Chocolate Coffee Coffee Cake

for the cake:
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup room temperature, strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, at room temperature

for the streusel:
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tablespoon cocoa


Preheat the oven to 375. Butter and flour or spray with cooking spray with flour a 9-inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa baking powder and salt. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir together the milk and coffee. Set aside. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour until a thick dough forms. Scrap the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth with the back of a spoon or spatula. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together all of the streusel ingredients until a rough crumb forms. You can achieve this by using a fork, pulsing a food processor or briefly mixing with an electric mixer. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the raw cake. Bake about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Remove to a wire tack to cool. After about 15 minutes, release the cake from the pan and serve.

My thoughts:

One of the more random questions* I get from readers, mostly from those living outside of the US, is if coffee cakes have coffee in them. Generally they do not. Coffee cake refers to a cake that is meant to be served with coffee, not one that contains coffee, just like tea cake doesn’t normally include tea. They are generally a little on the dense side and often have a crumb topping. The question got me thinking though. What if there was a coffee cake that had coffee in it? I just got a new thermal french press and when we tried out this weekend, I made a little extra so I make make a cake. I wasn’t sure what else should go in the cake but I knew it should have a streusel topping and since I was using coffee, I went dark and chocolate-y rather than going the more traditional pale vanilla cake route. It still would be perfect with a couple of coffee (or tea!), it isn’t too rich and the flavor, while very present, isn’t overpowering.

*While I don’t mind answering questions, this one is particularly random considering that until today, I’ve never posted a recipe for any sort of coffee cake.


  1. I have made a wonderful, moist, dark chocolate cake with coffee and mayonaise. The coffee keeps it from being overly sweet and the mayo keeps it beautifully moist.

  2. This is interesting. Never had a dark-chocolate, coffee, coffee cake before, but it sounds good. I’ve been researching unusual cakes recently, and am beginning to realize the cake world is much larger than I previously thought existed.

  3. Wow, that looks wonderful! I wish I had time to make one right now.


  4. I just subscribed to your blog’s rss feed, and this recipe looked so good that I have it in the oven right now! I just wanted to tell you that in the directions, there isn’t any mention of putting the cocoa powder in with dry ingredients. My house smells so good right now! Thanks!

  5. This is so getting made on Sunday morning.

  6. Interesting…we just made a chocolate coffee cake last weekend which was fabulous, but so rich that it really was more of a dessert than a traditional coffee cake. We’ll have to hold on to your recipe for next time…

  7. Looks lovely! Light and rich at the same time.Would be perfect for my lonely cup of coffee about now.

  8. Wow — that looks fantastic, and I looove anything with a streusel topping! This will definitely go in my to-try file – thanks!

  9. I live here in the US and am familiar with coffee flavored cakes. I typically find them in Filipino bakeries, and they’re usually light with a subtle but distinct coffee taste. They are very tasty. Thanks for the recipe, I hope to try it soon.

  10. Anon, Just to clarify, I am familar with coffee flavored cakes in general but I haven’t seen coffee flavored cakes that have the style and texture of a traditional coffee cake that is cake that is made to be served with coffee, not include it.

  11. Cookie baker Lynn

    I think this is the first coffee cake that I’ve seen with coffee in it. It looks delicious!

  12. Jessy and her dog Winnie

    A chocolate coffee cake sounds so much better than a regular old coffee cake! The crumbly top looks really yummy!

  13. I made a coffee cake a little while ago and a friend of mine didn’t want any at first because she said she didn’t like coffee. I had to explain to her that it didn’t actually contain coffee before she would have a piece.

  14. OK, that coffee cake looks divine…. but what I really love is the cup in the background! What a great print pattern 🙂

  15. funwithyourfood

    Do you normally drink your coffee using a french press? I like it that way, it’s much more intense and flavorful


  16. this cake looks good! when i saw it on your flickr stream, i thought it was my coffee cake!

  17. It took me a while after I started reading blogs to realise that coffee cakes didn’t usually include coffee. I used to read the recipe and think ‘huh where the coffee?’
    I think your coffee coffee cake looks delicious. I love the topping.