• Tiramisu cakes (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson
For the coffee-keen cohort, easy cakes, lush bakes and indulgent icings too.
18 Jan 2022 - 11:44 PM  UPDATED 25 Jan 2022 - 9:40 PM

--- See Mary Berry make coffee praline cake in Mary Berry's Simple Comforts, Sundays at 7.30pm from 23 January on SBS Food. Episodes will be available at SBS On Demand for 30 days after they air ---


'Coffee cake' is often used to describe the sort of easy cake you might serve with coffee for morning tea, and most of the time there's no coffee used in the making. But here we're talking cakes made with coffee, from glorious celebration cakes to cupcakes topped with coffee buttercream swirls, and even a no-bake biscuit cake. 

And for those who really like coffee, some ideas for your cup, too.

Keks torta (No-bake biscuit cake)

No oven is needed for this Bosnian beauty: this cake is made up of layers of petit beurre biscuits and chocolate cream, with the biscuits, dipped in coffee before layering. Serve chilled or even frozen.

Coffee and hazelnut praline cake

"This cake is an absolute cracker. Dead easy to make," says Mary Berry of this coffee and hazelnut praline cake, which she makes in Mary Berry's Simple Comforts. "Praline sounds very posh. It is simply caramel with nuts. It really is very, very easy if you follow the rules." This is perfect if you're making a celebration cake for a coffee lover: Two layers of coffee-flavoured cake are layered with a coffee buttercream icing and sprinkled with hazelnut praline. Especially good for when you want to make ahead: the cake can be assembled and iced a day ahead (and the un-iced cake can be frozen). 

Coffee and almond genoise (gateau moka)

Four layers of coffee syrup-soaked genoise sponge, married with coffee buttercream and decorated with flaked almonds, this recipe from Anneka Manning makes a wonderful celebration cake.

Tiramisu squares

Another fabulous recipe from Anneka Manning, this time taking an Italian classic and creating elegant individual dessert cakes.

Tiramisu cakes

Noti's torte (grillazs torta)

"This is a treasured family recipe passed down from my mother," says Kathy Kerestes of this Hungarian dessert cake. A coffee-chocolate whipped cream icing is layered with an almond-coffee-cocoa cake and crunchy praline. 

Dark chocolate espresso mud cake

Throw yourself into an intense expression of the glory that happens when dark chocolate meets coffee with this indulgent (and gluten-free) mud cake. 

Dark Chocolate Espresso Mud Cake

Chocolate, coffee and raisin rolls

Call it a cake, a loaf, a log or even a scone, what matters most is how good this is. Although based on a scone dough, the slices are more like a cakey biscuit, The chocolate filling is studded with coffee-soaked raisins, and the cooked and cooled loaves are drizzled with coffee icing. This is another great bake-ahead recipe, as the rolls will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days. 

Dutch hazelnut cake

Here, delicate layers of hazelnut meringue are matched with a sweet but intense coffee-cream filling. 

Coffee cupcakes

This recipe calls for Vietnamese brewed coffee, which uses a stainless steel filter, but if you can't source one, regular coffee will do, says Lisa Nguyen of these little coffee-flavoured cakes, which are finished with a coffee and condensed milk frosting. 

Coffee cupcakes

Sweet layered sponge cake (pizza dolce)

There's a lot to love in this colourful Italian dessert cake: three layers of cake, two soaked with coffee syrup and the middle layer (that's the vibrant pink layer) livened up with grenadine, plus two flavours of crema pasticciera (pastry cream) - cocoa and lemon.

Hazelnut meringue layer cakes with coffee buttercream (fragelite)

Described as "decidedly rich and one for sweet tooths", these little cake stacks are made up of nutty hazelnut meringue layered with a rich coffee-chocolate filling. 

Hazelnut meringue layer cakes with coffee buttercream.

Tiramisu cupcakes

"The combination of vanilla cake, strong coffee and rich mascarpone cream-cheese frosting with a hint of chocolate will give you some serious food-coma vibes," says The Scran Line's Nick Makrides of these cupcakes. Each little baked cake gets dipped in coffee before getting a dose of chocolate filling and then being topped with a piped tower of frosting. 

Tiramisu cupcakes

Tiramisu log

The classic tiramisu meets the Yule log in this 'Tiramisu buche de Noel' recipe from Anna Olson - but it's just as good for any day of the year. There's a hint of coffee in the cake, in the chocolate-coffee filling and in the whipped cream covering, too. 

And to drink ...

If you're looking for a coffee to have with your cake, here are a few ideas. For a celebration summer brunch, whip up an iced rum coffee; or for cold days, a Spanish mulled coffee (café caleta). Or spice things up with a cardamom-infused Lebanese coffee

Spiced coffee

More cooking with coffee
Fudgy walnut brownies

When I want a brownie, I want it to be dense, chocolatey, fudgy, and rich! 

Banana and oatmeal muffins

I love to make these muffins for breakfasts and brunches. You could add berries  or chopped apple, or stir through chocolate chips for an extra hit of sweetness.

Baked chocolate and coffee fudge tart

This tart is texture heaven - a crisp tart shell with a luxuriously smooth chocolate filling, topped with crumbled hazelnut dacquoise. 

Day + Night cake

A confection of eggs, nuts, chocolate and sugar – it’s simple, delicious and quite spectacular. The ‘day' half (egg whites and almonds) and the ‘night' half (egg yolks, chocolate and hazelnuts) are baked together, then covered with a chocolate ganache. 

Vietnamese iced coffee pavlova

Vietnamese iced coffee is made with a delicious, chicory flavoured coffee, plenty of condensed milk, and ice – hugely refreshing in the humid Vietnamese climate. #BringBackTheClassics

Cinnamon and espresso profiteroles with fudge sauce

Also called choux a la crème or cream puffs, profiteroles are basically choux pastry balls filled with crème patissiere, whipped cream or, as in these, ice-cream. These profiteroles, a heavenly combination of cinnamon, coffee and chocolate, are just a little bit addictive! 

Mocha popcorn with sesame brittle

We've injected a caffeine hit into this bittersweet chocolate and coffee-flavoured popcorn. The key is to toss the popcorn while it's piping hot to create a candy-like chocolate shell on the popcorn and to get the sesame praline pieces to stick.