I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; you’d be hard pushed to find a cake that isn’t improved by a splash of vanilla. This goes double for coffee cake.
I’m one of THOSE people. I take syrup in my coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I like my coffee long, strong and life giving, but I’m not sweet enough to take it with out a little sassy sugar hit. My go to drink if I’m caught at a coffee joint I’m not familiar with is to order a Vanilla Latte. I’m usually going to be safe with that. So, when I was making a coffee cake not so long ago, I thought, hang on… I can make this BETTER.
So I made a light coffee sponge, sandwiched it with a whipped coffee-vanilla buttercream that’s got so much java in it, it could wake the dead. Ta daaah. You’re welcome.
Vanilla Latte Cake
For the cakes:
- 225g Butter
- 225g Light muscovado sugar, caster sugar or a blend of both, depending on your supplies
- 225g Self-raising flour
- 1tsp Baking powder
- 2tsp Vanilla extract
- 4 Free range eggs
- 4tsp Instant coffee
- 1tbsp Boiling water
For the buttercream:
- 150g Butter
- 350g Icing sugar
- 1tsp Vanilla extract
- 4tsp Instant coffee powder
- 1tbsp Boiling water
- Cocoa powder to finish
Preheat your oven to 180C or the equivalent. Grease and line two 8inch round cake tins.
Boil the kettle, and add the boiling water to the first lot of coffee powder in a small container. Mix together until all the coffee is dissolved into a syrupy consistency. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and the sugar, then mix in the remaining ingredients until a uniform and smooth cake batter is formed.
Finally, mix the coffee syrup into the batter evenly, then divide the mix between the two prepared tins.
Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean and the cakes are shrinking from the edges. Allow to cool in their tins, or on a rack.
When the cakes are cold, you can either leave them as is for a fatly layered cake, or slice each cake in two and have a four layer cake. If in doubt or lacking confidence or time, do the former.
With the boiling water, make up another batch of coffee ‘syrup’.
Beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and coffee until a thick, luxurious buttercream forms. spread a quarter of the icing over the bottom layer of the cake, then top it with a next, and so on, until the top, where the remaining generous quarter should be spread evenly then swirled for a pretty finish. Dust with cocoa powder to complete the whippy latte look, and serve this aromatic delight with coffee or tea.
I wish I had a picture of this delight to show you, but what with camera issues this year and how fast this cake vanishes, I simply don’t. Trust me when I say that this cake is as aromatic and delicious as it is pretty. It’s perfect for celebrations- I find all multi layer cakes a bit festive. If you want to kill with kindness, make an extra sponge (so half the recipe), and stack them up with oodles of icing (one and a half to twice the recipe above) for a true monster that will drop jaws. The amount of buttercream yielded from this recipe is enough for generous layers between the cut cakes, and on top, but if you want to cover the whole cake, which looks a little more polished, make one and a half times this amount, or double to be on the safe side.
I’ve made this cake for a friend’s birthday, and given one to a non-profit event, and in both cases they flew. It’s a real crowd pleaser, and you deserve to make one for yourself.