Irish Coffee Cake


Food historians agree that the tradition of coffee cake originated in Northern Central Europe sometime in the 17th century, marrying the introduction of coffee to Europe with an already-rich history of cake and pastry-baking. The popularity of coffee in Ireland helped to ensure that the coffee cake was introduced here at an early stage. Coffee cake is popular as a dessert on special occasions and is often decorated to celebrate important occasions..


  • 170g Butter or Margarine , plus extra for the tins
  • 170g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 170 g Self Raising Flour
  • 1 tbsp Cooled instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp of hot water ( add more if you like it stronger)

For the Icing

  • 225g Icing Sugar
  • 100g butter or margarine
  •  1 ½ tbsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp of hot water
  • Walnuts to decorate (optional )


  • Heat the oven to 180/160 degrees Celsius fan oven. Line and butter two 18cm sandwich tins. Add the sugar and butter to a bowl and whisk until very fluffy and pale.
  • Whisk the eggs in a mug with a fork, then add them gradually to the mixture with 1 tbsp of flour each time, make sure you don’t use all the flour.) When the eggs have been fully combined into the mix, add the rest of the flour and fold it in gently.
  • Add the dissolved coffee to the mixture, still folding. Divide into the sandwich tins and cook for25-30 min until risen and firm and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Make the icing by beating the icing sugar with the butter until light and fluffy, then add the dissolved coffee. Whisk, then cover and set aside until ready to ice the cake.
  • Spread half the icing on the bottom of one sponge and spread the strawberry jam on the bottom of the other, if using.
  • Sandwich together, then spread the remaining icing on top. Decorate with walnuts or cherries, if you like.


Leave out the walnuts if you anyone has a nut allergy.

Replace the flour with gluten free flour for coeliacs.

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