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Coffee Flavoured Butter Cake

Close up of a coffee cake with praline buttercream

I often want a plain flavoured cake so I can do something special with the topping. You can do so much with a plain cake. I wanted to make a pecan praline buttercream, so I thought this coffee flavoured butter cake would work a treat. And if you add pecans to the cake, it makes it awfully hard to slice neatly. ?

The plain coffee cake is lovely, but I understand there are some of you out there that don’t like coffee. Is that right? I love coffee and simply can’t function properly until I’ve downed at least one cup each morning.

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂
A three layer coffee cake with two servings on white plates, ready to eat.

I’m going to start off by giving you the cake recipe then we’ll chat about how I made the pecan praline.

A falvoured butter cake with a wedge on a plate in from of the whole cake

Coffee flavoured Butter Cake

5 from 2 votes

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becs-table.com.au
This cake is for coffee and pecan lovers. I often make a plain cake and top it with decadent toppings. Love this praline.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Course Cake
Cuisine German or English
Servings 12
Method Thermomix and Conventional

Equipment

  • Thermomix or Stand Mixer

Ingredients
  

  • 320 g castor sugar
  • 250 g unsalted butter (chopped into small cubes and still cold from the fridge for the Thermomix and room temp for the stand mixer method)
  • 10 g vanilla 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 400 g plain flour
  • 20 g 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 250 g milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp instant coffee (I use Maccona) add to the milk, mix and allow to dissolve

Instructions
 

Thermomix Method

  • I used 3 x 20cm tins
  • Set your oven to 150°C fan or 160°C no fan and prepare your tins
  • Set your ingredients up as follows.
  • eggs in a small bowl or jug
  • Milk, dissolved coffee and vanilla in another separate bowl.
  • Flour and baking powder weighed into another small bowl and mixed with a fork to combine.
  • Weigh in the cubes of cold butter and mix 30 seconds/speed 6
  • Weigh in the sugar and set for a further 10 seconds/speed 6 Lift and scrape before adding the butterfly
  • Insert butterfly, and have all your ingredients weighed out and ready to add to the TM
  • (prep is vital when you first start learning this method)
  • Set the TM to speed 3, add the eggs in a steady slow stream or one at a time, then
  • Scrape down. If your mix starts to curdle, add around a tablespoon of your dry Ingredients in-between egg additions. lift and scrape before continuing on
  • Set the TM back to speed 3 and while the blades are running add 1/2 of the dry ingredients through the hole in the lid then add 1/2 the liquid ingredients, continue with the remainder of the dry then the remainder of the wet.
  • Remove the lid scrape down the sides of the bowl making sure there are no hard bits of butter left behind
  • Give it another 3 second mix on speed 3 then place the batter into the prepared cake tins.
  • My cakes took 30 minutes to cook through, however cooking times will vary according to your oven and size of tin. Start checking at 20 minutes.
  • Test with a skewer to see if it’s done or use one of the other methods I suggest in other recipes.

Coventional Stand Mixer Method

  • I used 3 x 20cm tins
  • Set your oven to 150°C fan or 160°C no fan and prepare your tins
  • Read the whole recipe including tips
  • Gather and weigh all the ingredients
  • Add the butter and sugar to the stand mixer and beat until mixing on medium-high speed until light and fully incorporated. (You may need to scrape down and repeat but remember if it’s warm in your kitchen don’t take too long, or your butter will be too warm.) Add the vanilla into the bowl and give it another very short mix before continuing.
  • Set the beater to a slow to medium speed then add 1 egg at a time beating in-between to combine scrape the butter sugar off the sides and base of your bowl as you go. If at any stage the mix looks as though it's starting to separate you can add one or two heaped tablespoons of the flour you’ve weighed and set aside. This will prevent the eggs from curdling.
  • Now your mix should look light and fluffy.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and have your flour and liquid mix at the ready. Turn the beater on to on to medium low speed then add flour mix then 1/2 the liquid, then 1/2 of the flour, and lastly the remainder of the liquid mix.
  • Place the batter into the prepared cake tins.
  • My cakes took 30 minutes to cook through however cooking times will vary according to your oven and size of tin. Start checking at 20 minutes.
  • Test with a skewer to see if it’s done or use one of the other methods I suggest in other recipes.

Notes

Notes for adding eggs in the stand mixer. When you add your eggs, you will notice that the egg makes the butter mix look shiny in the bowl. Beat the egg in until the shine is gone, then scrape down and add another portion of the egg. Beat again until the shine has gone.
To make the cake a little more interesting you could add a big handful of toated Pecans but it makes it awfully hard to slice nicely.  I like the idea of adding them to the buttercream.  

Now for the Pecan Praline Topping

(Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the conventional method)

Thermomix Method:

I found this recipe on Cookidoo for Honey Sesame snaps (click on the link to see it – if you have a valid Cookidoo account you’ll see all of it, otherwise you’ll just get the ingredient list).

Where it says to put in sesame seeds, I used toasted pecans. Use exactly the same amount; otherwise, the recipe won’t work properly. All I did was add my pecans to a flat tray while I was baking off my cake. I gave them about 8 – 10 minutes at the cake temp. Keep an eye on them; nuts burn quickly.

Pecan toffee close up shot.
Pecan Toffee

I skipped step 3 in the Cookidoo recipe as I had already had my 250g of toasted Pecans ready and continued on with the recipe. (Oh, I didn’t bother breaking them up because I wanted to see the big chunks of nuts in the toffee I didn’t blitz to powder)

Here are a few tips when working with caramel (toffee)

  • Get it out of the TM bowl as soon as the sound goes off.
  • Try not to get too much around the rim of your TM bowl and follow on with the cleaning function that’s in this specific recipe.
  • If you take too long and your toffee sets, you’ll be better off soaking your bowl if your blades are stuck in place.

I waited until the pecan brittle (praline) was completely cold, then with the back of my kitchen knife (using it like a hammer), I broke up the praline into small bits.

Take 200g of the smallest bits of Praline and put them into a clean, dry TM bowl. Blitz for 20 sec/speed 10. Remove the lid, lift and scrape down; some chunks like to get stuck behind a wall of powdered toffee. Repeat for another 20 seconds/speed 10.

Powdered praline in a Thermomix bowl.
Powdered Praline

Now remove as much as you can from the TM bowl. Don’t worry about getting it all out. We’re only taking the majority out so it doesn’t set hard on the base before the butter is softened.

Then add 200 g of butter and 100g of cream cheese and beat for 10 seconds/speed 6

Now add the 200g of powdered praline back into the TM bowl and mix again at 10 seconds/speed 6, scrape up and down and repeat if necessary. I popped this in the fridge for 10 minutes before spreading it on my cake.

Praline (as buttercream) in a bowl.
Praline Buttercream

The conventional method of making the Pecan Brittle is a little more difficult. You’ll need a temperature probe and stand and watch over the pot, whereas the TM suits this recipe/method with its built-in temperature and guided recipe leaves little room for errors.

Pecan Brittle and Buttercream Conventional Method:

Brittle Ingredients:

  • 250 g toasted pecans
  • 350 g white sugar
  • 120 g honey
  • 1040 g water
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 20 g salted butter
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract

Brittle Conventional Method:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat then set it aside.
  2. Add the sugar and honey to a medium to large saucepan and mix. Turn the heat on to medium-high heat.
  3. Next, add the water and salt and stir to coat.
  4. Place the candy thermometer into the pan and cook until the thermometer reaches 135°c, often stirring so the sugar doesn’t catch and burn on the base of the pan.
  5. Once the thermometer reaches 135°c, remove it from the heat, and stir in the butter, baking soda and toasted pecans. Stir until well combined. The mix should foam up a bit.
  6. Quickly pour the pecan brittle onto the prepared silicone sheet and spread it out.
  7. Allow the pecan brittle to cool for at least one hour. (It will smooth out and get shiny as it cools).
  8. Break the pecan brittle into pieces.

If you want to make the buttercream as above, you need to be able to blitz 200g of the brittle into powder. Please make sure you use something that won’t break while doing this. The Thermomix bowl and blades are stainless steel, and the motor is quite capable of such a task.

Next add 200 g of butter and 100g of cream cheese to a stand mixer and beat until light and soft

Now add the 200g of powdered praline into the stand mixer and mix until combined. If it’s too soft to spread pop it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before continuing.

…and there we have, a delightful Coffee Flavoured Butter Cake 🙂

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