Easy coffee cake

Easy coffee cake

Do you love coffee and cake?

I do! Fresh espresso coffee mixed into a buttery sponge – what more can you ask for?

quick and easy coffee cake that you can eat with or without icing.

This buttery coffee-flavoured all-in-one sponge is ideal for dessert or for a morning or afternoon tea treat.
It would also be lovely to take to a picnic to share with your friends.

Classic recipes are timeless

This coffee cake recipe was inspired by a memory of a classic British coffee and walnut cake that I had when I was growing up in the seventies.

My version doesn’t contain walnuts and isn’t smothered in buttercream like the original. Instead, it focuses on the main ingredient – coffee.
I use fresh espresso coffee instead of instant coffee because I think it gives a stronger flavour.

You can cover the cake with a coffee icing or you can leave it plain – it’s just as good either way.

You should make this coffee cake because it’s:

  • Better tasting than shop-bought cake.
  • Freezer-friendly: bake this cake at the weekend and freeze it ready to serve for a delicious midweek dessert.
  • Adaptable: you can make this as one whole cake or put the batter into cupcake tins to make individual sponges.
  • Budget-friendly: make this cake from store-cupboard ingredients.
  • Quick and easy to make with an electric hand mixer.

Coffee cake’s main ingredients:

  • Coffee
  • Self-raising flour
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs

Tips for busy cooks

You can use an electric stand mixer to make the sponge but using an electric hand mixer is just as quick.

Use instant coffee granules diluted with hot water instead of fresh espresso coffee if you prefer.

If you want to make this for kids, I would recommend using decaf coffee unless you want them to be awake all night!

Serving suggestions:

  1. Morning or afternoon tea.
  2. Midweek dessert.
  3. Celebration cake: decorate with different icing, chocolate or cream for a special occasion.

For all the coffee and cake lovers out there

Make this coffee cake today and indulge in a slice with a cup of coffee.

You can freeze this cake (without the icing) and if you suddenly have friends or family come over for coffee, you can defrost it to offer it up as a mouth-watering morning tea treat.

Did you eat your coffee cake with or without icing? Did you use fresh or instant coffee?

Let me know by leaving a comment and a recipe rating below – I’d love to hear from you.

Do you love using coffee in your baking? Try this recipe next: Espresso Martini cake

Easy coffee cake

An easy to make coffee cake that is ideal for dessert or for a morning or afternoon tea treat. Perfect to take to a picnic to share with your friends.
Meal Type Dessert, Picnic
Keyword Coffee cake, Vegetarian
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Author Veg Coast Cook



  • 100 g self-raising flour sifted
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 100 g unsalted butter softened, plus extra for greasing cake tin
  • 75 g brown sugar
  • 2 large free-range eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp espresso coffee that you have chilled in the fridge (reserve 1 tsp for icing)


  • 120 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp brewed espresso coffee (see above)


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C fan. Grease a 15cm diameter round shallow cake tin with butter.

  2. Put all the sponge ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer on a low speed until combined. Turn up to a high speed and whisk for 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer cake batter to greased cake tin and bake in oven for 30 minutes. Test if the cake is ready by putting a skewer in the centre of sponge – if it comes out clean then it is cooked. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
  4. To make a coffee icing: in a small bowl mix 100g icing sugar with 1 tsp brewed espresso coffee until smooth. In another bowl, mix the remaining 20g of icing sugar with a small amount of water to make the plain icing. Spread the coffee icing on the cake first then using a piping bag (or freehand) draw stripes of plain icing over the top and over the edges of the cake. Allow icing to set at room temperature before serving.

Recipe Notes

Coffee drizzle cake: for an extra hit of coffee flavour use a skewer to make holes in the top of the cake after it has been cooked. Drizzle 2 tbsp of chilled espresso coffee over the top of the cake and allow the coffee to soak in for at least 30 minutes before applying the icing. I used this method with the cake that is pictured in this post.

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