This is the most delicious, moist and easy to bake recipe for chocolate mini cakes with coffee flavour. Glazed with coffee icing and decorated with chocolate and butterscotch pieces. Perfect for party gathering or afternoon treat.
Why make this recipe?
- Easy to make and quick to bake (can be ready in 30 minutes, including making the glaze, plus cooling time)
- Great coffee & chocolate flavour cakes
- Soft texture
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What makes this recipe work
The extra coffee in the cake batter and the coffee icing glaze on the top make this chocolate cake recipe extra special. The flavour combinations really work together especially if you use a good quality cocoa powder.
Any specialist equipment needed?
I’ve used individual dougnut silicone mould to bake these chocolate coffee cakes, but you can also use any mini bundt baking tin, cupcake or muffin baking tin.
Alternatively, this recipe can be also made in cake loaf tins either four mini loaf tins or two 1 pound loaf tins or one 2 pound baking tin.
Make sure that you increase the baking time if you are using bigger baking tins like the loaf tins. For the large 2 pound tin, the cake will take about 40-50 minutes to bake.
If you are using small bundt tin, make sure that you grease it first and also dust it with plain flour (just chuck some in, swirl it around and tip it out again). No matter how much you (or the tin manufacturer!) think that your baking tin is non-stick, it might still stick!
Notes on the main chocolate coffee cake ingredients & possible substitutions
I’ve used natural cocoa powder for this chocolate coffee cake because it has a higher acidity level, which helps to activate baking soda and create a lighter, fluffier texture in the cake.
However, you can also use other types of cocoa powder such as Dutch-process cocoa powder, which has been treated with an alkalizing agent to neutralize its acidity and create a smoother, less bitter flavour.
I’ve used light brown sugar for this chocolate coffee cake recipe, because I wanted the cakes to have a slight caramelised and rich flavour, but you are welcome to use other types of sugars or even mix them together to create the perfect flavour.
The easiest type of sugar to use is white (caster) sugar (or golden sugar) because it dissolves easily and creates a light texture.
You can also use brown or light brown sugar, which has a higher moisture content and can create a denser, more moist cake with a caramel-like flavour.
If you have darker brown sugars, such as mollasess sugar or demerara sugar, use them mixed with white caster sugar (50/50 ratio) as on their own they will be too strong flavour for this recipe and might overpower the coffee flavour.
The type of sugar you use in a chocolate cake recipe will depend on the specific recipe and your personal preference. If you prefer a lighter, fluffier cake, granulated white sugar is the way to go. If you prefer a denser, more moist cake with a deeper flavour, brown or light brown sugar is the perfect option.
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules mixed with 1 teaspoon of boiling water to create a coffee paste
cream or buttermilk
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How to make chocolate coffee cake
Preheat the oven to 180C. (350 F) Lightly oil your baking tin using either doughnut baking tin or mini cakes tin.
In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients – the sugar, flour cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda.
In another bowl or mixing jug mix together the eggs, cream (or buttermilk) and eggs.
Using boiling water mix together the coffee granules and small amount of boiling water to create a thick coffee paste.
Pour the coffee paste to the cream and egg mix and mix everything together.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mix and mix until completely smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tins.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your baking tins (the individual cavities).
Check with a wooden skewer to make sure your mini cakes are done before you take them out.
Cool in the cake tin (until you can touch it with your hands) and then turn out carefully onto a wire rack and leave to cool down completely.
Whilst the cake is cooling down, prepare the coffee glaze by mixing together the icing sugar and a smaller amount the coffee paste made up with coffee granules, hot water and tiny pinch of salt.
When the mini cakes are completely cold, spoon the coffee glaze over them and add your choice of toppings (butterscotch, pieces of chocolate, sprinkles etc.)
Leave to set a little and serve with a freshly made coffee!
How else you can make this recipe?
- Leave out the coffee to make simple chocolate mini cakes
- Use my easy caramel sauce, chocolate ganache or chocolate syrup to glaze the mini cakes
This very much depends on what size baking tin you will be using, but I managed to get 12 mini cakes from this recipe.
You can also use the following tins (for the recipe quantity)
- one 2 pound loaf cake tin
- two 1 pound loaf cake tins
- four 1/2 pound (mini) loaf cake tins
Can I scale up or down this recipe?
It’s absolutely fine to double up or triple the recipe – just increase the ingredients by 2x or 3x. Don’t forget to prepare suitable tins to bake your chocolate coffee cake in. You can use square tins or large round cake tins or more mini cake tins if you have some.
Scaling down this recipe might be a little tricky as you’d need 1/2 egg, but if you have any leftovers from previous cooking you can always use that.
Can this recipe be made in advance?
Yes, the coffee flavour very much improves with time, so keeping the cakes for 12-24 hrs before serving is not a bad idea.
If you wanted to make them well in advance, I would suggest to bake the mini cakes and then freeze them. Only glaze them when you defrost them and are ready to serve them.
How to store your chocolate coffee cakes
The glaze might be sticky for some time, so keep your cakes somewhere in a large cake tin or another suitable container. This chocolate coffee cake doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge, but it’s best to keep it somewhere cold (ish) and out of a direct sunlight (so that the cakes don’t try out).
How to freeze your chocolate coffee cake
If you want to keep some of this delicious cake for later (or you’ve made the mini cake version and you have some cakes left), you can freeze the cake.
It’s best to freeze the cake before you add any toppings or glaze as this would make the cake very soggy and sticky when you get to defrost it.
To freeze a chocolate cake, you can follow these steps:
- Allow the cake to cool completely before freezing
- Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn
- Place the wrapped cake in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag
- Label the container or bag with the date and contents
- Place the cake towards the back of the freezer, where it’s at its coldest
When you are ready to eat the chocolate coffee cake, thaw it in the fridge for several hours or overnight. You can also leave the cake to defrost it at room temperature, but open the bag or cake wrapping (or the container lid) to make sure that the cake doesn’t end up too soggy.
Add your chocolate, coffee or salted caramel glaze when the cake is completely defrosted and just before you are ready to serve it.
This recipe and me
This recipe is a bit of a happy accident! I was determined to make a baked chocolate doughnuts recipe (as you can see from the mould I’ve used), but last minute decided to add an extra egg into the batter as it looked really thick.
Well, guess, what? That’s exactly how that other recipe consistency should have been! I end up with light, fluffy and completely delicious mini cakes, that were nothing like the baked chocolate doughnuts I was after.
I promise to try the other recipe next week, but for now, enjoy these Chocolate Coffee Cakes with your afternoon tea.
Why not stay in touch…
I hope you enjoy making this recipe and if you do, I’d love to know what you think! Let me know in the comments below or find me on Instagram or Facebook and add the hashtag #cocoaandheart so that I can see your post.
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Chocolate & Coffee Cake
- suitable cake tins one 2 pound loaf cake tin or two 1 pound loaf cake tins or 4 mini loaft cake tins or 12 mini cake cavities mould,
- 170 grams plain (all purpose) flour 1 cup
- 50 grams cocoa powder (unsweetened) 1/3 cup
- 150 grams caster or brown sugar (can be mixed) 3/4 cup
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules mixed with 1 teaspoon of boiling water to create a coffee paste
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 110 ml cream or buttermilk 1/2 cup
Coffee Icing Glaze
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 50 grams icing sugar (confectioners sugar) 1/4 cup
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules mixed with some boiling water to create a past
- tiny pinch fine salt
- Preheat the oven to 180C. (350 F) Lightly oil your baking tin using either doughnut baking tin or mini cakes tin.
- In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients – the sugar, flour cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda.
- In another bowl or mixing jug mix together the eggs, cream (or buttermilk) and eggs.
- Using boiling water mix together the coffee granules and small amount of boiling water to create a thick coffee paste.
- Pour the coffee paste to the cream and egg mix and mix everything together.
- Pour the egg mixture into the flour mix and mix until completely smooth.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tins.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your baking tins (the individual cavities).
- Check with a wooden skewer to make sure your mini cakes are done before you take them out.
- Cool in the cake tin (until you can touch it with your hands) and then turn out carefully onto a wire rack and leave to cool down completely.
- Whilst the cake is cooling down, prepare the coffee glaze by mixing together the icing sugar and a smaller amount the coffee paste made up with coffee granules, hot water and tiny pinch of salt.
- When the mini cakes are completely cold, spoon the coffee glaze over them and add your choice of toppings (butterscotch, pieces of chocolate, sprinkles etc.)
- Leave to set a little and serve with a freshly made coffee!
This recipe was originally written on 6 July 2021 and last tested and updated on 30 April 2023