My father is a simple man. He has few needs—three mobile phones, two laptops, and god knows how many cameras and music players; a good patriotic (read “melodramatic”) film; and several cups of freshly brewed coffee.

Choosing a cake flavor for him is, therefore, cakewalk. I took off from Deeba’s Espresso coffee cream cake recipe from Passionate about Baking and made my own few changes. My version, for instance, has lesser sugar because Baba is diabetic. I must admit, however, that her decoration was so elegant and it stayed in my mind so strongly throughout the baking, that I ended up decorating my cake pretty much like her. Thanks for the inspiration, Deeba—it helped me practice my piping skills!

Here’s the recipe:


  • 6 eggs
  • 300 gms. all purpose flour
  • 300 gms. butter
  • 225 gms. soft brown sugar
  • 1 and ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 25 mls. strong coffee decoction
  • ½ tsp. vanilla essence
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. instant coffee powder
  • Cadbury’s Nutties
  • Roasted coffee beans
  • Chocolate sprinkles


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Grease, line, and dust (I am extra-careful when it comes to party cakes) an 8-inch round tin or other tin of choice.
  3. Sieve the flour and baking powder together into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Place the butter and sugar in a food processor and beat until creamy.
  5. Add the eggs and beat again.
  6. Now add the coffee and vanilla and process just until combined.
  7. Pour the wet ingredients from the food processor into the dry ingredients in the bowl and combine gently.
  8. Tip the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  9. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. Meanwhile, whip the cream silly until soft peaks are formed. Remove some of this snow-white cream for piping the sides.
  11. Sprinkle coffee powder on the remainder and whip again until you achieve a soft coffee color. (Alternatively, whip ever so lightly so there are a few granules left whole—it gives a beautifully elegant marbled effect.)
  12. Place the cake on plate of choice on a turntable and slice the cake horizontally, working from the edges inward.
  13. Using a palette knife spread a layer of the coffee cream on the base of the cake and sandwich the two parts. Cover the sides and top of the cake as well. For a final finish, lightly wet the palette knife and brush across the cake in quick, light strokes.
  14. Pipe the white cream as desired and decorate with Cdbury’s Nutties, chocolate sprinkles, and roasted coffee beans.
  15. Present to a coffee-mad father and watch him devour the cake, coffee bean et al.