Coffee cake

When I used to work in an office I had that dilemma. It’s the dilemma that non-coffee drinkers combined with cheapos suffer from. Whenever we’d go out for coffee meetings it would tear me to have to order a green tea and pay at least $4 for something that was invariably just a supermarket tea bag and a cup of hot water. I always contemplated drinking the free water but then my conscience got the better of me.

I have tried coffee over the years but we just don’t get along so I begrudgingly ordered my dodgy tea every time. Yet another reason I’m thankful not to be in that job anymore. I’m still not a coffee drinker but I have grown a little fond of lightly-coffee-flavoured baked treats.

Morning tea

Yep I’m a walking contradiction. It seems you can bake anything I don’t like and I will magically like it. I can’t do strong coffee flavours but give me a whiff of it and I love it.

Usually, coffee cake recipes are just describing a cake that you serve with coffee but this cake is actually a coffee cake. The recipe calls for quite a bit of the stuff and even with my serious quantity reductions, it was still quite obviously, although deliciously, coffee flavoured.

Coffee cake

I think this is one of those cakes that get better with age even though the recipe says it only keeps for 4 days. I snuck one last piece before giving half the cake to my grandma two days after it was baked and it was even better than the day before. It’s a really light cake that fools you into thinking you’re not eating something naughty. I find sour cream does that to cake. Deceptive little thing it is.

Coffee cake

The coffee also cuts the sweetness in the cake making it easy to go back for seconds if you so feel inclined. Enjoy!

What about you? Do you drink coffee? Are you a must-have-coffee-every-day person?

Coffee cake

Jenny's coffee cake

Jenny's coffee cake

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes



  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 2 cups icing (confectioner's) sugar
  • 20g butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup crumbled walnuts


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C (350F) fan-forced and grease and line a 20cm (8in) cake tin.
  2. Dissolve the coffee in the hot water and then set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, vanilla and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the coffee and carefully mix it in.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  6. Scrape down the sides and beat again.
  7. Add the flour and beat it through then finally add the sour cream and mix until just combined.
  8. Scrape the batter into the tin and smooth out the top then bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Leave it to rest in the tin for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. To make the icing, dissolve the coffee in the boiling water.
  11. Place the icing sugar in a bowl and pour over the coffee mixture and butter and stir to combine.
  12. You may need to add extra hot water to get it to a spreadable consistency.
  13. Spread the icing over the cooled cake and top with crumbled walnuts.


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