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Recipe for coffee cake with espresso-cocoa swirl

Espresso coffee cake

One of my favorite places to shop for discounted (and sometimes slightly hurt) kitchenware, the local TJ Maxx received a shipment of Bundt pans a few months back, and though I'm not much of a baker, I couldn't resist buying one of every shape in the store. Bundts are perfect for making coffee cake, which gets its name from the way it's often served (with coffee or tea), not because it's made of coffee, but this cake actually has a bit of espresso in the filling. Every ingredient comes straight from the pantry, and the batter comes together in minutes. All you need is a stash of Bundt pans, and now you know where to find them.

Espresso coffee cake

Coffee cake with espresso-cocoa swirl

From the pantry, you'll need: granulated sugar, instant espresso, cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt, unsalted butter, eggs, sour cream or Greek yogurt, pure vanilla extract, baking spray.

Adapted from Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys, where the original recipe appears as Aunt Patty's Coffee Cake. Makes 1 Bundt cake; serves 12-20.


Baking spray
2 Tbsp + 1 cup sugar sugar
1 Tbsp instant espresso
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup + 1 Tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat the inside of a 12-cup Bundt pan with baking spray, and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of sugar with the instant espresso and cocoa powder.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar, until well incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Then, with the mixer set on the lowest speed, incorporate one third of the flour mixture, half of the sour cream or yogurt, then another third of the flour. Beat in the remaining sour cream, and the last third of the flour. Add the vanilla and mix for another minute or two, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.

Now, fill the Bundt pan: Take one-third of the batter, and distribute it evenly in the pan. The batter will be thick, so it will take a big of work with a spatula to spread it. Sprinkle half of the espresso-cocoa filling mixture on top. Then, layer into the pan half the remaining batter, followed by all of the remaining filling, and the final bit of the batter. Take a knife and swirl it down through the batter in a few places.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes, or until a cake tester (or large skewer) inserted in the thickest part comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes, and serve, or wrap in aluminum foil and freeze (you can do this while the cake is still warm).

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Yogurt coffee cake with pecan filling
Cinnamon apple coffee cake with streusel topping
Coffee spice cake
Spice cake
Fresca cake

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Chewy chocolate, chocolate chip espresso cookies, from Culinarily Obsessed
Chocolate espresso bars, from Sweet Mary
The best chocolate sauce recipe, from David Lebovitz
Sour cream chicken enchiladas, from Homesick Texan
Apricot coffee cake, from Chocolate & Zucchini

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Beautiful cake! Yum! Yum!

I have everything but the sour cream to make this! Will need to stop and get some on the way home so that I can try this beautiful cake :)

I love bundt pans AND coffee cake! Definitely putting this one in the queue!

You bought one of every shape??? I'd love to see a picture of all of them- how fun!

And I've noticed that you keep insisting that you are not a baker and then keep displaying these wonderful baked goods :)

I am always looking for tried and true baking recipes and coffee cake is up there on the list. I can even get my coffee in the same delicious morsel.

Mermaids, I owe it all to the beautiful Bundt pan.

Apprentice, sour cream or yogurt will be delicious, and you don't need much, so buy whichever one you'd like to have leftover.

Michelle, Bundt pans are addictive. I love having them on the shelf.

Nupur, I bought every shape they had in the store (5 or 6 of them, I think), except the mini Bundts. I'm going to say it's because I didn't want to favor one shape over another! I'm really not a baker, never can create my own baked goods recipes, and always look for recipes that have the words "quick and easy" somewhere nearby!

Bellini, coffee cakes are so reliable, and I've never met anyone who doesn't like coffee cake. Around here, it's always nice to have something on hand in case a friend stops by for afternoon tea.

Lydia, this sounds like a perfect recipe to make on yet another snowy day here in New England. Are you tired of the weather yet or do you enjoy it? When I make this coffee cake I'm sure I won't plan so far ahead that my eggs will get to room temperature. How important is this and how long would they have to be on the counter to reach room temp? Love to see the sunshine in your photo!

Lydia, I loooove swirled cakes like this! It looks and tastes good. Yum!

Janice, great question. Eggs blend more easily when they are room temperature (I don't know why -- a real baker would know why), but coffee cake batters are very forgiving, so don't let cold eggs keep you from making this.

I've tried to stay out of TJ Maxx for a while, as my food prop cabinet was getting a bit crowded, but a deal on Bundt pans may lure me back in! Lovely coffee cake---thinking I should hop to it & make it this morning as an unexpected treat!

I looooooooooove this! The perfect combo espresso and chocolate! Thanks for the recipe. I will go check my pantry and see if I have what is needed to bake it....

Have a nice weekend :)

Patricia, there's something so child-like about swirling the batter. I think that's what I love about it.

Sandie, TJ Maxx is a dangerous place. In a good way. But right after the holidays my local store is usually quite depleted, so I'm waiting a few weeks before my next visit.

Mari, I'll bet you have everything you need, right in the pantry. That's the beauty of this cake.

I am with Nupur above! ;-D

By serendipity I have just discovered this site, and I have blogged about it ,and featured this recipe...

My readership is tiny, but devoted.

P.S. The cake reminds me very much of one my mom learned from her very dear friend, Ilse (in New York)....

I'm only an occasional baker but I own a bundt pan because they are so darn good looking. They make good coffee cakes too. So I'm going
to make this coffee cake. Thanks.

Funny, I just got an answer to the room-temp egg question. Today I made a Flourless Honey-Almond Cake from www.eatingwell.com that includes a Note: "Eggs must be at room temperature for the proteins to unwind enough to support the cake's crumb." (They say 15 minutes is enough.) Who knew? (And the cake is a winner!)
There's a crumb on that plate, and I can't brush it off -- how did you make that photo 3D?

Carol, thanks!

Nomi, so glad you found your way here. This is definitely the type of coffee cake we grew up with (I'm from New York, too).

Barb, that's exactly why I had to buy every design in the store. They look beautiful! And I use them for savory dishes, too, like frittatas.

Susan, thanks so much for sharing that info about room temperature eggs. I guess it's the same with all proteins, because it's also best to take meats out of the refrigerator for up to 30 minutes before cooking. Now we know why! (And the crumbs? Well, I can't seem to plate anything without getting crumbs all over!)

That Bundt cake looks terrific! Can't wait to convert it to gluten free. :-)

Love your new header!

Mmm, that looks absolutely delish! I've never actually made any coffee cake before (shameful, I know!), but there are some recipies I've seen on healthy cooking blogs that I've been meaning to try out. I think I'll add a swirl to the recipie, too! Thanks!

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