- FOOD  |  JANUARY 29, 2020 -

This was one of my favourite cakes growing up, which looking back seems like it was an unusual favourite since coffee has quite a bitter taste which is not normally liked by somebody young. However, I couldn’t get enough of it! I love the blend between the flavours of vanilla, chocolate and coffee, and it truly is an irresistible feel-good treat. This recipe is based on one by Mary Berry but I tweaked the recipe and method to suit my taste and baking preferences! This cake is best eaten on the day it’s baked, but if it’s kept, store it in the fridge as it has fresh cream on it. It’s delicious when cold.



50g cocoa powder

6 tbsp boiling water

100g very soft butter

275g caster sugar

3 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

50ml milk

1 rounded tsp baking powder

175g self-raising flour


300ml double cream

1 tsp instant coffee

1 tsp boiling water

Cocoa powder



Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (or 160°C in a fan oven).


Grease two 20cm loose-bottomed sandwich tins and line the base of each with reusable baking sheets or baking parchment.


Put the 50g of cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl and pour in the 6 tablespoons of boiling water. Mix together until you’ve got a smooth, paste-like consistency. 



Next, add the butter and sugar and beat until smooth. It’s essential that the butter is very soft otherwise it will be lumpy. This mixture isn’t meant to be overbeaten, so the softness of the butter is ideal to prevent you beating the mixture for too long. 



Add in the eggs, milk, baking powder and self-raising flour and mix until blended – again, don’t overbeat! If you use colder butter, the mixture will be more runny, but it will bake just fine.


Divide the mixture into the two tins and level the surface. 



Put the tins in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. You’ll know when they’re ready when the sides start to shrink away from the edges and if you put a skewer into the centre of the mixture, it will come out clean(ish).


Once ready, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for about 10 minutes. After then, carefully remove the sponges from the tins and leave on a wired-rack until they are completely cooled. (If you try to put the cream on when the sponges are still warm, the cream will melt and start to run).



To create the topping and filling, pour the 300ml of double cream into a mixing bowl and beat until it is whipped. The key is to find the balance between the cream being thick enough but not too thick. Don’t worry if you make it too thick, it will still taste really nice!



Next, in a separate small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in the 1 teaspoon of boiling water and add to the cream and stir in carefully.



Separate the cream into two. Put one half in between the two sponges and the other half on top. Use a palette knife to smooth the cream.



Finally sprinkle a little bit of cocoa powder on top, just like when you get a cappuccino in a café or restaurant. If you want to make it more fun, grate some chocolate or buy shop bought chocolate curls (the ones I've used are from Waitrose) and sprinkle on top too! Remember, this cake is best eaten on the day, but, if kept, store it in the fridge as it has fresh cream on it and it's amazing cold too!


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