Recipe // Coffee Brownie Cake

My experiments with layer cakes (see earl grey, funfetti, tiramisu) continues!

For a potluck I hosted earlier this spring, I made Michelle’s (from Hummingbird High) Vietnamese coffee cake with condensed milk frosting. Although I wasn’t that impressed with the frosting (it didn’t taste like anything special), the coffee cake was just perfect: moist and delicate, with a slight bitterness from the coffee.

I wanted to play around with color and texture for this cake, and I am really pleased with the results. A light coffee cake sandwiches a dense dark chocolate brownie and bright, tangy cream cheese. For a little crunch, I sprinkled the top with chocolate chunks.

I am too cheap to buy enough butter/cream cheese to cover the entire cake. Luckily naked cakes are in… but in the future, I’m going to suck it up and practice fully decorating.

Coffee Brownie Cake
Makes a three-layer 8-inch cake

Coffee Cake
adapted from Hummingbird High

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp instant coffee powder/
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 3/4 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 c greek yogurt
1/2 c oil
3/4 c strong coffee, at room temperature

Brownie
adapted from delishably

1/2 c oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 c flour
1/2 c cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from allrecipes

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c butter, softened
1 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp instant coffee (optional)
1 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)

Make the cake

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans by spraying generously with cooking spray and lining the bottoms of each with a parchment paper circle; spray the paper as well.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk to combine and set aside
    3. In a new bowl, combine 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, and 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to its slowest setting and add 1 cup sour cream, beating until incorporated. With the mixer still on its slowest setting, slowly pour in 1/2 cup oil and continue beating until incorporated. Once the oil is incorporated, slowly pour in 3/4 cup coffee and continue beating until combined.
    4. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Turn on the mixer back to its slowest setting and add the dry ingredients (from the 2nd step) a few big spoonfuls at a time, beating on low speed until the dry ingredients have just disappeared into the batter.
    5. Divide the cake batter between the two prepped pans and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top of the cakes are golden and bounce back when gently poked.

Make the brownie

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare one 8-inch round cake pan by spraying generously with cooking spray and lining the bottom with a parchment paper circle; spray the paper as well.
  2. Mix the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract well.
  3. In a new bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined.

Make the frosting

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Add a little more sugar or milk depending on how spreadable the frosting is.
  2. Optional: add instant coffee and cocoa after the frosting is mixed. I separated my frosting into two bowls so I had half white vanilla frosting and half mocha frosting.

Assembly

  1. Do not begin to assemble until the brownie and cakes are all room temperature. Make sure that the frosting is very spreadable and at room temperature.
  2. Using a serrated knife, level your cakes. This is the ideal snacking step.
  3. Place the uglier coffee cake down on the plate/cake stand you will be using. This is going to be your base. Spread 1/3 of the frosting evenly on top. Add the brownie layer, spread on the next 1/3 of the frosting. Add the second coffee cake layer, spread the final 1/3 of frosting on top.
  4. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and enjoy!

Recipe // Funfetti Layer Cake

It’s the end of finals, so obviously I made funfetti cake.

I always wanted to make Molly’s homemade funfetti cake, but after meeting her last year for Cherry Bombe, I was feeling particularly inspired.

I don’t associate funfetti cake with my childhood like I feel a lot of my friends do. I can appreciate the colorful sprinkles and fluffy white cake, but I have no attachment to the fake, from-a-box flavor.

This cake just takes all the childhood fun and makes it a little more gourmet.

 

Funfetti Cake by Molly Yeh

Cake

2 1/2 c flour
1/4 c constarch
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c sugar
4 large egg whites
1/4 c flavorless oil
1 tb clear imitation vanilla
3/4 c whole milk
1/2 c rainbow sprinkles (artificially colored cynlinders, not nonpareils, sanding sugar, or anything naturally colored)

Cake Soak

1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting

1 3/4 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp clear imitation vanilla
2 tb whole milk

 

Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºf. Grease and line the bottoms of three 8-inch cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg whites, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. add the oil and vanilla extract.
  4. With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry mixture and the milk in two or three alternating batches and mix until just barely combined, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the sprinkles until they’re evenly distributed. distribute the batter among the cake pans, spreading it out evenly.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes.
  6. When the cakes are still warm, brush with cake soak.
  7. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting

  1. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Add the salt, extracts, and milk and beat to combine.
  2. Frost the cake as desired and enjoy!

 

Recipe // Tiramisu Mini Layer Cakes

I wanted to make a cake with chocolate, coffee, and vanilla layers, but after I finished the batter I realized I had nowhere near enough to fill a cake pan. Instead, I used a muffin tin to make these mini layer cakes!

Tiramisu Mini Layer Cakes
Adapted from Eat Love Eat

1 c butter
1 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp  espresso powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Coffee Syrup

2 tbsp espresso powder
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c water

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Make the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/350°F. Grease a mini muffin tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla, then fold in the flour and raising agents.
  3. Separate the batter into 3 portions – half and two quarters. Into the largest portion, carefully fold in the espresso powder. Into one of the smaller portions, fold in the cocoa powder. Leave the remaining smaller portion as it is.
  4. Bake off all the flavored cake batters, putting enough batter in each tin so it is 3/4 full.  Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Repeat for each flavor.
  5. When the cake is still warm, cut off the tops so that it is flat. Brush on or dip into coffee syrup (below).

Make the coffee syrup

  1. Place the espresso powder, sugar and water into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved, Remove from the heat and cool.

Make the cream cheese frosting

  1. Mix the cream cheese, sugar, milk, and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy. Split the frosting into two bowls. In one bowl, add the 1 tbsp of cocoa powder and mix well.