Wednesday, March 26, 2014

espresso cake with hot kahlua syrup

This month at The Cake Slice Bakers, we are baking an espresso cake.

I am not a big coffee drinker. I will have an iced latte once in a while, but I am not one of those people who need a cup of coffee first thing in the morning.

This was also the first time I used Kahlua to make a cake, or to be more accurate, the syrup for the cake. This was great because all I had ever used Kahlua for was to make Tiramisu. It is always interesting to use an ingredient in a different way. :)

To make the cake, I first greased and floured a 10-cup Bundt pan. You can also halve the recipe and bake the cake in a smaller Bundt pan, or a 9x5-inch loaf pan.

In a mixing bowl, I creamed together butter and lemon zest. To this, I added caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture turned light and fluffy.

To this, I added the eggs, one at a time, and mixed.

Then I added the sour cream and vanilla extract. You should get a smooth mixture at the end of this.

I added the flour/ baking soda/ salt/ cocoa powder mixture and the coffee mixture in the sequence flour-coffee-flour-coffee-flour.

Finally, I gave the sides of the bowl and the paddle a good scrape.

And transferred the batter into the Bundt pan.

This was baked for about 50-60 minutes.

In the meantime, I made the syrup by combining Kahlua, water and honey in a small pot. This was placed over low heat and brought to a gentle boil. Then it was left to simmer for a few minutes before being removed from the stove.

When done, the cake was left  to cool slightly on a wire rack before I used a skewer to pierce holes all over it and then poured the syrup onto the cake.

The cake was left in the pan for at least an hour so it could absorb the syrup.

Then I (very carefully) inverted the pan and transferred the cake onto a cooling rack.

This is definitely a cake for adults.

I think it is nice to make something for the grown-ups once in a while. :)

Espresso Cake with Hot Kahlua Syrup (Serves 12-16)
Adapted from Great Cakes by Carole Walter

For the Cake:
3 tablespoons instant espresso
¼ cup boiling water
¼ cup cold water
2¼ cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick, 113g) butter
½ teaspoon freshly grated
lemon zest
1½ cups superfine or strained sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sour cream

For the Kahlua syrup:
⅔ cup Kahlua or Tia Maria liqueur
⅓ cup water
3 tablespoons honey

For the Cake:
Position rack in lower third of the oven and preheat to 350℉.
Spray a 10-cup bundt pan with baking spray.
In a small bowl, dissolve the espresso in boiling water. Stir in the cold water and set aside to cool.
Using a triple sifter, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. [If you do not have a triple sifter, sift the dry ingredients together three times.] Set aside.
Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and put them and the lemon rind [zest] in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with beaters of paddle attachment. Soften on low speed, then increase speed to medium-high and cream until smooth and light in color, about 1½ to 2 minutes.
Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, taking about 6 to 8 minutes to blend it in well. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Add the eggs, 1 at a time a 1-minute intervals. Blend in the vanilla and sour cream. The mixture will look somewhat curdled at this point. This is okay.
Reduce mixer speed to medium-low. Add the dry ingredients alternating with the espresso, dividing the dry ingredients into three parts and the espresso into two parts, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 10 seconds longer.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a tablespoon. Center the pan on the rack and bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the cake begins to come away from the sides of the pan and a twig of straw or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.
Remove from the oven. Set the pan on a cake rack for 10 to 15 minutes to cool slightly.

For the Kahlua syrup:
In a small saucepan blend the Kahlua, water, and honey. Bring to a slow boil and simmer 2 to 3
minutes. Remove from heat.
Pierce the top of the cake with a wooden skewer and slowly spoon the hot syrup over the top of the hot cake.
Let stand in the pan for at least 1 hour to allow cake to absorb all the liqueur, then invert onto a rack and remove pan.
Store at room temperature under a glass dome or in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

To see what my friends at the Cake Slice Bakers have baked this month, click on their links below!


  1. I love your step-by-step instructions and accompanying photos, and it is definitely nice to have a grown-up cake to enjoy. I love coffee so I am looking forward to trying it again.

  2. Lovely presentation! I agree it's always nice to find different uses for an ingredient that tends to sit in the pantry longer than others. I have a chocolate Kahlua cake recipe on my blog that is really decidant! I absolutely love it! You should give it a try!

  3. Great looking cake and wonderful step-by-step pictures!

  4. WOW! Gorgeous pictures, beautiful looking cake! Great job! :)

  5. Yum, that looks delicious. Great job!

  6. Yum this looks lovely, great job! Laura@Baking in Pyjamas