Coffee & Tia Maria cake just for the grown ups!
Coffee & Tia Maria cake just for the grown ups!

Grown up’s espresso coffee cake with ‘Tia Maria’

If I’d known you were coming I would have baked you a cake…tra la la so it goes and what could be nicer to give to someone but a home made cake? This espresso coffee cake is a sophisticated marble cake with ‘Tia Maria’ liquer rather gorgeous and strictly for the grown ups. Hands off my little ones this is all mine. I’m not really one for the strict New Year resolutions viz a viz the ‘great cake eating/healthy eating debate’ so I’m going for the ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’ standpoint. Much more successful with me at any rate-what about you?

I have decorated the cake with chocolate covered coffee beans – you can find them on the counter in some of the larger coffee shops or in Italian type  delis etc. They are worth searching out to decorate this cake. Here is my recipe:


175g unsalted butter, softened

175g golden caster sugar

2 lge eggs, beaten

175g self-raising flour and 1 teasp baking powder, sifted together

1 lge tbsp. instant espresso granules

1 tbsp. Tia Maria liqueur

(Approx. 50g dark coffee flavoured chocolate, chopped roughly-optional)


For the icing:

50g butter

2 tbsp. double cream (or milk)

1 lge tbsp. instant espresso granules

1 tbsp. Tia Maria liqueur

175g icing sugar

Dark chocolate covered beans (I found these for sale at the counter of one of the large coffee chains)

  1. Preheat oven to 170C, gas 5. Base line a 990g (2lb) loaf tin with baking paper and grease the sides well.
  2. To make the cake-use a free standing mixer-cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time and add some flour if it looks like it will curdle. Don’t overbeat.
  4. Add the sifted self raising flour/ baking powder and mix until just combined.
  5. Divide the mixture in half. Dissolve the espresso granules in 1 tbsp. of Tia Maria. Stir well and then add to one half of the cake mixture. (Add the chopped coffee chocolate to this portion if using.) Stir together gently.
  6. Spoon the coffee mix and the plain mix into the tin in 2 rough layers. Shake the tin once to get rid of any air bubbles. Swirl a spoon backwards and forwards to create a marbled effect.
  7. Bake for approx. 45 mins or until firm and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

 To make the icing:

  1. Melt the butter and leave to cool. Stir in the cream (or milk).
  2. Dissolve the espresso coffee granules in the Tia Maria liqueur.
  3. Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl and then mix in the melted butter, cream, coffee/ liqueur. Beat together until creamy. Leave for 5 minutes and then beat again to make it more ‘fudgy’ .Add a splash of milk/more icing sugar to get the right consistency i.e. pourable but not so liquid that it rolls off the cake before it sets.
  4. Pour over the cake allowing it to drip down the sides. You may not need it all. Any extra can be frozen to use on something else. Leave to set and then decorate with the chocolate covered coffee beans.



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