Saturday, 3 March 2012

Coffee House Cake


I’ve been cooking from our pantry for more than two months now and the shelves are much less crowded than they were.  Sitting at the back of one of those shelves—becoming ever more visible—was a box of yellow cake mix.  It was haunting me.  I’m not sure why it was there.  I can’t remember why I bought it.

I don’t often have cake mixes in the pantry and, when I do, I have to take care to ensure that I don’t forget about them until after they’ve passed their expiration date.  The date on this package was rapidly drawing near.  I needed to use it up.

The idea of a plain yellow cake wasn’t doing much for me so I decided to tinker with the mix a bit.  This is what I came up with.  It turned out surprisingly well, tasting like a coffeehouse drink flavoured with caramel and cinnamon.

To make Coffeehouse Cake, you’ll need:


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1-1/3 cups very strong coffee (I used brewed coffee with a heaping teaspoon of instant coffee stirred in, then cooled to room temperature.)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (or other neutrally flavoured oil)
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon

Cut a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than the bottom of a 9 x 13” baking pan.  Trace around the bottom of the pan onto the parchment, then cut out the traced shape.  Butter the pan, place the parchment into the bottom of the buttered pan, then butter the parchment.


Melt the half cup of butter over low heat.

While the butter is melting, combine the cake mix, coffee, eggs, and canola oil.  Whisk the ingredients together until they're combined and moistened.  A few small lumps may remain in the batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

(I wanted to show you what the batter looked like but forgot to snap my picture until I’d already started on the next step.  Oops!  Most of the batter is still visible here so this picture should still give you some idea of its colour and consistency.)


Sprinkle a generous layer of brown sugar over the top of the batter, then apply a good dusting of cinnamon.


Drizzle the melted butter over the top of the brown sugar and cinnamon.


Bake the cake on the middle rack of a 350˚F oven for 30 to 35 minutes.  The finished cake should spring back when lightly touched and a skewer or thin knife inserted in the center should come out clean.


Immediately turn the cake out of the pan onto a platter. 


Carefully remove the parchment.  (A couple of pieces broke off when I turned the cake out of the pan but I just pressed them back in place.  The cake was sticky enough that the pieces stayed where I put them.)


Serve the cake hot or cold.  It’s delicious just as it is but would be very nice with whipped cream too. If you have leftover cake, it can be used to make Coffee House Parfaits.

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6 comments:

Karyn Tripp said...

Thanks so much for stopping by & linking up to Things That Make You Say Mmmmm! This looks like a great recipe!

Aunt B said...

Thanks for hosting Karyn. I found lots of good inspiration on your link party.

The 21st Century Housewife© said...

What a delicious way to clear out your store cupboard! I love the sound of this cake...you've used some lovely flavours in it.

Aunt B said...

Thank you. It did turn out well. We enjoyed it. Thank you for the opportunity to share the recipe.

Alea Milham said...

I am not crazy about box cake mixes, but I love using them as a base as you have done. It is an easy way to create a delicious dessert - perfect for busy times. Book marking this to try with the gluten-free cake mix in my cupboard.

Aunt B said...

I'm not crazy about them either Alea. I still can't remember why I came to have this one in my cupboard!

I'd be interested to hear how this recipe works with the gluten free mix. Please let me know.