My Research on Coffee Variety led to Coffee Cake!

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Do you like to enjoy freshly roasted, ground, and brewed coffee? Or maybe just a regular Cup of Joe? Do you love to try different coffee varieties and bask in the captivating aroma of the fresh brew while you wait for it to be done? Are you one of those coffee enthusiasts that cannot resist buying that new coffee variety you glimpsed as you happened to ‘accidentally’ walk by the coffee isle?

Light Chocolate Coffee Cake

I am not, but I happened to have grown in appreciation for that dark brown liquid I once had to serve my bosses regularly in one of my old jobs (which is also when I learned the basics of brewing the beverage). I also have come to appreciate why in Jamaica it is referred to as ‘liquid gold’. Jamaica produces one of the finest quality coffee varieties in the world. Coffee enthusiasts will tell you that this Caribbean Coffee, Jamaican Coffee, has a very mellow, smooth, rum-like flavour a well-balanced taste of floral and nutty overtones, with a hint of chocolate in a creamy finish. Fine. I couldn’t care less about the rest of mumbo jumbo because they had me at ‘chocolate’! Yes, a ‘hint of chocolate’ is why, in my head, the Jamaican coffee variety is so ideal for making a chocolate coffee cake. Now I know coffee cakes didn’t get their name from the contents (as most are made without coffee; coffee cake got its name because coffee is normally served with a slice of cake), but who said it couldn’t have actual coffee in it? Hold on! How did I get from coffee variety to coffee cake in the first place?

The Coffee Variety Research

On coffee finders, I found an article about the different coffee varieties, and it is explained in very simplified terms. That article highlighted some of the top health benefits of the product and from boosting your immune system because it is rich in antioxidants to improving memory (believe me, I need coffee, even if it is just for memory improvement!), helping with weight loss. As a matter o fact, it even helps to lower your risk of getting cancer! It got me wondering why I’ve been avoiding this product so long!? So I got myself two small packs of Jamaican instant coffee, one of which I drank with milk and sugar. Then I thought, why don’t I create some kind of dessert with the other pack instead. And since I was already learning about the different types and health benefits of coffee, why not create a chocolate coffee cake with actual coffee in it!?

Of course, my kitchen cupboards were long overdue to be restocked, but I had no plans to go on the road that day (I try not to take my toddler in public – parents of toddlers will understand my fear, as they put everything in their mouth and want to touch everything… in the middle of a pandemic that is a super scary thought!), so I decided to use what I had. Hence, my very simple, easy buttery flakey Chocolate Coffee Cake recipe was born! It is pretty easy to make and is made from ingredients most households will already have in stock. And it is just a chocolate cake, as the coffee content will not make it taste like coffee, but rather it will simply intensify the flavour of the chocolate.

This was important because the only chocolate I had at the time was Ovaltine, and you know that it does not have a strong chocolate flavour (and to make matters worse, it is pre-sweetened – professional bakers will know that is a no-no!). The use of Ovaltine also explains why my cake looks so light and ‘un’-chocolate-like. Normally chocolate cake is made moist and a little dense by using oil, but I opted for a light and airy option. Also, being the health-conscious person I am, I refuse to use any kind of fat that doesn’t melt at room temperature because I do not wish to clog my arteries voluntarily, so I opt for butter most of the time.

This delicious cake has just enough kick to boost your energy to get through the day (without keeping you up at night from caffeine overdose, that is), and was made using my one-third (1/3) fat to flour basic cake recipe. And this is not your typical coffee cake with the crumb layer running through, nor is it some fancy frosted stuff. just a regular chocolate cake with coffee for a punchy flavour. Now enough of this ranting. off to the recipe you’ve all been waiting for:

Light Chocolate Coffee Cake recipe

Light Chocolate Coffee Cake

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate powder (preferably pure unsweetened coco) – more can be used for a more intense chocolatey flavour
  • 3/4 tsp Sea Salt (1/2 tsp if using regular iodised salt)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp grated Nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp Cinnamon Powder

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Milk Coffee (I used 1 pk Mountain Peak as pictured, but you can use whatever grounded coffee variety you have, along with equal parts milk powder and mixed it with 1/4 cup room temperature water; or you could use 1/4 cup milk to mix the coffee instead of water)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsalted Butter (if using salted butter, reduce salt by about 1/4 tsp)
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar (if using granulated/white sugar use 1 cup)
  • 2 Eggs (if not using a mixer, whisk the eggs before adding)


  1. Combine and sift all dry ingredients together in a bowl and put aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl at intervals).
  3. Add the eggs and mix until combined (about 30 seconds).
  4. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix until combined (about a minute).
  5. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time (about 1/3rd portion at a time), folding in with a spatula. Continue to mix by hand using a spatula until the dry ingredients are well incorporated, and the resulting mixture is smooth, fluffy, and slides off the spatula with ease. Climate affects the mixture, so if your batter is still a bit thick, just add a little milk (one teaspoon at a time) until the desired texture is achieved.
  6. Put the mixture in the desired baking tin and bake at 350F (or 177C) until a strong baked smell is achieved (I find this works well for me, but you have to be paying attention to the change in smell or you will end up with a dry, overbooked cake or worse, burnt), and the middle springs back when touched (or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean). Baking times vary depending on the oven, baking tin, and climate. But on average, it takes about 18-25 minutes. Just be sure to check it after 15 minutes so you can have an idea how much longer it would need. 
  7. Cool, and enjoy with a cup of your favourite style of coffee.

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