Cappuccino Cake

This cappuccino cake is outrageously good! A must try. It's even gluten-free; a real plus these days. It's light and airy with a creamy topping and great coffee flavour.

This cake can be made the day before, and certainly benefits from being made several hours before. It is not so good when it's just been made. It needs time for the coffee flavour to develop fully.

When we first discussed coffee cake, we both agreed that we thought a coffee cake for afternoon tea should be a fairly light cake. Ideas of espresso slices were out. But we still wanted a good coffee flavour. Coffee cakes often don't taste of much....

Cappuccino seemed more like the type of coffee we were thinking of. Not too strong, milky and with a nice frothy fun topping, with some chocolate flavour coming through (thinking of the cocoa sprinkles on a cappuccino).

For the cappuccino cake itself, Stephen made a light, chiffon style cake, but using brown rice flour instead of wheat because he wanted a depth of flavour that you just don't get with wheat flour. He then poured strong coffee onto the cake to give it more coffee flavour.

We wanted a fun topping with a less pronounced coffee flavour, but we didn't want it to be too fluffy because it might collapse before serving and we knew it would need to be left to soak for a while.

Finally, we settled on a creamy butter icing with chocolate chips, and we finished the whole thing off with a sprinkle of cocoa powder. Although this topping is not frothy in appearance, the flavour is perfect.

So, so good.

Cappuccino Cake

Level: Intermediate
Time: 2 hours (includes 1 hour cooling)
Makes 16 squares

65g (rounded third cup) brown rice flour (or plain white)
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 eggs separated
55g (1/4 cup) sugar
40ml sunflower oil
75ml strong cold black coffee *
1 tbsp of maple syrup (or honey)

* I used 1/2 tbsp of fresh ground coffee and perked the 75ml water through the machine. Or you can use 1/2 tsp of instant coffee in 75ml of hot water.

For topping, you can use fluffy vanilla frosting, chocolate ganache or delicious coffee frosting.

  • Line an 8 inch square cake tin. You can use one with a solid base, but line it on the base and up two sides (so you can lift the cake out). Lightly grease the parchment.

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 3, 325F, 170C.

  • Mix the baking powder with the flour and sift twice.

  • Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and 20g (2 tbsp) of the caster sugar to a thick and pale yellow. It should leave ribbons when the beaters are lifted.

  • Set aside 2 tablespoons of the cold coffee for later. Add the remaining coffee (45ml) and the sunflower oil to the egg mixture and mix well.

  • Add the flour mixture a third at a time mixing well between each addition.  Set aside.

  • Using a very clean glass or metal bowl and beaters, beat the egg whites on medium speed to stiff peaks and sprinkle on the sugar about ½ dessert spoon at a time with the beaters going.  Count to 5 between each addition.

  • Use a large metal spoon to fold the meringue mixture into the yolk/flour mixture.

  • Pour batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

  • Just before the end of the cooking time, set up a cooling rack with a tea towel on. When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and put the cooling rack and tea towel on top. Invert the whole thing and leave to cool.   If the cake falls out of the tin, don’t worry, just leave it to cool.

  • When the cake is cold, transfer it to a chopping board.

  • Mix the reserved cold black coffee with 1 tbsp of maple syrup (or honey). Sprinkle the mixture all over the cake, making sure to get right to the edges.

Serve with

I can't help but suggest serving cappuccino cake with Iced Coffee, for afternoon tea!!! So long as the iced coffee is mild and creamy, this is too good for words.

However. As far as tea goes, we enjoyed cappuccino cake with a nice smooth darjeeling and it was sublime. We served it with chocolate eclairs and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies on a cooler summer afternoon.

If you Almost Cried over Cappuccino Cake, you might be Chuffed with our Chocolate Eclair Recipe!