd attempt at this cake - collapsed.. Did everything the same as the first, which turned out delicious, so not sure why it went so bad. Also, the icing is very strong so I wouldn't use the extra half tbsp of coffee.
Daffycaffy's picture
29th Jun, 2019
This oven temp is far too low for a sponge! Never in my 40yrs of baking (father was a Master Baker!) have I ever seen such a low temperature. My sponges are looking VERY anaemic after 50 minutes of cooking, let alone 30! Someone please review the temp for this recipe, it's very, very wrong!
16th Jun, 2019
Awful cake - didn't rise properly. wish I had read the comments before attempting this - I wouldn't have bothered and I recommend finding an alternative recipe. A waste of time and ingredients.
Debbie Atkins
16th Jun, 2019
Delicious! An even bake of moist fluffiness. I followed the recipie & baked for 30 mins. Did line the base of tins with baking paper but not needed. I'm presently in rented accommodation with a basic oven which generally burns everything but now I think my oven is fine as the cake came out beautiful! Used marscapone cream, brown sugar & Baileys for the cream as it is Fathers Day (see Boozy Coffee Cake Recipie) which is less rich & heavy compared to buttercream. Recommend!! :)


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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