This version of the classic sponge is filled and topped with coffee butter icing. In the U.K. this is known as coffee cake but in North America, coffee cake can be any cake meant to accompany a cup of coffee, which is why I called this one a coffee topped sponge.
Coffee Topped Sponge
- Preparation time: 20 minutes
- Cooking time: 30–35 minutes
- For cake
- 170 g (6 oz) self-raising flour/self rising flour, sifted (1 cup + 3 tbsp)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 170 g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened (¾ cup, or 1½ sticks)
- 170 g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
- 3 large eggs (U.K.)/extra large eggs (N.A.)
- For the coffee buttercream
- 115 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened (½ cup, or 1 stick)
- 225 g (8 oz) icing sugar/powdered sugar, sifted (2 cups)
- 1 tbsp coffee essence/extract
- You will also need 2 x 18 cm (7 inch) sandwich tins, base-lined and greased
- For cake
- Preheat the oven to 170C° (325°F) (gas 3)
- First, sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl to introduce as much air as possible. Put to one side.
- Using a free standing mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until they are creamy and pale yellow in colour.
- Next beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with a tablespoon of flour. (Adding the flour prevents any curdling)
- Finally, carefully fold in the rest of the flour until just combined. You want to keep as much air as possible in the mixture.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans and level the tops.
- Bake towards the top of the oven on the same shelf for 30–35 minutes until firm to the touch. The sponge should spring back when gently tapped with the tip of a finger.
- Leave in the tins for 1–2 minutes then carefully remove, peel off the linings, and cool on wire racks.
- Using an all-in-one method in a free-standing mixer
- The ingredients can be mixed at the same time using a free standing mixer.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together into the mixing bowl and then add the remaining ingredients and beat for 1–2 minutes until the mixture is light and creamy.
- For coffee buttercream
- Beat the butter until creamy and then gradually beat in the icing/powdered sugar until smooth. (A free standing mixer does this in no time.)
- Beat in the coffee essence/extract until it is well mixed in.
- To assemble
- Once the sponges are cold, carefully invert one onto a plate and evenly spread with half the buttercream.
- Then place the other sponge on top and gently press down.
- Evenly spread the top with the remaining buttercream.
- To make a pattern, make straight lines through the buttercream using a fork. Just pull steadily through the surface of the buttercream. Then diagonally pull the fork through at intervals.
- The first method of mixing the cake is the classic method and the all-in-one method is the modern version. It’s purely a matter of personal preference which you use.
- For more tips on cake baking, click on my ‘Tips’ section.
Updated: June 20, 2020