Nov 2010

Coffee Cake with Coffee Frosting

Coffee Cake with Coffee Frosting

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

Coffee Cake with Coffee Frosting

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.

Coffee Cake with Coffee Frosting

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.

Coffee Cake with Coffee Frosting

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.

Coffee Cake with Coffee Frosting

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until set. Allow to cool completely.

Make coffee frosting

Coffee Cake with 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.

Coffee Cake with Coffee Frosting

Ice the cake and chill for an hour before serving. [For Printable Recipe Click Here]

Coffee Cake with Coffee Frosting

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Mom!

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17 thoughts on “Coffee Cake with Coffee Frosting

  1. Feliz cumpleanos Gastronomer spawner! This cake totally called to me from the moment you RTed it via Pioneer Woman. I will absolutely make this. Finally, a REAL COFFEE coffee cake!

  2. If you don’t want your cake to be round, turn the top layer upside down (flat side up) to get a flat top, or you can trim the round parts off and have them facing each other (where the middle cream filling would go). Looks great. Might try it someday bc I love banh mocha.

  3. Interesting and sounds delicious. However instant coffee is a 1930s or 40s thing. Only became popular civilian wise, as returning GIs became accustomed to it ,during their service. I’m sure you’re right with it being a “Pioneer” recipe. However , they probably used the last batch of regular grounds, from the last pot brewed. Gritty & rustic, but probably tasty none the less. Practical ,& very “Waste not , want not.” And no more roughing it ,then they were already used too. I also wouldn’t be suprised , if they strained the grounds out ,at some point . The use of instant grounds ,I’d wager were a later improvment ,on a family recipe.

  4. “My husband likes Astronomy. I prefer Gastronomy.”
    While they seem the opposite of each other, they’re actually complimentary. One dealing with reaching outward. The other with as inward as you can go. 🙂

  5. Hi ! I’m Vietnamese and “Cà phê sữa đá” is a really special drink !this cake is so good to taste ! yum yum !

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