Coffee, Chocolate and Vanilla Swirl Coffee Cake
Get your dose of coffee with this mocha coffee coffee cake- a chocolate, vanilla and coffee marble cake topped off with a coffee glaze that you eat with coffee.
After what seems like only several days (but in reality was 2 months), the new school term begins tomorrow. Naturally, I don’t want to go. Perhaps in this blog post, I was going to rant about how much I don’t want to start a new school year, about how much closer I’m coming to leaving home, about how I don’t have the motivation to write 2,000 word-long essays, or even about how I won’t have as much time to cook. Trivial things. Small problems. Minor issues.
So I’m not going to rant. I don’t need to. Not after Humans of New York started its UN world tour. If you don’t know what HONY is, you probably don’t have Facebook. Brandon Stanton, the founder, has nearly 10 million likes on his page. For good reason. He takes photographs of ordinary people situated in New York and gives their quotes. It’s really quite fascinating what people have to say, and I just think it connects all sorts of people around the globe (even though the individuals that appear on the page reside in NY) in a new way. Between August and September, Brandon is on a world tour organized with the UN, so he’s been taking pictures of people all over the African continent (so far). All I can say is, “Wow.” I have nothing but admiration and respect for what he is doing. It’s funny, because I’ve been able to sympathize and learn more about Kenya- for example, through HONY as opposed to a newspaper. It’s a lot more personal when you see pictures of people and things they said as opposed to a recount of events.
I saw this photograph of a woman and her two children in (Kasangulu, Democratic Republic of Congo). The woman said, “I’d like them to be ministers or business people. But this one is supposed to start school this year, and I don’t have the money to send him.” This may sound a little cliché, but I never really understood how many children don’t have opportunity to go to school and receive a proper education, which basically means that their chances for succeeding in the future are slim. It’s not fair and it just kind of put things into perspective. We’re so lucky.
Come to think of it, I am who I am because of the experiences I’ve made at the school- the same school I started grade 1 in- I’ve grown up there. The truth is, I enjoy participating in sports. I enjoy service learning. I enjoy finally getting that math problem right after struggling. I enjoy chatting with my friends at lunch. So I may complain, but now I understand how fortunate I am and I know that even though sometimes it’s rough, school isn’t all that bad. And I’ll wake up tomorrow morning remembering that- with a piece of this mocha infused cake. One thing I’m not looking forward to is waking up before 9:30 am. So this will help me get through the day.
After all, most of us live on coffee, chocolate and sugar. I know I do (maybe not so much coffee- I’m more of a tea kind of person). Give me this cake and I will devour it. It’s so easy to put together and incredibly moist and fluffy. You’ll divide the batter into three portions, so two will be mixed significantly more than one. Some fear that over mixing cake batter will result in a bread-like texture- I know I did. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by how soft it was. Incredibly flavorful as well- and the coffee glaze that goes on top compliments the flavors so well. I know “coffee” is used twice in the title- this is because it’s a cake flavored with coffee that you eat with a cup of coffee. This goes down as one of my favorite cakes. No doubt.
- For the cake:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup natural yogurt (Greek is fine)
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp instant espresso powder (or instant coffee granules)
- For the glaze:
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tsp instant espresso powder (or instant coffee granules)
- 2 tbsp hot water
- Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C and grease a 6-cup bundt pan (or a loaf pan) with butter. Coat with flour to prevent sticking unless you use a silicone pan.
- In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a whisk or electric mixer until light and fluffy (several minutes).
- Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until well-incorporated. The longer you beat these ingredients, the fluffier your cake will be.
- Blend in the baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the yogurt- but ending with the flour.
- In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder with 2 tbsp hot water, until a smooth paste is formed.
- In another small bowl, dissolve the instant espresso powder with 1 1/2 tbsp hot water.
- Divide the cake batter evenly into three parts- keep 1 part in the same bowl you made the cake batter and distribute the other 2/3 of the batter among the coffee and cocoa bowls. Fold to combine.
- You should end up with 3 different flavors of cake batter.
- Spoon dollops of batter into your prepared pan, alternating with each flavor so that each kind of batter is distributed throughout the pan.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. The top of the cake should be golden. Cool completely for around an hour, then invert onto a cake plate.
- Combine the espresso and water, stirring until the espresso is completely dissolved. Add the powder sugar and mix until smooth. You can adjust the consistency by adding more sugar if it is too thin for your liking, or more water if the mixture is too thick.
- Drizzle on top of the cooled cake and let the cake sit for several minutes so that the glaze can harden up, then serve.