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    Coffee Cake with Mascarpone Icing

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    Coffee Cake with Mascarpone Icing

    "I am looking for the recipe for a coffee sponge I bought from the patisserie at the Cheshire Smokehouse in Wilmslow," writes Jill Pedley, by email. "I've tried to make it myself but it was not comparable." Richard Hughes of the Smokehouse passed on the recipe, which is based on one from Baking with Passion, by Dan Lepard and Richard Whittingon (Quadrille; £7.99).

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes, plus cooling
    • Total time: 1 hour, plus cooling 60 minutes

    Serves: 8 - 10


    • 225g self-raising flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 225g caster sugar
    • 225ml vegetable oil
    • 2 medium eggs, separated
    • 2 heaped tsp instant coffee granules, dissolved in 2 tsp boiling water
    • 75ml whole milk
    • Icing
    • 1 heaped tbsp instant coffee granules, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
    • 125g mascarpone
    • 125g butter, softened
    • ¼ tsp grated lemon zest
    • 350g icing sugar, sifted


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease 2 round, 20cm springform cake tins and line the bottom of each with a disc of non-stick baking paper.
    2. Sift the flour, baking powder and caster sugar into a mixing bowl. Beat in the oil, egg yolks, coffee and milk until just incorporated. In a second bowl, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Stir a spoonful of the whites into the cake mixture before gently folding in the rest. Divide the mixture equally between the tins. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the sponges spring back when gently pressed in the centre. Transfer the tins to a rack to cool. Unmould the cakes while still warm and leave them on the rack to cool completely.
    3. For the icing, put the mascarpone, butter and lemon zest into a bowl and beat together. Add the icing sugar, about one-third at a time, working each addition in completely before adding the next, until you have a thick paste. Finally, beat in the coffee, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Spread half the icing on one sponge, then put the second sponge on top. Spread the rest of the icing over the top of the cake, and serve.

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