Coffee cake with buttercream and nuts on stand

Coffee cake

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(141 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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 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.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Sarah Cliffe's picture
Sarah Cliffe
28th Jul, 2020
Really wish I'd read the reviews before a making this.... I've never had a cake turn out this bad. It didn't rise, and even sank. The consistency is brittle and crumbly and feels like it would snap in half if i picked it up. Very tempted to put it in the bin, but wouldn't want to waste food. What a waste of time :(
Emma Trend's picture
Emma Trend
26th Jul, 2020
Awful. The temperature was way too low and it didn't come out as it should. There are other recipes out there that are much better than this.
10th Jul, 2020
Had to make it twice for a big enough cake but overall very tasty
9th Jul, 2020
This is the first time I’ve used this recipe and my cake was awful, it just didn’t rise. I think the temp may be too low. Sadly it was fir my sons 13th birthday so I’m very disappointment.
25th Jun, 2020
Absolutely delicious. I've changed nothing about this recipe. I've made it several times and it's perfect every time.
Sophie Hatton
21st Jun, 2020
Other posters are right. This cake barely rose. I read the comments and made a few adjuatments: I baked the cake at 170 fan for 25 minutes, and I doubled the amount of coffee in the sponge. Despite the hot oven it still didn't rise, but it does taste delicious and looks quite nice too (despite not being very tall).
21st Jun, 2020
Only changes I made was adding a little milk to the sponge mixture as it seemed a bit too thick, and also added Chopped walnuts to the mixture. I baked at 140 fan for 25 mins as per recipe. It made a lovely, light, cake. I used 3 times as much icing as I made a 4 layer cake. Will definitely use this recipe again.
12th Jun, 2020
I didn’t follow the recipe to a T and after reading the reviews I’m glad. I didn’t fold because I was lazy so just mixed all the way. This made for a nice light sponge. I only used 55g icing sugar and altered the butter and diluted coffee accordingly yet still had some left over so the quantities of icing given there are way too high. It was also too wet so I had to add some flour to stabilise it. I also don’t see the need for so much baking powder. The cake was massive and therefore took a lot longer to bake than 25-30mins. I’d say mine took about 50mins and I had to crank the heat up towards the end. So next time I’ll skip baking powder as self raising flour is being used. I also used almonds instead of walnuts as that’s what I had. The cake turned out amazing and was a hit with my parents!
Grace T-J
11th Jun, 2020
I followed the exact amounts when making the icing and found it was way too bitter and wet so I added more icing sugar (by eye) until I found the right consistency and taste
Jess Chell's picture
Jess Chell
5th Jun, 2020
Best recipe! The only thing is, I added a splash of milk when making the mixture as it was very crumbly and dry. Made the most moist cake which was very tasty and all the family loved it


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.
Aleena Anwar's picture
Aleena Anwar
2nd Aug, 2020
I'm thinking of making this cake for Dad's bday but the recipe calls for 7 inch tins and i have 8 inch. So this is my alternative: Weigh three large free range eggs that will be the same weigt for your flour,butter and sugar. eg) your eggs weigh 180g, your flour,butter and sugar will also weigh 180g. also you will need: 1tsp baking powder a pinch of salt 1 tbsp instant coffee (add more if you like it strong) dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water Method Preheat oven to 170 degrees c Beat butter and sugar till pale and fluffy slowly add eggs FOLD in flour FOLD in coffee mixture Bake for 25 mins or until golden brown and springy in the middle. Cool down and make icing. Enjoy! I hope this helped for those people with issues with the cake
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?