Espresso Coffee Cake Bar Recipe

I’m a little bit of a coffee addict. I spent a few years living in one of the leading coffee-culture cities in the world, Melbourne Australia. Imagine my shock when I moved to London and tried their burned and watery swill that passes for coffee. Just awful.

With little tolerance for instant coffee, I wanted a cake recipe that used real fresh espresso. I found this Espresso Coffee Cake recipe that uses 2-3 Espresso shots in the ingredients, and in the icing too. The result is a cake with a satisfying real coffee taste and scent. Perfect to whip up for your coffee dates.


Makes:  1 medium loaf, serving 8 people        Difficulty: Easy


·      1 Medium loaf pan (21 x 11 x 6 cm; 8.3 x 4.3 x 2.4 in)

·      Oven thermometer

·      Kitchen scales

·      Kitchen timer

·      Large bowl

·      Medium saucepan


Cake Bar

·      90 ml (30 fl oz) of fresh brewed Espresso coffee, cooled (keep any spare for the icing)

·      125g (4.4 oz) Self Raising Flour

·      75g (2.6 oz) Pecan nuts, finely chopped

·      75g (2.6 oz) Unsalted Butter

·      70g (2.4 oz) Brown Sugar

·      1 egg, lightly beaten

Coffee Icing

·      160g (5.6 oz) Icing Sugar Mixture

·      10g (0.4 oz) Unsalted Butter

·      1-2 tablespoons of Espresso coffee


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan-forced; 350F). Grease a medium loaf pan with non-stick spray and line the base and sides with baking paper. Set the kitchen timer for 20 minutes.
  • In a large bowl add the self-raising flour and chopped pecans.
  • In a medium saucepan add the butter and sugar. Stir on low heat until the sugar and butter have dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • When the melted butter has cooled to below 60 degrees Celsius (114F) add in the egg and espresso coffee. Mix the wet ingredients together until well combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients in the large bowl. Gently fold the mixture together until just combined. Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
  • Check the oven has reached the correct temperature. Place the loaf pan on the middle rack of the oven. Bake until the top springs back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (20-25 minutes).
  • Remove loaf tin from the oven and turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Prepare the coffee glace icing: Add the icing sugar, butter and coffee to a small saucepan. Stir the icing together over a saucepan of gently simmering water, until smooth and shiny. When the cake is completely cool, spread the icing on the cake.
  • Cut the loaf into bars of equal size to serve.

Recipe adapted from Family Circle’s Fast Cakes



  • Do not over mix the wet and dry ingredients together otherwise the loaf will be dense and rubbery.
  • The cake batter looks a bit sloppy and wet, but it will bake up ok. Don’t add more flour like I did once. It will turn the cake dry.
  • If you don’t have fresh espresso available, mix 1 tablespoon of instant coffee with 90ml of hot water for the cake. For the icing add 1 teaspoon of instant coffee to the icing sugar and mix in enough water to form a paste before stirring the icing over heat (1-2 tablespoons)
  • Once the glace icing begins to cool on the cake, don’t keep spreading it around too much with a knife or it will go grainy.
  • If the glace icing looks dull and has a grainy texture it was over-heated. Remember to stir over the steam of gently simmering water, not boiling water.
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