The recipe for butter cake is pretty basic: flour, milk, butter and egg. It gets interesting when you start to play around with the extras: chocolate, or coffee, or lemon, or whatever takes your fancy. I’m sure I’ve seen a lavender butter cake around somewhere, and one day I plan to give it a try.
But this wasn’t the day for fancy things like lavender butter cake.
We were on the hunt for a coffee cake. By this, I mean a cake that tastes like coffee, not a cake to go with a cup of coffee. We ended up with this coffee butter cake. The group of ladies I baked it for loved it. There wasn’t a lot left at the end.I’m guessing the Fiesta Friday crowd like their cakes too.
So this is a highly recommended cake for people who like normal, sweet butter cakes with that rich and oh-so-sweet buttery icing. Even though I did my usual trick of replacing half the sugar with ground almond, it’s still a bit too sweet for me. I also would have lied something with a stronger coffee taste. But maybe I was really thinking a straight, long black coffee! Or maybe I should have added a lot more coffee (like this).
Coffee butter cake
- 4 ounces of butter
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- ½ cup of ground almond
- ½ cup of milk coffee (see step 2 in the directions)
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of self-raising flour
- extra butter and cocoa powder for dusting the cake tin
- icing: ½ cup of melted butter, 2 cups of icing sugar, more coffee (instant coffee works better)
- Before you start: Grease two 20-centimeter (8-inch) round cake tins with butter, then dust with cocoa powder. Turn the oven on to 180ºC (350F).
- Make the milk coffee. You can use instant coffee, espresso coffee, whatever you like. I make a strong espresso coffee and add a little milk to it. Let it cool.
- Melt the butter. Mix everything together, adding the milk coffee last.
- Pour the mixture into your two cake tins then bake for about 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out cleanly. Let the cakes cool while you make the icing.
- Make the icing: Melt the butter, then stir in the coffee (especially if you’re using instant coffee) until it’s dissolved. Sift in the icing sugar a few spoonfuls at a time and mix in thoroughly until you have a lovely icing-like consistency.
The icing is called a butter icing, The official way to make it is to beat the butter until it’s creamy, then add the sugar. We just melt the butter: it’s so much easier that way. The amount of sugar you need for it depends a bit on the weather, so don’t dump it in all at once. If you add too much sugar, and the icing goes past smooth to sugary, then add a tiny little bit of milk and beat it well.
Source: Adapted from the Australian Family Circle’s Favourite Cake Recipes, Murdoch Books: Sydney, 1991.