Dessert Person's Coffee Coffee Cake

#24 Dessert Person’s Coffee Coffee Cake

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Hi there! Today I mBakinga Dessert Person’s Coffee Coffee cake. This recipe is from Claire Saffitz’s cookbook Dessert Person.

Why I tried this recipe

I have tried some of the other recipes in Claire’s cookbook and was impressed with them so far (Chewy Treacle Cookie, Upside down Orange Oil Cake, Walnut Tart).  Hence, I wanted to try yet another recipe from it. This was one of the recipes in her cookbook which called for ingredients that are easily available in Singapore. It did not require any fancy specialised ingredients and no substitutions were required.

Experiences from trying this Recipe

There were three components to the Coffee Coffee cake: the coffee crumb topping, the cake layer and the coffee ribbon. Each individual component was simple to put together and even though it did not require any complicated steps, I found myself spending a lot of the time measuring out all the ingredients for each component. 

Overall thoughts about Dessert Person's Coffee Coffee Cake

The coffee coffee cake was packed full of coffee flavour indeed. My favourite component had to be the coffee crumbs. However, I may have worked my crumb topping too much as there were much smaller than I would have liked. 

I was not a fan of the coffee ribbon in the middle of the cake layer. It was too sandy to my liking and lacked a distinct coffee flavour in it. It felt like a waste of my calories having to eat the coffee ribbon layer. I did wonder if I prepared it wrongly and whether it was really supposed to be a sandy layer sandwiched between the cake layers. However, there wasn’t much ways to combine the said ingredients for it and stirring them any longer would not change its sandy texture. Maybe next time I would just skip the coffee ribbon and sprinkle a layer of toasted nuts in between the cake layers to provide a textural element.

As such, I would rate Dessert Person’s Coffee Coffee Cake as follows:
(1 being the poor, and 5 being the best)

Ease to make

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Dessert Person's Coffee Coffee Cake

A coffee cake that actually has coffee in it and topped with lots of crumbs.
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Cake, Coffee
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 people


  • 9 inch round cake pan or any dish with 1.6 litre capacity
  • Electric mixer


Coffee Ribbon

  • 1 1/2 tbsp fine sugar
  • 1/2 tsp treacle
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp coffee powder

Coffee Crumb

  • 80 g plain flour 2/3 cup
  • 50 g fine sugar 1/4 cup
  • 1 tsp treacle
  • 1 tsp coffee powder
  • 50 g salted butter, room temperature 1/2 stick

Coffee Cake

  • 210 g plain flour 1 3/4 cup
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 80 ml milk 1/3 cup
  • 1/2 tbsp vinegar
  • 60 ml brewed coffee, cooled 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 tbsp coffee powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 80 g salted butter, room temperature 5 tbsp + extra for greasing
  • 30 ml vegetable oil 2 tbsp
  • 125 g fine sugar 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp treacle
  • 2 eggs


For Coffee Ribbon

  • In a small bowl, toss the fine sugar, treacle, ground cinnamon and coffee powder together. Do not be concerned if it clumps together. Set aside for now.

For Coffee Crumb

  • In a medium bowl, mix the plain flour, fine sugar, treacle and coffee powder well.
  • Add the soft salted butter to the mixture and rub it in with your fingers to make the butter become size of small cubes. There should be no dry spots of butter remaining. Set aside.

For Coffee Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease the cake pan well with some salted butter.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the plain flour, baking powder, baking soda and coffee powder well. In a large measuring cup, combine the the milk, vinegar, brewed coffee and vanilla well. Set them aside for now.
  • In a large bowl, add the salted butter, fine sugar, treacle and vegetable oil. Cream the mixture with an electric mixer on a low speed until it is smooth, about 1 minute. Then increase the speed to high and continue mixing until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time to the creamed butter mixture beating well after each addition to incorporate it.
  • Add half of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat on a low speed for 30 seconds. Then, add all of the wet mixture from the large measuring cup to the butter mixture and beat for another 30 seconds. Finally, add the remainder of the flour mixture to the cake batter and mix on a low speed until just combined. There should not be any dry spots of flour left.
  • Transfer half of the cake batter to the prepared cake pan. Then sprinkle the coffee ribbon evenly onto the cake batter making sure to use all of it. Transfer the remaining half of the cake batter to the cake pan, covering the coffee ribbon fully. Top the cake batter with the coffee crumb. Be sure to use all the crumbs.
  • Transfer the cake pan to the oven to bake until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. The crumb will be a deep golden brown colour when it is done.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan completely until room temperature. The cake can keep well covered at room temperature for about 3 days. If refrigerated, it can keep for about 5 days.


The original recipe was from Claire's book Dessert Person.