Retro Irish coffee cake

Retro Irish Coffee Cake

A splash of Irish whiskey gives a delicious twist to this brilliantly nostalgic coffee cake – just what you need for Father’s Day. The rosettes aren’t essential but they do provide a satisfyingly old-school edge.

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  • Serves12
  • CourseCake
  • Prepare45 mins
  • Cook30 mins
  • Total time1 hr 15 mins
  • Pluscooling

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  • 250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 100g light brown soft sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 270g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp Irish whiskey

Whiskey buttercream

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp Irish whiskey

Coffee glaze

  • 60ml milk
  • tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Dr Oetker Liquid Glucose
  • Cooks' Ingredients Bronze Crunch, to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5, boil the kettle and grease and line 2 x 20cm sandwich cake tins. Dissolve the coffee in 3 tbsp just-boiled water; set aside. In a freestanding mixer (or using electric beaters), beat together the butter and both sugars until very light and fluffy (about 8 minutes). Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined. Sift in the flour and baking powder; gently fold in. Fold in the coffee and whiskey; divide between the tins and level out. Bakes for 23-28 minutes, until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave for 5 minutes, then turn out upside down onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  2. For the whiskey buttercream, beat the butter in a large bowl for 2-3 minutes until soft. Beat in the icing sugar until very pale and airy. Mix in the whiskey. Put a tray under the wire rack, then spread ⅔ of the icing over one sponge; sandwich the other on top. Put the rest of the buttercream in a piping bag with a star nozzle.

  3. For the glaze, heat the milk until almost boiling, then stir in the coffee. Sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl; stir in the coffee mixture and glucose until smooth with a dropping consistency. Loosen with a tiny splash of milk if needed (not too much). Pour over the centre of the cake and let it drip down the edges, using the back of a teaspoon to help. Transfer to a plate; allow to set for 5 minutes. Pipe buttercream rosettes around the edge and sprinkle with the bronze crunch.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,585kJ/ 616kcals



Saturated Fat












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