Coffee Cake (with Optional Coffee Buttercream Icing)

A simple coffee cake that can be eaten on its own or iced with Buttercream.
Coffee Cake with Buttercream and Rose Decorations

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Homemade Coffee Cake

This is one of my favourite homemade cakes, with or without the icing. This coffee cake is slightly different from what you may be used to, in that I don’t make coffee to add to the cake. Instead, I add good quality instant coffee granules straight to the batter right at the end, with the flour.

The result is a wonderful hit of coffee aroma with just a hint of bitter as you have a bite of the cake. It’s beautiful to look at too, as you slice it, you see all these little black specks, almost like poppy seeds. The addition of cardamom lifts the flavour and adds just a hint of warmth to the coffee cake.

Coffee Cake Slice
Those all coffee granules you see

Coffee Cake Icing

This is a very popular cake with my clients. And because it’s always ordered for a special day, I always ice it. Buttercream icing transforms this coffee cake from a delicious teatime cake to a celebration cake worthy of any occasion.

However, when I make it at home, I leave it un-iced, and we have it warm on its own or with some ice cream and sometimes even custard.

What icing you use for this cake is completely up to you. Plain old vanilla buttercream is amazing with this coffee cake as it tones down any lingering coffee hint of bitter, if you are not a massive fan of coffee, which is usually the case with kids.

But my personal favourite icing for this cake is coffee buttercream. Perhaps a more obvious choice for a coffee cake, but I think if you are a coffee lover, then it just completes the flavour.

Take a look at my Buttercream Icing page for all the various flavours. If you are not too confident about icing cakes, take a look at my Cake Decorating page, where you’ll find all the necessary information, like Icing and Filling Cakes with Buttercream.

Coffee Cake with Buttercream and Rose Decorations

The Coffee

As mentioned right at the start of this article, we won’t be making any coffee for this cake, instead the coffee hot comes direct from instant coffee granules, added to the batter. So you want to start off with a good quality instant coffee.

My favourite kind for this is the instant coffee granules that are mixed with ground coffee beans. There are quite a few brands out there doing this, I use the Kenco Millicano in our coffee cake.

You’ll need an 8″ (20 cm) cake pan, line it and grease it as required.

Now, let’s get our aprons on!

Coffee Cake with Buttercream and Rose Decorations

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If you like the recipe and article, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood.

Lin xx

Coffee Cake (with Optional Coffee Buttercream Icing)

A simple coffee cake that can be eaten on its own or iced with Buttercream.
5 from 24 votes
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Course: Cakes
Cuisine: British
Keyword: coffee
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Calories: 573kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • 160 g salted butter
  • 160 g sugar
  • 200 g self raising flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp instant coffee granules
  • seeds of 6 cardamoms ground
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste

Optional Coffee Buttercream

  • 250 g regular salted butter
  • 600 g icing (powdered) sugar
  • 2 Tbsp strong espresso OR strong instant coffee whatever you drink
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F/160˚C Fan).
  • Sift flour and baking powder.
  • Cream the butter and sugar for a minute until light and pale.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, with a tsp of flour with each addition, beating about a minute in between. The flour will stop the mixture from curdling.
  • Add the vanilla and cardamom and lightly beat to mix.
  • Fold in the flour and coffee and pour into your cake pan.
  • Bake for about 40-45 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin before turning out.
  • If you are icing, as in the pictures, make sure your cake is completely cool, before doing so. To ice the cake, please head on over to the Icing and Filling Cakes with Buttercream page.

Optional Coffee Buttercream

  • Place the butter in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy, about a minute.
  • Add the icing sugar and beat until thoroughly combined and smooth. You’ll end up with a very pale cream mix.
  • Add the coffee and vanilla and beat to mix.
  • Keep it covered with cling film until you’re ready to use it.


I’ve kept buttercream icing in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (no milk) and it was perfectly fine. Personally, I think refrigerating it changes the texture, so I never do it.
The Nutritional info and total time is for the cake without the icing.


Calories: 573kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 63g | Vitamin A: 914IU | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!
Made it? Upload your photosMention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!

35 thoughts on “Coffee Cake (with Optional Coffee Buttercream Icing)”

  1. Hi there, I’m emailing from nz and wanted to ask please in the photos above for your coffee cake, did you use vanilla buttercream or make this one with the coffee buttercream.. I cant really tell.. Thank you so much I’m super excited to make it for my birthday soon!” Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah, for these particular pictures, I believe I used vanilla buttercream (they were taken about a decade ago). However, my favourite icing with this cake is definitely coffee buttercream. The coffee flavour isn’t overly strong in the icing, given the amount I suggest. You can always adjust the strength of the coffee buttercream to your taste. But if you want to make it stronger, increase the amount of coffee granules/beans, not the water. You don’t want the icing too watery.
      Let me know how it goes.

  2. first of all these pictures are fireeeeee. The cake itself looks incredible and I really like how you decorated it, You did a fabulous job!

  3. This cake is TOO pretty! And a coffee cake that has actual coffee in it is brilliant! Also, I’m excited by your coffee buttercream. #POSSIBILITIES!

  4. This sounds dreamy! I’m a caffeine maniac… couldn’t live without my morning coffee and now I ll have to try this fluffy airy caffeine cake of yours, it looks too yummy to be true.

  5. Such a beautiful cake! I love the different serving suggestions too. Serving a cake warm with ice cream is a great dessert and saves having to spend time decorating it.

  6. Now you are a lady after my own heart. Not only is this cake stunning, (I am so impressed) but it contains my favorite food/beverage item on the planet, coffee. This is the perfect cake.

  7. Thanks for adding your amazing coffee cake to my link up party! Do you think you could link back to us somewhere in this post? If not… then just join us next Friday and link back so more people can join us at our “Coffee Party” 😉 Thanks again!

  8. You have been a busy bee! Thanks for taking some time out to showcase one of your recipes. The coffee granules as well as the cardamon do make an excellent pairing. Also I like the uniqueness of the wonderful way it is decorated. Great post!

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a nice comment! I subscribed to your posts! 😉 I thought that cake didn’t look like a “coffee cake” but now I see that it is literally a COFFEE cake because it HAS COFFEE in it… lol… so… yummy!!!

  10. My god Lin, You have such fantastic skills in decorating the cake. Better than those sold in cake shops. Love it all the way. Btw, I didn’t know you do catering too. I suppose I can understand why I didn’ t hear from you for some time.

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