We wanted a lightly coffee-flavored cake with all the moistness and sweet fluffiness of our favorite coconut cake. It took some real testing to get there (we'll show you our testing process later this week).
But the final result was tender and moist, and we made it extra special by sandwiching it with our Coffee Fluff and glazing it with a sweet coffee icing. It was coffee heaven!
Coffee Cake with Coffee Icing
Makes a 3-layer cake
3/4 cup milk
2 heaping teaspoons instant coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons very finely ground coffee (or 2 additional teaspoons instant coffee)
2 teaspoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3/4 cup butter at room temperature, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cup white sugar
4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons freshly brewed coffee
Chocolate curls, for decoration
Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8" cake pans.
Heat the milk in the microwave or on the stove until hot — stop short of a simmer. Stir in the instant coffee until well blended. Add the vanilla and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, soda, salt, ground coffee and cocoa.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using hand beaters) cream the butter and sugar together with the paddle attachment until very creamy and lightened in color and texture. It should be slightly fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks.
Add the flour and milk mixtures, alternating. Beat the batter very thoroughly, until silky smooth, after the last addition. Scrape all the batter out into a separate bowl and wash the mixer bowl thoroughly.
Switch to the whisk attachment and beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. They will hold a stiff peak but they will still slip around a little in the bowl.
Fold the egg whites into the cake batter gently, folding the batter around until well combined.
Pour into the cake pans and smooth out. Bake for about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pans for at least 15 minutes before removing the cakes. Let cool completely - even overnight. The coffee flavor comes through more fully after a night to cool.