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Makes 12-16 slices




2 Tablespoons instant coffee granules

450g unsalted butter, at room temperature

450g caster sugar

8 eggs

450g plain flour

2 Tablespoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cocoa powder, plus extra to decorate

1 quantity vanilla frosting

60g dark chocolate, grated with a cheese grater into shavings

Coffee Beans to decorate (optional)


a 25 cm ring mould, greased and dusted with flour (I used a 25 cm round cake tin)




To make a coffee essence put the instant coffee granules  and 170ml water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Boil until reduced by half, then remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. Set aside a tablespoon of the essence to use in the frosting.

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.

Put the butter, sugar and cold coffee essence in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (I used an handheld electric whisk) and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well ad scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Beat in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and mix well until everything is combined and the mixture is light and fluffy.

Pour the mixture into the prepared mould and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the sponge feels firm to touch. (Do not open the oven while the cake is baking as it will sink.) Leave the cake to cool slightly in the mould before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Stir the reserved tablespoon of coffee essence into the Vanilla Frosting until evenly mixed.

When the cake is cold, put it on a serving plate, cover the top with the frosting and dust with a light sprinkling of cocoa powder. Decorate with the chocolate shaving and coffee beans, if using.


This recipe is from my Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.

Hummingbird Bakery Recipe Book