Recipe | Cappuccino swirl layer cake with caramel buttercream

A beautiful swirl of coffee and vanilla sandwiched together with caramel buttercream.

Cappuccino swirl layer cake with caramel buttercream and chocolate shaving

I’m planning to publish my debut novel in April 2020. You can find out more about that at Art and Soul.

As part of the prep for publication, I’ve recently re-read the whole manuscript and was dismayed to find mentions of cakes I haven’t made yet! I wanted to correct this serious oversight as quickly as I could. You can find all the recipes for the other cakes mentioned in the novel in Sweet’s Cakes.

One of those cakes was a cappuccino swirl cake. When I wrote that, I just made it up. However, I’m pleased to say the recipe I came up with to make it real turned out fantastically well.

I got the original recipe for the cappuccino / coffee element of the sponge from the BBC Good Food site.

I am not the greatest fan of coffee or coffee cake, but this one is absolutely delicious. Probably because the sweeter elements take the edge off the bitterness of the coffee.

Ingredients (serves 10 – 12 or more or less, depending on how big you cut your slices!)

For the vanilla sponge

  • 125 g/ 4 oz caster sugar
  • 125 g/ 4 oz butter/ baking margarine
  • 125 g/ 4 oz self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs (medium or large)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract/essence

For the cappuccino sponge

  • 125 g/ 4 oz light soft brown sugar and 2-3 tsp sugar
  • 125 g/ 4 oz butter/ baking margarine
  • 125 g/ 4 oz self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs (medium or large)
  • 100 ml/ 3.5 fl oz very strong coffee. I made mine using 4 heaped tsps of coffee granules and boiling water.

For the caramel buttercream and decoration

  • 150 g / 5 oz butter at room temperature
  • 300 g / 10 oz icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp caramel flavouring
  • 20 g / 1 oz your preferred chocolate for grating

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C (160 fan)/ 356 degrees F or Gas Mark 4.

Grease and line two 8-inch/ 20-cm circular tins.

Start by making the vanilla sponge. Making this flavour first will mean you can reuse your mixing bowls to make the coffee flavour sponge without having to wash them in between!

If you have a stand mixer or electric hand beaters, I recommend you use them. Beat together the caster sugar and butter. I have a stand mixer and I beat together the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes.

Add the vanilla essence and then the eggs, stirring between each addition. Add the flour and fold it into the mixture gently until it’s all combined.

Spoon “blobs” of your vanilla mixture into your baking tins, leaving gaps between the blobs for the coffee flavour sponge mix. If you want to be really even you can weigh the mixture into the tins to make sure you split the mixture equally between the tins.

Vanilla sponge mix blobs of Cappuccino swirl layer cake recipe in baking tins

Now make the coffee / cappuccino sponge cake mixture. Beat together the 125g brown sugar and butter. Again, I would advise doing this for at least 3 minutes.

Add the eggs and beat until combined. Stir the flour through the mixture. Don’t worry if it seems very stiff at this point, the coffee will sort this out!

Add just 50 ml (half) of the coffee to the cake mixture. Stir through until combined. Don’t panic if it looks sloppy at first, it will come together nicely as you keep stirring.

Spoon “blobs” of the cappuccino sponge cake mixture into your baking tins between the vanilla sponge mix blobs to fill the tins.

Cappuccino sponge cake mix blobs with vanilla sponge mix blobs in baking tins to make cappuccino sponge layer cake

Drag a knife through the blobs, moving it back and forth to create a swirl.

Cappuccino swirl layer cake with caramel buttercream easy recipe uk

Easy Cappuccino swirl layer cake with caramel buttercream recipe uk

Bake the cappuccino swirl cake layers for 25-30 minutes. With my oven I only needed 25 minutes. If you put a knife or skewer into the middle of the cakes after 25 minutes and it comes out clean then they’re done.

Cappuccino swirl layer cake with caramel buttercream recipe uk freshly baked

Leave your cakes to cool for about 5 minutes in their tins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cappuccino swirl layer cake with caramel buttercream recipe uk simple

Add 2-3 tsp of sugar to the rest of the coffee you made earlier. I heated up the coffee in the microwave for 30 seconds so it was warm enough to melt the sugar. Stir well, then use a dessertspoon to drizzle the coffee over the base of your cooling sponges.

While your sponges finish cooling, make the buttercream.

Buttercream, assembly and decoration

Use your stand mixture or hand mixer to make the buttercream if you have one. Remember, mix slowly and gently at first or the icing sugar will go everywhere.

Start by beating the butter on its own. To get really smooth buttercream, beat the butter for at least 5 minutes. Then add the icing sugar and caramel flavouring and beat for at least 2 minutes until you have a smooth buttercream.

(You can also make caramel buttercream using actual caramel. If you’d rather do that, check out my recipe for caramel cupcakes with caramel buttercream for instructions).

Spoon half the buttercream onto one of the cappuccino swirl cakes and spread out using a knife or the back of the spoon to cover the layer evenly. Place the other cake on top. Spread the remaining caramel buttercream onto the top of the second layer and spread out. Finally, if you like, use a fine grater to grate some chocolate over the top of the cake.

Cappuccino swirl layer cake with caramel buttercream recipe uk and chocolate flakes

I don’t really like coffee cake, but this one is delicious because the coffee flavour is so subtle and balanced nicely by the sweetness of the vanilla and caramel. It will keep well for 2-3 days in an airtight container and a cool, dry place.

Capuccino swirl layer cake with caramel buttercream simple recipe uk with chocolate shaving

I’d suggest you eat it quickly before any small hands steal your slice (Exhibit A below!).

Delicious Cappuccino swirl layer cake with caramel buttercream easy recipe uk with chocolate shaving


Wondering what other cakes feature in my book? These for a start … and you can find more in Sweet’s Cakes.

Picture of old school sponge cake with white icing and multicoloured spinkles

 

Old school simple sponge cake with white icing and multicoloured spinkles.

 

 

 

Raspberry ripple sandwich cake cut

 

Raspberry ripple sponge cake with raspberry buttercream filling.

 

 

 


Claire Huston / Art and Soul
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18 thoughts on “Recipe | Cappuccino swirl layer cake with caramel buttercream

  1. Pingback: Links I’ve Enjoyed This Week – 13/10/19 #WeeklyRoundUpPost 🔗📆 🔗 #SecretLibraryBookBlog – Secret Library Book Blog

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