The inspiration for this cake came about as I wanted to make a classic bake with a twist for a MacMillan Coffee Morning, so I decided to make a quite literal coffee cake. Given this is the season for spiced lattes, I thought it would be fun to incorporate this into a cake form. The sponge is flavoured with coffee, mixed spice (typically used for spiced lattes), and cardamom. If you're a fan of cinnamon or 'gingerbread' spiced lattes you can swap the cardamom (and mixed spice if you want a stronger flavour) with ground cinnamon or ginger. I can't say I've seen a cake which literally looked like a latte before so I thought it would be fun to create this look with the icing. I'm rather pleased with the end result and I hope you are if you give it a go!
Hands-on Time 30 minutes (plus cooling)
Baking Time 35 minutes
370g (plus extra for greasing) Unsalted butter (softened)
1 tbsp Cocoa powder
440g Caster sugar
440g Self raising flour
1 tsp Mixed Spice
1 tsp Ground cardamom (you can swap for cinnamon or ginger)
1 tbsp plus 3 tsp Instant coffee powder (fine)
4 Eggs, medium
220ml plus 6 tsp Full-fat milk
2 tsp Vanilla extract
450g Icing sugar
2 x 20cm Fixed or push bottom cake tins
2 Large bowls
Electric whisk or hand whisk
Disposable piping bag
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C (Fan)/350°F/Gas mark 4 and then get on with making the cake!
Cut a piece of baking parchment into two circles for the bases of the cake tins.
Grease the bottom of the tins without the parchment in them using the extra butter.
Line the tins with the parchment and grease the sides and bottom again, this time greasing the parchment.
Add 1 tbsp of cocoa powder to one of the tins.
Shake around until the bottom and sides of the tin are coated.
Tap the tin over the other one so you can transfer the remaining cocoa powder for coating.
Repeat the above steps with the second tin before tapping it over a sink to discard any excess cocoa.
Add the caster sugar and 220g of butter to a large bowl.
Whisk until light and a pale yellow.
Combine the flour, spices, and 1 tbsp of coffee powder in the other large bowl.
Add 1/4 of the flour mixture to the creamed butter and whisk until combined.
Add an egg and again whisk until combined.
Repeat the above steps until all of the flour and eggs have been incorporated.
Add 220ml of milk and 1 tsp of vanilla and give the mixture a final whisk.
Divide between the two tins, tapping them on a worktop to remove any trapped air.
Pop the tins in the oven onto middle shelf and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
Leave the cakes to sit in their tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Turn the cakes out upside down onto the rack to cool and remove the parchment.
When the cakes have cooled you can get on with the buttercream.
Add 300g of icing sugar along with 150g of butter, 2 tsp of coffee powder, and 1 tsp of vanilla to a large clean bowl.
Whisk until combined.
Place one sponge, right way up.
Spread 1/2 of the buttercream over the top.
Place the second sponge, still upside down, on top of the buttercream and press down.
Use buttercream to fill any gaps around the join and smooth using the palette knife.
Spread the rest of the butter cream over the top of the cake. Make sure you create a raised edge around the outside.
In a clean bowl add 100g of icing sugar, 1 tsp of coffee powder, and 4 tsp of milk and stir with a spatula until combined.
Pour over the top of the cake. The raised edge should stop this dripping over the sides.
Clean the bowl and combine the remaining 50g of icing sugar with 2 tsp of milk.
Transfer into a piping bag and snip off the very end.
In order to create the barista coffee ‘look’ you need to pipe a series of shapes on the top of the cake. I would suggest starting with a heart shape near one end of the cake. Whilst still piping, create another one joined and directly below it. Follow this with a few zig-zag semi circles. Make them larger as you get to the edge of the cake. Once you have piped the main shape you can make any touch-ups if you think they’re necessary.
Take a spoon and gently drag the back of it from one end of the white icing to the other.
Hopefully this will now resemble a cup of coffee!
Pop the cake into the fridge to fully set before tucking in.