Cup North: Coffee Cake

Recipe: Coffee Cake for Cup North

As I mentioned last week, Cup North beckoned over the weekend – a festival of coffee, coffee, the odd sample of tea, and yet more coffee. 

And what goes better with coffee than cake? Coffee cake? Or even better, coffee cake with alcohol in it? Exactly.

So after a conversation with the chaps from Heart & Graft – they like their cake, I like their coffee – I did some research and baked.

I looked originally at coffee cocktail recipes (which is where this recipe comes from) and, as you’ll see in the second recipe next week, also at complimentary flavours, which aren’t always the heavy toffee, caramel and chocolate flavours you expect, but are often lighter fruit, citrus notes or event spicy elements. 

On the day, there was a little impromptu coffee and cake matching. 

Cup North: Coffee Cake

In the first of two recipes this is a little homage to a bar I’ve yet to visit in Dublin, the Vintage Cocktail Club. Their Vintage Cocktail recipe is a combination of coffee (obviously), rich dark Guinness, Jameson Irish whiskey and vanilla, which goes beautifully into cake form. 

It went down rather well at Cup North too. I hope you enjoy. 


Vintage Cocktail Coffee Cake

A coffee cocktail in cake form
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12


For the cake (makes two layers)

  • 125 g Caster sugar
  • 125 g Demerara sugar
  • 250 g Butter softened
  • 4 Eggs
  • 250 g Self raising flour
  • 1 Double shot espresso or 2 heaped teaspoons of instant coffee dissolved in water
  • 50 ml Jameson Irish Whiskey

For the cream

  • 300 ml Guinness Export
  • 1 Vanilla pod or a teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 200 ml Double cream
  • 1-2 tsp sugar syrup
  • 1 tbsp Malt extract optional
  • 20 g High cocoa content chocolate optional


For the cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C (Gas Mark 3).
  2. Grease and line two smal cake tins.
  3. Beat the sugars and butter together until creamy.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs then add to the mixture a little at a time.
  5. Add the cooled coffee to the mixture and mix until combined.
  6. Sift in the flour and fold until it just comes together.
  7. Pour into the tins and pop into the oven for around 30 minutes.
  8. Check your cakes after the 30 minutes with a skewer, and when the skewer comes our clean, they're finished and can cool on a cake rack. If not, let them cook a little longer.
  9. Meantime pour the Guinness into a pan and put it on the heat.
  10. Split the vanilla pod and put it and the seeds into the pan (or simply add the extract).
  11. Stir in the malt extract and cook on the hob until it has reduced and is almost syrupy (15-20 mins).
  12. Cool.
  13. Once cooled, mix into the double cream, according to taste (this is where you may need the sugar syrup to balance it), and beat until soft peaks form.
  14. Spread between the two layers of cake, with a light grating of dark chocolate (optional).

Recipe Notes

This is, as any cocktail will be, very much down to taste. Which might mean you need to make it more than once.
Which would be dreadful... Right?

Adapted from Vintage Cocktail Club/Bon Appetit

Watch out for the second bake next week!  



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