I had two beginnings to this post.
Number one went along the lines of ‘I thought it was about time that we had some cake around here, as it has been a while . . . ‘ but then I realised that already this year there has been muffins and pancakes (very loose interpretation of cake I know, but it is in the name).
Then I thought of a different opening, which went something like ‘coffee flavoured items feature very rarely on this blog, which is odd as I like coffee flavoured things . . .’ and then I realised that there was coffee doughnuts and another loaf shaped cake of all things!
Whoa, hang on a minute. I just went to provide the link the said previous cake, and it wasn’t coffee flavoured at all! It is coconut & cardamom! Not coffee . . . it had coffee flavoured icing on it . . . which means that coffee flavoured cake (there are a few coffee drinks hanging around on the recipe pages) has, in fact, only featured once before, so my second opening stands!
Ahem. Let’s start again . . .
Coffee flavoured items feature very rarely on this blog, which is odd as I like coffee flavoured things. In fact there has only been one out-and-out coffee flavoured baked good in all the time this blog has been around.
There are coffee based drinks, and a few chocolate cakes that use coffee to ramp up the chocolate flavour, but coffee cakes themselves . . . only one. And they were individual and round. With a hole in the middle.
There is something so comforting about coffee cake, I find. In the same way that a large mug of milky coffee can be soothing (until the caffeine kicks in), so too is a slice of coffee flavoured cake. I think it may have something to do with it being a more mellow coffee flavour.
I am not a fan of black coffee – espresso or otherwise – as it can be just a little too bitter for my taste. But slop some milk in (or eggs, butter and sugar in the case of a cake) and you have an altogether different experience. It’s like a hug.
This cake is perfect for just slicing off a little at a time, whenever the need arises. It will keep in the fridge for a good 5 days or so, but you may need to revive it in the microwave because it will lose its lovely soft sponginess. Just be prepared for the icing to slip off and form a puddle.
Speaking of the icing – it is covered in the merest layer of coffee buttercream. Just enough to add a little interest, but not enough to a) overpower it, or b) make it all too sickly sweet.
The perfect cake for grey, wet and windy afternoons.
And, bizarrely, it goes great with a cup of tea!
Coffee Loaf Cake
For the cake:
- 5 tbsp milk, preferably whole but semi-skimmed is fine
- 2 tbsp instant coffee granules, the stronger the better, espresso powder would be perfect
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 75g soft dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 175g gluten-free self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
For the buttercream:
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 75g icing sugar, aka powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tsp coffee
- cocoa powder for dusting, optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 Celsius / 150 fan / 325 Fahrenheit. Line a 900g (2 lb) loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.
- Place the milk and coffee granules in a small bowl and heat in the microwave or small pan until warm and coffee has dissolved. Set aside to cool a little.
- In a medium bowl beat together the butter, caster sugar and brown sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs in one at time.
- Add the vanilla extract and milky coffee and mix well.
- Fold in the flour and the salt until everything is combined.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minted before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the cake is completely cold, make the buttercream by beating together the butter and icing sugar. Mix in the vanilla and the coffee. It is quite a soft buttercream but it should hold its own and not slip/run off the cake.
- Spread the buttercream over the top of the cake and dust with cocoa powder if desired.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2016