Cappuccino Cake: A coffeecake chock fulla coffee!

You know what’s hard to find?  A coffee cake recipe made with real coffee.

I know, I know, coffee cake is what you eat when you drink coffee, but have you ever tried to find a cake recipe that’s purely coffee-flavored?

No, not mocha. There are lots of mocha treats to be found, and they all have their place. But dagnabbit, I want coffee.

Now, longtime fans may be scratching their heads and wondering, “But wait, MJ doesn’t drink coffee, does she?” Ah me yes, that USED to be the case. But about 2 years ago the coffee bug bit me well and true, and now I can’t go a day without my cuppa Joe.

If you’re a coffee lover as well, I think this cake full of coffee, coffee, coffee flavor will be right up your alley.

Let’s make a Cappuccino Cake.


Preheat the oven to 325°F.

This makes a very large cake, so make sure you have a 10- to 12-cup bundt pan on hand before starting.

Let’s use my favorite two-stage method for making the cake. Put the following into your mixer bowl:

4 cups (17 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup espresso powder (yes, 1/4 CUP, not 1/4 teaspoon)


Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, to blend and aerate.


Add the following:
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup whole milk

Blend on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add 1/2 cup coffee liqueur or Kahlua (or 1/2 cup cold strong coffee). Beat for another 2 minutes.

Set the batter aside while you prepare the pan.


Use solid shortening to grease the pan well. I like to paint mine on with a clean pastry brush to get into all the little nooks.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder.


Heavily coat the pan with the sugar/coffee topping. The cake will rise up, so be sure to coat the whole pan.


Add the batter to the pan, and use a spatula to spread it evenly.

Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a long cake tester comes out clean. (if you don’t have a long tester, try a piece of uncooked spaghetti; it works a treat).


Remove the cake from the oven, and cool it in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn it out onto a rack to cool completely. As the cake cools the sugar crust on the outside will become crisp, offering pleasant crunch with every bite.

I like to serve the cake with a little whipped cream to mimic my creamy morning coffee. So good, and not a trace of mocha in sight!


Ah, pass me a blanket so I can wrap up with a piece of cake, a sleepy cat, and a nice glass of milk. I have a stack of cookbooks to check out, and all’s right with my world. Room for you? Of course, let me scoot over and we’ll wile the day away.

Please bake, rate, and review our recipe for Cappucino Cake.

Print just the recipe.

MaryJane Robbins

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...


  1. Merlayne

    Oh dear, yet again , no real coffee cakes ! I know , I know here in North America coffee cake is cake you eat when drinking coffee . Back home in the UK coffee cake is coffee flavoured cake ! I have lived here for many years but the only coffee cake here is the one I bake myself. Usually a Victoria Sandwich type cake or a dozen cup cakes with or without a coffee flavoured icing or buttercream on top.
    By the way – a good instant coffee does an excellent job , no need to search out espresso powder. I do not drink instant , just keep a jar for baking ! ( one generous tsp coffee granules diluted in 1 to 2 tsp hot water is all you need for 12 cup cakes )

  2. Tom Nelson

    I am about to make this cake. I am wondering if a person could trade soy milk for whole milk? Would it make a huge difference?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Go ahead and make the swap, Tom! Just be sure to use an unsweetened, unflavored variety for best results. No other adjustments need to be made to the recipe. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      How can one go wrong with these flavors? I think it is worth a try, Kim! Choose your filling based on the texture’s outcome. Whipped cream may not be the best but a ganache would! Even an Italian Meringue Buttercream would be amazing. Elisabeth@KAF

  3. Jessica

    Would it work to very finely grind some coffee beans and use instead of the espresso powder?

    I ordered the espresso powder, but it gives me a headache. Ground up coffee beans do not. And I liked the chopped coffee beans used in shortbread in Hawaii.

    1. PJ Hamel

      If the beans are finely ground they should work fine, Jessica – you just want to avoid the grittiness you can get from coffee that’s not ground quite finely enough. PJH

  4. Amy

    For folks who want to try making this (or another espresso powder-containing recipe) without waiting for a new KAF order to arrive, many grocery stores carry instant espresso with the instant coffee. It’s not as good as KAF’s espresso powder, but it works in a pinch (read: when what I thought was espresso powder in the freezer actually turned out to be vanilla bean powder). The granules will be coarser than the KAF powder — fine in the cake where they dissolve, but you’ll want to crush them up a bit before adding them to the sugar for coating the pan.

  5. Lorraine Fina Stevenski

    MJ: This cake looks delicious. Simple, but not too….But I would size the ingredients down a bit as it is too big for the bundt pan…even a 10-12 cup. Also for even more crunch I use turbinado sugar for coating the pan. Thanks again for a great recipe. Lorrainesfav


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