social spark Aisling Beatha: My Mom's Coffee Cake


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Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Mom's Coffee Cake

First of all an explanation for my American readers.  Here in the UK when we say coffee cake we mean a cake that is flavoured with coffee.  Makes sense to me!

Anyway, recently I was sorting through some family photos and came across this one of my mom.  From the colour of the mix in the food processor I knew immediately what she was making.  This coffee cake.  Among anyone who knew of her baking she was famous for this cake and it was SO easy!  I wonder if they all knew how easy it was if they would still have thought she was so amazing for making it.


I knew I had to make the cake yesterday and had all the ingredients in. I remembered how much butter, flour and sugar to each egg, that's easy, but I wasn't sure about how much coffee or baking powder and how long to cook it, but I had a go and it turned out ok.


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You will find a printable version of the recipe at the bottom of the post.

First off, preheat your oven to 180c. (That's 360f for my American friends). I remembered that OK.
Now I had to decide how much mixture to make. I knew that when my mom made this cake it used to have a 6 egg mix but she had these HUGE cake tins. Since I only wanted to use 8 inch tins, I decided a 3 egg mix would be enough.

Whenever my mom made this cake she always took the time to grease AND flour the tins, so I did the same.

First, grease your tins as normal, then put a tbsp or so of flour into them, and tip the tin until you have coated all surfaces with the flour. I am sure cake release spray would do the same job BUT I am trying to stick to what my mom did here, so I went with greasing and flouring.

Coffee Cake 01

Coffee Cake 02

Coffee Cake 03

Measure your flour, baking powder, sugar and butter into the bowl of your processor and then add the 3 eggs, having cracked them into a bowl first in case you get a bad one or any shell falls in.

Coffee Cake 06

Before you start mixing the cake, make up your coffee. I am not sure I have the amount of coffee right. I have upped the amount slightly from what I used, in the recipe below, but think it might still need more. We had the amount in the icing right but the cake could have taken more coffee flavour. Add as little boiling water as you can to make it up and then thin it out a bit with cold water, which also brings the temperature down.

Coffee Cake 05

Now back to the food processor. Mix on med high (or pulse) until the mixture is combined and smooth. Then add the coffee in a thin stream through the spout on the processor.

Coffee Cake 08

After a few more seconds your mix should look something like this.

Coffee Cake 09

Divide the mixture between your two cake tins.

Coffee Cake 10

Spread it out in the tins as evenly as you can.

Coffee Cake 11

Then place them in the preheated oven.

Coffee Cake 12

Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes.

Coffee Cake 13

Remove from the tins to a cake rack and leave until completely cooled.

Coffee Cake 14

Once the cake has cooled ice the top. You do this before filling the cake because the whipped cream is soft and you might squish it out if you ice after filling it.
Make up another small portion of strong instant coffee, 1 tsp of granules with about 1tbsp water, then make up some icing using that as your liquid. While the icing is still wet, sprinkle the walnuts over the top. My mom always used walnut halves when possible and used one to mark each portion of the cake. I only had walnut pieces, so I sprinkled instead.

Coffee Cake 15

Once the icing has set nicely you can whip the cream and get ready to fill the cake. I used 300ml of double cream here and you can see from the later photos it is quite a thick layer. But maybe that is what makes this cake so nice.

Coffee Cake 17

Pop the top on and your cake is ready to serve. If not serving immediately, keep chilled because of the cream.

Coffee Cake 19

Was it good? Yes, amazing! Was it as good as I remember? Not quite, it came out a little dense but there are a couple of things I know were not quite right. First I was using free range eggs from a family member's chickens, and they were on the small side, I am sure slightly larger eggs would have made a difference. Secondly I made the coffee up with as little water as possible and I think it could have taken a tbsp or so more. Finally I couldn't remember how much baking powder my mom used and guessed. I have upped it slightly for the recipe below and hopefully with those 3 things it should come out much better next time.

Coffee Cake 20

Coffee Cake 23


Printable version:

My Mom's Coffee Cake
Coffee Flavoured cake my mom used to make that was always a success no matter where we took it!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Serves: 8 decent slices


6 oz self raising flour,
6 oz caster sugar,
6 oz soft margarine, (I used butter because it was what I had),
3 medium eggs,
2 tsp baking powder,
2 1/2 tsp instant coffee,
1/2 cup icing sugar, I didn't measure this,
Handful walnuts,
Whipping cream or double cream.


1. Grease and flour your cake tins.
2. Preheat the oven to 180c.
3. Set up your food processor with the normal blade.
4. Measure the first 5 ingredients directly into the bowl.
5. Take 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee and make up with a little boiling water.  Cool with a little additional cold water.
6. Switch your processor on to med high until all the first ingredients are mixed, then pour the made coffee in through the spout while the mixer is still moving.
7. Divide the mixture between your two tins and spread evenly in the tins.
8. Bake in the preheated oven until it begins to come away from the sides of the tin, is springy in the middle and a cake tester or fine knife blade comes out clean when inserted into the cake. For the size pans I used this took about 20 minutes, but I would recommend checking at about 15 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and cool in the tins for 5 minutes.
10. Turn out onto a cake rack to cool completely.
11. Make up the remaining instant coffee with a little boiling water and a little cold to cool it back down.
12. Make up the icing sugar with as much of the coffee as you need to make a consistency that will spread easily but without being too runny.
13. Decide which of the cakes will be the top and spread the icing over it. Sprinkle the walnuts over that and leave to set.
14. Once the icing has set you can whip the cream and fill the middle of the cake. If your bottom cake is a bit uneven you may need to slice some off it to get it to sit flat first.
15. Keep chilled (because of the cream) and serve!

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  1. This looks VERY amazing. I'm craving it and going to figure out how to make it. :)

  2. Thank you. Hope you manage it, it is delicious. If you don't have access to a processor, I would imagine a traditional sponge cake method would work, creaming the butter and sugar, then adding eggs and the coffee, and finally the dry ingredients.


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