Coffee Cake

Hello, my name is Kiki, and I’m a coffee junkie. Now, I’m quite sensible on the topic of what’s good for a person and what isn’t. In my opinion, there’s nothing much bad about food – if it’s consumed in moderation.

I’ve been drinking the same brand of coffee from a local coffee roaster for over twenty years. The label claims this particular roast is gentle on the stomach, but even if it weren’t I’d still be drinking it. Because I like it.

Over my many years as a coffee drinker, I’ve noticed that every few years a study comes up with the claim that coffee isn’t good for you, then a few years later another study says the exact opposite. A friend of mine likes to say “It always depends on who has paid for that study.“, and I agree.

So why am I telling you all this? Because I ❤ coffee and am totally in awe of how my coffee cake has turned out this morning, and what better to enjoy with your cup of coffee than coffee cake!

I’ve seen coffee cake posts here and there but never read through them, so to be honest I never knew whether the term coffee cake was just one for any type of Bundt cake that you have with your coffee or if it was actually a cake with coffee as an ingredient.

So I decided to give this coffee cake thing a go. This morning I dug out an older recipe of mine making little cakes in Guglhupf shape where I used Baileys, so I substituted that for coffee. It was a great morning indeed, because I had to open a fresh pack of coffee, and I always pour the powder into my coffee container, then put my nose in the empty package and inhale. Deeply. Several times, and each time I walk past the empty container lying on the kitchen counter. It takes a while for me to chuck the bag in the bin…

Even though I drink a lot of coffee, I measure it out quite weakly. I detest strong, bitter coffee and I don’t want to add milk or cream to it, so I use 1 coffee measuring spoon for 2 mugs of water. I’m a weak coffee junkie apparently.

For this experiment, though, I used 7 measuring spoons for 220 ml of water, which made 150 ml coffee. Very strong coffee. I was worried at first that this little amount wouldn’t be detectable in the cake tastewise, but I was wrong. Thank goodness!

On slipping out my little cakes from the silicone moulds, one broke and I took this as an opportunity to taste-test it. WOW! Definitely a proper coffee cake, with the perfect amount of coffee.

These little cakes are just perfect, if I say so myself. When I created the original recipe, I wanted the cake to be fluffy inside but also moist; it shouldn’t be too firm but it should have a certain consistency and not break apart when picking up a slice.

To get that result, I substituted a part of the flour for almond flour (the type you use for macarons and that you can buy ready ground), and I add a kind of liquid for each version I make, e.g. some creamy liqueur. Or coffee from now on. It’s also important to add the egg yolks first and the beaten egg whites at the end, this makes for a very light consistency despite the heavier almond flour.

The white flour I use is produced by a local mill, so I’m aware you won’t be able to replicate that, I just wanted to tell you about it. Whenever I want a fine consistency, I use that flour because it’s called Dunstmehl, which literally translates to haze or mist flour. I assume it’s because it’s so fine that if you threw it in the air it would look like a floury mist floating around instead of heavy flour falling to the ground. I’m clearly no poet, but I hope you get what I’m trying to describe.

So the combination of all of the above – the fine flour, the almond flour, the coffee, the beaten egg whites – makes for some excellent cake, to make a long story short. Sorry you had to get to the bottom of this post to read that 🙂 .

Coffee Cake

  • Servings: makes 1 large Bundt cake or 5 small ones
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200 g margarine or soft butter
200 g sugar
4 egg yolks
1 pack (8 g) vanilla sugar
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
150 g fine white flour
100 g almond flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
150 ml strong coffee (45 g coffee powder)
4 egg whites

re-brewed coffee grounds (see recipe)
100 g icing sugar, sieved

Make the coffee using 45 g coffee and 220 ml water. This should get you about 150 ml brewed coffee. Do not discard the grounds – leave them in the coffee filter, then add another mug of water to your machine and run it through the same grounds again; this will make the coffee liquid for the icing. Let cool.

In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and set aside.

In another bowl, mix margarine or butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla sugar and whisk well.

Next, add the flour, almond flour and cocoa powder and whisk again. Add 150 ml coffee and whisk well.

Last, carefully add the beaten egg whites using a spatula until they’re completely incorporated into the batter.

Heat oven to 175°C / 350°F (non-fan).

If using metal cake moulds, brush them well with margarine or butter. If using silicone moulds, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions, mine don’t need buttering.

Fill the moulds to 3/4 high with batter, shake the moulds so the batter is distributed evenly and you won’t get air pockets. Place moulds on a baking sheet, put on middle shelf of oven and bake for 30 – 45 minutes. [For silicone moulds, refer to manufacturer’s instructions! My cakes only take 30 minutes in the moulds, so you’ll need to check with a wooden skewer after 30 minutes. Larger cakes can take up to 60 minutes to bake, so check those carefully.]

When taking the moulds out of the oven, place them on a cooling rack; only remove cakes once they’re cooled down, otherwise they might stick to the moulds and break.

Once the cakes have cooled, start on the icing by mixing small amounts of icing sugar with coffee. In a small mixing bowl, add 3 tbsp icing sugar and a shot of coffee; mix well until you see no lumps and the icing gets thick-ish. Repeat until all the icing sugar is incorporated. [Note: for 100 g icing sugar it only took about 25 – 30 ml of coffee to get the right consistency for the icing.]