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Easy Coffee Cake Recipe

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This delicious Easy Coffee Cake recipe features two layers of soft coffee-infused sponge and a fluffy refined sugar free cinnamon frosting. It’s naturally sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup and is perfect for novice cake bakers!

an easy coffee cake recipe with two layers on a black platter with a steel carafe in the background and white plates in the foreground

Welcome back to Naturally Sweet Cake Week! I’m so excited to share today’s recipe with you, because if I haaaad to pick a favourite, this one would be it!

But first, how did you make out with the Chocolate Sheet Cake on Monday? Have you entered the giveaway yet? I hope you found the recipe easy to follow and are feeling confident about stepping up your game a little bit.

One of the goals I have for this week is to help you see that as a home baker you are more than capable of creating beautiful layer cakes. Baking an Insta-worthy layer cake doesn’t have to be stressful, take 3000 steps, or involve a butt-load of glitter or rainbow piping.

Today we’re embracing the beauty in simplicity and baking up a minimalist two-layer cake using my Easy Coffee Cake recipe.

a slice of coffee cake with refined sugar free cinnamon frosting being removed from the platter.

Kicking it up a Notch: Baking a Two-Layer Cake

Now don’t panic. Layer cakes may seem intimidating, especially when you first have a go. That’s why this Easy Coffee Cake recipe is a great place to start.

We’re only making two layers of sponge and we’re not even going to bother with torting them (a fancy term for slicing a layer in two to make extra layers).

Let’s go over the minor differences between baking this two-layer cake and a sheet cake:

One: Mixing the batter

We’re using a very similar batter mixing process to my Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe – the only slight difference is that we’re adding the dry ingredients and coffee to the wet ingredients in alternating steps instead of all at once. This step is to ensure all the liquid is thoroughly absorbed by the batter so we don’t end up with a dry sponge.

No one likes dry cake!

coffee being poured into a mug with a slice of this easy coffee cake recipe on the side. Brown wooden background behind.

Two: Levelling and Crumb Coating

We’re also going to be levelling off our cake layers to create a straight and even cake. If you’ve never done this before, you can check out the video I made showing you how to level cake layers.

Then we’ll be stacking and crumb coating our cake. I’ve also made a video showing you how to do that if you’re unsure how to crumb coat or haven’t done it before. The sponges for this Easy Coffee Cake recipe don’t get super crumbly, so you should have no problem with this step!

Three: Piping decorations (optional)

If you’re feeling a little extra, I show you in the video tutorial below how to pipe some simple ruffles onto the cake. This is completely optional, of course. You can just coat the cake in a final layer of frosting and sprinkle over some chocolate shavings or chocolate covered coffee beans and it will look just as stunning.

three plates of an easy coffee cake recipe with a brown napkin and cake forks in the background

Why you’ll love this coffee layer cake

  • The flavours in this cake are incredible. The coffee sponges are warm and robust, just like a good blend, and the cinnamon frosting smells and tastes exactly like a Cinnabon cinnamon bun!
  • The cake is entirely refined sugar free. The coffee cake sponges are naturally sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup, and the frosting is sweetened with agave nectar.
  • If you love a denser cake, this Easy Coffee Cake recipe will be your new favourite recipe. The sponges are on the heavier side, and perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up.
  • It’s the perfect recipe to try if you’re new to baking layer cakes. There aren’t any complicated steps and you likely have most of (if not all) the ingredients already on hand!
a side-on shot of an easy coffee cake recipe with a bowl of coffee beans for decoration

How to make this easy coffee cake recipe from scratch

This layer cake recipe is simple to whip up and perfect for a weekend baking project. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Mix together your dry ingredients.
  2. Whisk together your wet ingredients.
  3. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and hot coffee to the wet ingredients. This should be done in 5 stages: dry ingredients, coffee, dry, coffee, dry.
  4. Pour the batter into the baking tins.
  5. Bake the cakes for 25 minutes. You’ll know the sponges are done when a cake tester inserted comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
  6. Let the sponges cool on a wire rack. Once they’re cool, you can frost and serve!

Need a little visual help? Follow along with the video tutorial for this Easy Coffee Cake recipe:

Tips for making this recipe perfectly

  • Make sure you preheat your oven and prep your tins ahead of mixing the batter.
  • Ensure all of your ingredients are at room temperature (except the hot coffee). I have had a few batters split because some of my ingredients weren’t at room temp, but if that happens to you, don’t panic. The sponges will bake up nicely.
  • Use espresso powder, not instant granules for this recipe. If you only have granules on hand, you can make them into a powder by grinding them up into a powder in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Keep in mind that the flavour probably won’t be as robust using granules.
  • You can make the pudding for the heritage frosting 2 days before making the frosting. Keep it covered and refrigerated and then let it come to room temperature and give it a stir before adding to the butter.
  • The sponges for this Easy Coffee Cake recipe can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Keep them wrapped and stored in the fridge until ready to assemble.

Looking for more naturally sweetened cake recipes?

If you make this recipe, let me know by snapping a picture and tagging me on Instagram @naturallysweet_kitchen. I love seeing your creations and sharing them in my Stories. Or let me know you love this Easy Coffee Cake recipe by leaving a comment and rating below!

An easy coffee cake recipe that turns out a soft and dense cake perfect for afternoon tea! Naturally sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup, this cake is refined sugar free! Get the recipe at naturallysweetkitchen.com
a 2 layer coffee cake on a black serving platter with coffee beans in the background and on the side
5 from 3 votes
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Easy Coffee Cake Recipe

A delicious and easy coffee cake recipe with two layers of coffee sponge and a fluffy refined sugar free cinnamon frosting. Perfect for beginners!

Category Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American, British
Keyword coffee layer cake, easy coffee cake recipe
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Author Amanda | Naturally Sweet Kitchen

Ingredients

Cake

  • 280 g unbleached plain flour
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp espresso powder (not instant granules)
  • 170 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 120 g coconut sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 180 ml pure maple syrup room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 200 ml hot coffee

Cinnamon Frosting

  • 270 ml agave nectar
  • 300 ml oat milk
  • 55 g unbleached plain flour
  • ¾ tsp fine sea salt
  • 300 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Method

Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and grease, line, and flour two 20cm (8 in) cake tins.

  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and coconut sugar until pale and fluffy using a hand mixer, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs and beat well until emulsified. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and mix well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and coffee to the wet ingredients in 5 alternating stages, beginning and finishing with the flour.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared tins and bake for 25-27 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
  7. Allow the sponges to cool in their tins for 10 minutes, then remove them from their tins and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Frosting

  1. Add the agave, milk, flour, and salt to a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk continuously until the flour disappears and the mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Allow the mixture to boil for 2-3 minutes, or until it thickens and reaches a loose pudding consistency.
  3. Remove the pudding from the heat and spread it out on a large platter to cool to room temperature.
  4. Once the pudding has cooled, add the butter to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on a high speed for 5 minutes until fluffy. Turn the mixer off and scrape down any off the sides of the bowl.
  5. Turn the mixer on to medium-low speed and slowly begin adding the pudding mixture to the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Once all of the pudding has been added, add the vanilla and cinnamon. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until super fluffy.

Assembly

  1. Level any domed areas off of the sponges and then crumb coat the cake. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden the frosting and lock in the cake crumbs.
  2. Complete the outer layer of frosting. Place the remaining frosting into a piping bag fitted with a ruffle nozzle (Wilton #2D) and then pipe small ruffles around the edges of the cake. Top each ruffle with chocolate coated coffee beans if desired.
  3. Serve immediately.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • This cake will keep covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • You can make the frosting pudding up to 2 days in advance, just be sure to store it in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature and stir it well before adding to the butter.
  • The sponges can be made separately, up to 24 hours in advance. Keep the sponges covered and refrigerated until assembly.

Naturally Sweet Cake Week 2020 Giveaway Details

To celebrate Cake Week 2020, I’ll be giving away ONE grand prize and TWO runners-up prizes to home bakers who whip out their whisks and aprons and get baking some cake in the kitchen!

Grand Prize: Cake Baker’s Essentials Gift Pack ($130 USD Value)

  • 1 GIR Ultimate Spatula in Navy
  • 1 Wilton cranked palette knife
  • 1 Wilton cake leveling tool
  • 1 set reusable cake tin liners (8-inch)
  • 1 Oxo premium cake tester
  • 1 copy of Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book (Ebook version for winner outside of UK)
  • 1 $50 USD Amazon gift card (or equivalent GBP amount)

Runners-up Prize: Baking Shopping Spree ($50 USD Value)

  • 1 $50 USD Amazon gift card (or equivalent GBP amount)

How to Enter:

Step One: Bake any one of the three cakes published during cake week on naturallysweetkitchen.com between 2 March, 2020 and 31 March, 2020:

Step Two: Snap a picture and post it to Instagram Stories, your Instagram Feed, or in the NSK Crew Facebook Group tagging me @naturallysweet_kitchen and #NaturallySweetCakeWeek.

Bonus entries can be obtained by baking all three of the cakes (up to three extra entries per person), and by leaving a star-rated review on the recipe (up to three extra entries (one per recipe post) per person).

Terms & Conditions:

This contest is open to residents of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, United States, and Canada (excluding Quebec). You must be over the age of 18 to qualify. There will be 1 Grand Prize winner (RRP $130 USD) and 2 Runners-up Prize winners (RRP $50 USD ea). This contest will open 02/03/2020 at 9am GMT and close 31/03/2020 at 11.59pm GMT. The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via direct message; they will have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize. Fake or giveaway-only accounts will be disqualified. Instagram profile must be public to be eligible to win. This giveaway is not sponsored, administered by or associated with Instagram or any other social media used throughout promotion of this contest.

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4 Comments

  1. I want to say this cake was delicious! I made the coffee cake and it turned out perfect. This recipe is super good! I will be making more and I think this will be one of our family’s favorite from now on. Thanks for sharing this amazing one. I love to read more recipes from you. Keep sharing.

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