My mama is a coffee fiend, so for her 58th birthday, I baked her a cake that would give her the shakes for days. Following the beets with burrata starter and the roasted butternut squash risotto main, I served the birthday girl a caffeine-laced coffee cake with coffee frosting for dessert.
Originally developed by The Pioneer Woman, this two-layer cake is truly fit for a javaholic. Instant coffee grounds are called for in both the batter and the frosting—I really liked how the recipe didn’t include any extraneous flavors or ingredients to compete for our attention. It was straight up coffee flavored, plain and simple.
On the technical front, the cake was very moist with a delicate crumb, while the frosting had a moreish quality about it. The flavors were reminiscent of Vietnamese cà phê sữa đá, with an extra shot of sweetened condensed milk.
For coffee cake
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¼ teaspoons salt
- 2 sticks butter
- 3 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
For coffee frosting
- 1 ½ stick butter
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
Make coffee cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two round baking pans. In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside. Melt 2 sticks of butter in a pot over medium-low heat.
While the butter is melting, add 3 tablespoons of instant coffee to 1 cup of boiling water. Set aside.
Once the butter has melted, add the coffee mixture to it. Let the mixture come to a boil for about 10 seconds, then turn off the heat. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, add the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
Pour the butter/coffee mixture into the flour mixture, and stir everything together gently. The purpose isn’t to mix the batter together perfectly, but to cool down the butter before adding the egg mixture. Add in the egg mixture and stir gently until well combined. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until set. Allow to cool completely.
Make coffee frosting
Combine all the frosting ingredients using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Use 4 tablespoons of heavy cream to start, adding more if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. The frosting should be spreadable and fluffy.
Ice the cake and chill for an hour before serving. [For Printable Recipe Click Here]
¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Mom!