Introduction: Coffee Cup Cake

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is it coffee cake or a cup cake? it's a coffee cup!

Make your own espresso coffee cake with espresso-nut glazed topping.

While I was in line at my local Starbucks I noticed they were giving away samples of biscotti in tiny disposable espresso cups. Many of the customers were taking the samples and leaving the cups on the tray by the register. Since no lips touched these cups it seemed a shame to have them go to waste. Sensing an opportunity, I snagged the empties and headed back to the lab.
note: each cup was inspected for cleanliness and suitability for this project.

This instructable won First Prize in the Coffee Cup Contest
Check out all the entries!

Enough talk, let's make some coffee cake!

Step 1: Ingredients

Since we're using coffee cups as our form I thought it would be fitting to add a shot of espresso to the mix, feel free to edit this recipe to suit your tastes.

Coffee cake is easily adapted to add in apricot, marshmallows, sour cream or apple streusel.
Experiment and have fun with it, post your results if you decide to make your own!

coffee cup cakes:
dry ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • handful of chocolate chips (optional)
wet ingredients
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 shot espresso
  • brown sugar
  • butter
  • crushed nuts
  • 1/2 shot espresso
 yield: about 6 cupcakes

Step 2: Combine Dry/wet Ingredients

Start by preheating your oven to 200°C (400°F).
While the oven is warming up we can start mixing the ingredients.

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients:
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • brown sugar
  • salt
sift together and set aside
In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients:
  • butter
  • milk
  • egg
  • vanilla extract
whisk together

Slowly fold the wet ingredients to the dry. Don't over-mix.
Somehow some chocolate chips fell into the batter while I was mixing.

Step 3: Grease and Fill Cups

Once your mixture is folded it's time to prep the cups. These cups are paper and have a slight film on the inside. As a precaution I used butter to grease the inside of each cup to ease releasing of the cupcake after cooking.

After each cup has been greased, fill each cup almost to the top. These will rise, we want enough room for expansion so each cupcake creates a nice muffin-top for our glaze.

By now your oven should be at 200°C (400°F), fire in those cupcakes and set the timer for 15 minutes.
These burn easily so keep an eye on them.

Step 4: Topping

While the cupcakes are baking we can make the glazed topping. In my opinion the topping is what gives coffee cake it's character, this topping is a nut-espresso glaze.

I usually have a stockpile hidden somewhere close by. The nut mix shown here is called Royal Nut Mix and consists of: peanuts, brazil nuts, cashews, macadamia, pecans, almonds, and filberts. Smash those nuts!

Combine melted butter with some brown sugar, add in a half shot of espresso, then fire in those crushed nuts. Mix, then let stand for a few minutes until the butter has cooled and the mixture coagulates some.

Step 5: Cool, Add Toppings and Serve!

After about 15 minutes your cupcakes should be finished, time to drizzle on your glaze and serve warm.

This tiny tasty treat goes well with your favourite cuppa joe, some strong Earl Grey, or on their own as a snack while procrastinating about exercise. Share your own recipe variations and ideas in the comments below.

Coffee Cup Challenge

First Prize in the
Coffee Cup Challenge