Coffee Loaf Cake with Coffee Buttercream

I love this moist Coffee Loaf Cake with its delicate coffee flavour. Topped with lashings of rich coffee buttercream, it’s the perfect treat for any coffee lover.

*This post may contain affiliate links to products I find useful when making this recipe. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.*

**Recipe updated Jan 2022**

So, I should start this by saying, I do not like coffee-flavoured food. I absolutely love coffee, I could drink it all day. But coffee-flavoured foods are weird.

The coffee chocolates are always the last left in the box.

I don’t like alcohol-flavoured food either though (except Bailey’s – that’s different!) so maybe I’ve got issues with mixing food and drink flavours.

That said, I absolutely love this Coffee Loaf Cake with icing. It’s quite a delicately flavoured sponge, not too intense a flavour, which works for me.

side view of cake with buttercream swirls on top, on glass cake stand with silver cake slice.

The Coffee Buttercream is stronger but nicely balanced with the sweetness of the sugar and the creaminess of the butter. If you fancy something a little different, you could top this loaf cake with the icing from my Coffee Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream.

For me, the best thing about this Coffee Loaf Cake recipe is (as terrible as this sounds) that the kids don’t like it.

I think, to be honest, they would if they tried it, but they’re scared of coffee. So we get to eat it all, which is a rare treat in our house!

Ingredients for Easy Coffee Loaf Cake

I keep my Coffee cake loaf recipe as simple as possible, with as few ingredients as I can. I use:

ingredients for cake on table - icing sugar, butter, coffee, flour, sugar, margarine and eggs.

Margarine – You can use butter if you prefer, but margarine is cheap and ideal for a coffee flavoured cake

Caster Sugar


Instant Coffee Granules – Mixed with just enough boiled water to dissolve the granules. I don’t add any Vanilla Extract or additional Coffee flavour, just strong coffee

Self-Raising Flour – This means that you don’t need Baking Powder for your cake to rise

Does Coffee Cake Have Coffee In It?

This one does! I suppose you should use 1tsp of coffee essence instead if you wanted, but I love adding instant coffee, it’s a lovely rich flavour and bakes a wonderfully moist cake.

And it’s something that most of us have got in our cupboards.

Many people also add a little coffee to their chocolate cakes, finding that coffee enhances the flavour of the chocolate beautifully.

top view of coffee loaf cake, piped with swirls of coffee buttercream on cake stand. Coffee in pot to the side with wire rack, cake slice and white plate.

Why Use Instant Coffee in Cake?

I find instant coffee much easier to bake with than fresh ground coffee.

Instant coffee is designed to release all of its flavour as soon as it dissolves, and you only need a little splash of boiling water to dissolve it, which means you only need to add a little extra flour.

Fresh ground coffee needs much more water, and a brewing process of some kind to release the flavour.

Coffee granules on a silver spoon

You can get a strong coffee flavour from instant, with very little liquid.

If you want a stronger flavour, add more coffee granules, but only use as much water as you need to dissolve them.

You may need to increase the flour slightly if you add too much extra liquid.

I generally find that using instant means that this is a very simple coffee loaf cake recipe that can’t really go wrong.

How to Make Coffee Loaf Cake

I love making Loaf cake recipes because they are so simple. 

You can use an electric whisk (aff link) or a Hand mixer to mix together the butter and sugar, before adding the eggs and coffee and mixing, and then finally whisking in the flour until the batter is smooth and even. 

Then I bake for around 50 minutes, checking after 40. 

How Long Does a Loaf Cake Take to Cool?

If you can I recommend leaving your cake to cool completely in the tin. This can take a couple of hours, but it’s important that you cool it completely before you ice it.

If you are in a rush, turn it out and cool on a wire rack, which can take around an hour.

close up of piped swirls of coffee buttercream.

If you are in more of a rush, remove it from the tin and pop it in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.

However you cool your cake, I recommend at leaving it in the tin for at least the first 10 minutes.

What You Need to Make Coffee Cake Loaf

For my coffee cake recipe I use:

I also use reusable baking paper to line my tin, but this isn’t essential. These are all affiliate links. 

Ingredients for Coffee Flavoured Buttercream

I love nice thick coffee buttercream frosting, but if you prefer a simple drizzle, you could make a Coffee Glaze by mixing an espresso with powdered sugar, until you get a sticky drizzlable consistency. 

coffee buttercream icing in white mixing bowl.

If you want to make my Coffee flavour Buttercream frosting you need:

Icing Sugar

Unsalted Butter – I don’t like to use margarine for Coffee butter frosting. It’s got a higher water content, so you need loads of it and you can still end up with sloppy icing. Butter is much better, but make sure it’s at room temperature to make it easier to beat

Instant Coffee Granules – dissolved in boiled water. You can also make Coffee buttercream with espresso, just brew an espresso and add bit at a time until you get the right taste and texture. 

How to Make Coffee Buttercream

This coffee buttercream recipe is delicious, the perfect topping for Coffee cupcakes, a Mocha loaf cake, or this easy coffee loaf cake. 

It’s also really easy to make. 

I start by dissolving coffee granules in a little water and leaving to cool. Then I beat the room temperature butter until it’s soft. 

Then I beat in the icing sugar, before adding the cooled coffee bit at a time, until it’s the right taste and texture. 

3/4 view of coffee loaf cake with buttercream on glass cake stand.

How to Stop Coffee Buttercream from Splitting

I find buttercream is far less likely to split if you use butter instead of margarine. 

You should also make sure the coffee is cool, and add it slowly, instead of throwing it all in at once. 

If your buttercream does split, try putting it in the fridge for an hour, before beating vigorously. This can sometimes bring it back together.

Another option is slowly heating the mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, and mixing together. 

My favourite way to save split buttercream, however, is adding chocolate. Melt a little chocolate over a Bain Marie, leave to cool, and then pour into your coffee buttercream. Stir vigorously, and you should get a yummy mocha icing. 

How to Thicken Coffee Buttercream

If you use butter and follow this recipe, your buttercream should be thick. 

Add coffee very gradually, to avoid altering the texture too much, and if your buttercream is too thin, stir in some more icing sugar. 

How Long Will This Coffee Loaf Cake Keep?

I keep my moist Coffee Loaf Cake on a lidded glass cake stand, but you could keep yours in a tin or sealed tub.

served slice of cake on white plate with sliver cake slice. Whole cake on glass cake stand in the background.

It stays nice and soft for around 3 days. It’s fine to eat after this, but it will start to dry out.

You could also keep your Coffee Loaf Cake uncovered on the side, but it will dry out faster, so try to cover it if you can.

Could You Use This Recipe for Different Shapes?

This recipe would also make 2 8inch round cakes, in sandwich tins, if you wanted to put your Coffee Buttercream in the middle to create a simple Coffee Cake.

You’ll have to adjust the cooking time, as it won’t be as deep, so I would check after 25 minutes, first checking at around 15.

top view of coffee loaf cake, piped with swirls of coffee buttercream on wire rack. Coffee in pot to the side with cake slice.

Can You Freeze Coffee Cake?

You can freeze the Coffee Loaf Cake, but personally I would do it before you add the buttercream, as this doesn’t freeze as well.

Leave your Coffee Cake to cool, wrap well, or place in a large sealed tub, and freeze as soon as you can.

close up of coffee cake in cake tin.

When you are ready for it, remove from the freezer, unwrap if necessary and thaw slowly in the fridge.

If you wanted, you could make and freeze the buttercream separately, and again freeze in a sealed tub.

It can thaw a little crumbly, which is why I say don’t freeze it on the cake. But, if you mix in a little milk once it’s totally thawed, it should be fine to use.

Other Easy Loaf Cake Recipes

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top view of coffee loaf cake, piped with swirls of coffee buttercream on cake stand. Coffee in pot to the side with wire rack, cake slice and white plate.

Coffee Loaf Cake with Coffee Buttercream

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4.5 from 105 reviews

  • Author: Donna
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Slices 1x
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Enjoy this soft Coffee Loaf Cake with its delicate coffee taste. Topped with lashings of rich coffee buttercream, it’s the perfect treat for any coffee lover.


Units Scale

For the Coffee Cake:

  • 170 g Butter (Or margarine, at room temp and extra for greasing)
  • 170 g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 3 teaspoons Instant Coffee (And a splash of boiling water)
  • 200 g Self-Raising Flour

For the Coffee Buttercream:

  • 100 g Butter (at room temp)
  • 200 g Icing Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Instant Coffee (And a Splash of boiling water)


For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (180 if non-fan assisted).
  2. Grease or line a cake tin.
  3. Mix the coffee granules with a splash of boiling water in a small bowl and leave to cool.
  4. Whisk the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until there are no lumps (this takes around 2 minutes with an electric whisk).
  5. Add the eggs and whisk.
  6. Pour in the cooled coffee and whisk until the colour is even.
  7. Sift in the flour and whisk until the mix is smooth.
  8. Pour into the tin and bake in the middle of the oven for around 50 minutes, until the centre is cooked, check with a skewer at around 40 minutes.
  9. Leave to cool in the tin if you’ve got time, or at least leave for 10 minutes before tipping onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Buttercream:

  1. Mix the coffee with a splash of boiling water and leave to cool.
  2. Beat the butter until soft.
  3. Add the icing sugar and continue to beat until smooth.
  4. Pouring in the cooled coffee bit at a time, stirring it in until you get a thick but pipeable texture and a taste that you like.
  5. Mix until smooth.
  6. Pipe or spread the buttercream onto the top of the cooled cake.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooling and icing time:: 1 hours
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Cuisine: American, British


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 366kcal
  • Sugar: 31g
  • Sodium: 362mg
  • Fat: 21g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7g
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 43g
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 95mg

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Any nutritional information is given as a general guide only and may not be accurate. The information is provided using an online calculator and is specific to my ingredients. Please make your own calculations if you want precise information. 

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Donna Dundas
Donna Dundas is an experienced family food blogger who has been creating easy and wholesome recipes for over 7 years. Her blog is a must-read for anyone looking for filling and delicious recipe ideas, that reduce waste and minimise stress.

14 thoughts on “Coffee Loaf Cake with Coffee Buttercream”

  1. I tried your coffee loaf cake recipe for my husband and he absolutely loved it. Thank you for sharing this recipe

  2. We love this coffee cake but I’m just wondering could I use the batter for Madeira cake and add vanilla

  3. I veganised this, using chia seeds instead of the eggs, and added some chopped walnuts. Boozed it up by using Kahlua with the instant coffee for the cake and buttercream. Absolutely lovely.


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