Coffee Cake – Plain and Simple

This is nothing short of a classic and uses traditional measures, methods and ingredients. If you can’t get the Camp coffee, which I think might be a bit of an Irish thing (it comes in a plastic bottle and is in liquid form, so ideal for baking), you can use 1 tsp espresso coffee powder mixed with a tbsp boiling water – add more powder if you like a stronger flavour. Try it and enjoy!

Serves 8   |  20 mins prep plus 20 mins cooking


  • 8oz/225g soft baking margarine (Stork or similar)
  • 8oz/225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 8oz/225g self-raising flour, sieved
  • 1-2 tbsps Camp coffee

For the filling/icing:

  • 7 oz/200g icing sugar, sieved
  • 3.5 oz/100g soft unsalted butter (not margarine this time)
  • 1.5 tbsps Camp coffee
  • 9 whole walnuts

You will also need…

  • 2 x 20 cm baking tins greased and lined with baking parchment on the bottom
  • Hand held or freestanding mixer


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c and prepare the cake tins before you start.
  2. Put the baking margarine in a free-standing mixer and whisk for a minute or two until it’s really soft and creamy.
  3. Add the caster sugar and whisk for 4-5 mins, stopping to scrape down the sides at least once. The mix should be pale and creamy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, along with a spoonful of the SR flour each time.
  5. When the eggs are fully incorporated, add the Camp coffee and do one final whisk to fully mix it in.
  6. Add the flour in three batches, folding in with a metal spoon or rubber spatula each time and ensuring it’s fully mixed before adding the next.
  7. Do a quick taste to check if any more coffee is needed and then divide the mix between the two prepared cake tins, level the tops and bake in the oven for 18-20 mins. Check they’re done using a cocktail stick or thin skewer in the middle of the sponge – it should come out clean.
  8. When the sponges are done, remove and allow a couple of minutes in the tin before turning them out on to a wire rack, one facing upwards and the other face down. Remove the baking paper and allow 30 mins or so to cool.
  9. While waiting for them to cool, make the icing/filling by sieving the icing sugar and whisking it together with the soft butter. When fully combined, add the Camp coffee to taste.
  10. When you’re ready to assemble the cake, you can either put the icing in an icing bag and do it that way or use a small metal spatula to spread it on. If using the spatula, you might want to dip it in a cup of hot water between applications to stop the icing pulling the sponge away as you;re spreading it out.
  11. Spread two thirds of the filling on the ‘upside down’ sponge layer, place the other on top and pipe 8 circles of icing around the outside and one in the middle. Place a walnut on each and you’re ready to serve.


If you’d rather, you can do this as one large traybake, using a greased and lined 28 x 18cm brownie tray rather than the two circular tins. This way you will get about 12-16 squares of cake and you can simply ice the top of each and place a walnut on as per the pic here. You’ll only need about 2/3 of the icing mixture in this case.

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