Coffee Cake

Another cake based on a vintage recipe, I really must get round to telling you all about my pet project. Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that in America, coffee cake is cake served with coffee, while in England, coffee cake is cake that is flavored with coffee.

Anyway, the ingredients were very intriguing; treacle, raisins, cinnamon…not your usual additions to coffee. I changed the amount of treacle as I don’t think modern palates can cope with that much, and I had to leave out the raisins because of Eldest Son being a raisin hater. You can always put them back in if you like the idea. Buttermilk was added to keep things moist. The recipe didn’t mention icing, but the coffee flavored glacé icing was a wise addition.

This is quite a rich and sophisticated little number, perfect for a grown up tea party.

Coffee Cake serves 8-10

  • 120ml strong coffee (allowed to go cold)
  • 180g light brown sugar
  • 120g soft butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tbsp treacle
  • 240g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150ml buttermilk

Grease and line a 20cm (or thereabouts) cake tin. Preheat the oven to 160⁰c (150⁰ fan/ gas mark 3).

Beat the butter and sugar to a cream. Beat in the eggs and treacle.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and cinnamon. Add half of the flour to the mixture and mix well, then add the coffee.

Beat in the other half of the flour, then the buttermilk.

Scrape the mixture into the cake tin and bake for around 50 minutes, but check after 40 minutes, or until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean. If the top of the cake is getting too brown before the middle is cooked, then cover with a piece of baking paper (not foil).

Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

If you want to ice the cake, combine 90g of sifted icing sugar with 1tbsp of soft butter and a spoonful or two of cool coffee, enough to make it a spreadable consistency. You can ice the cake while it is still hot, if you want.

Walnut and Maple Syrup Cake

At some point I’ll get round to telling you what I’ve been up to since…(checks notes), December? I’ll give you a clue, it’s something to do with vintage recipes. Also, I’ve been putting stuff on Ko-fi, in the misguided hope that someone might toss a few coins my way. Never mind.

Some flavour combinations are a match made in heaven; orange and chocolate, salt and vinegar, pineapple on pizza…and a particular favourite of mine, walnut (or pecan nut) with maple syrup.

This cake is based on, or perhaps, more accurately, inspired by a recipe from 1909, and definitely influenced by the fact there was a bottle of maple syrup in the fridge that had been open for a while.

Nuts can go a bit soft when cooked, so I like to toast them first to get rid of some of the moisture. You can skip this step if you want, but I do think it improves the flavour too.

Walnut and Maple Syrup Cake serves 8-10

  • 120g walnuts
  • 100g butter
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 240g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 160g maple syrup

Chop the nuts into small pieces and toast in a dry frying pan, over a medium heat, for 3-5 minutes (optional).

Prepare a 8″/20cm cake tin. Preheat the oven to 160⁰c (140 fan, gas mark 3).

Beat the butter, sugar and eggs together. Add the maple syrup.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda into the mixture and beat well.

Beat in the buttermilk. Stir in the chopped nuts. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about an hour (though it’s best to check at the 40 minute mark).

Check to see if it’s cooked through by poking a skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean the cake is done, if it’s still sticky put it back in for another 5 minutes.

If the cake is getting too brown on top before the middle is cooked then cover the top with baking paper, not foil.

When cooked, cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then put on a wire rack to finish cooling. Ice with 90g of icing sugar mixed with 1tbsp of maple syrup, and enough milk or water to make the icing spreadable. Spread on top of the cake and leave to set before adding walnut halves as decoration. If the icing is still runny then the walnuts will, slowly but surely, slide to the edge of the cake!