Coffee and Donuts Cake

It seems I have made it my personal mission to create cohesive marriages between foods that are separate entities, but are commonly eaten together.

Coffee, do you take Donuts to be your lawfully wedded wife(s)?  Of course you do.  You were made for each other!

The idea for this cake first came to me when I found this recipe, originally from Gourmet magazine. I figure 1389 reviewers can’t be wrong.  If a whopping 91% would make it again, then I should at least try it once.  I’m happy to report I’ll be adding my 4-fork review very soon!  The cake batter gets a good dose of brewed coffee, so I began searching for a complimentary coffee buttercream icing.  Amongst the searching I found a new baked donut recipe I was eager to try.  I decided to combine everything together in one big over-the-top cake – and what better pairing than coffee and donuts (…and chocolate cake and buttercream icing)?

The recipe specifies 2- 10″ round pans, but I substituted 3- 9″ pans.  The layers were still plenty big enough, and I love the added height.

The Swiss buttercream icing is so silky and beautiful. If you’ve never made Swiss buttercream, I highly recommend you give it a try.  Unlike American butter(cream) icing, it doesn’t crust or dry out, which makes it a perfect adhesive for the donuts.

You’ll need a mini donut pan for this recipe, available here.  The donut glaze takes a little while to set, so donuts should be made and glazed ahead of time. They’ll need plenty of time to dry before being applied to the cake.  I was surprised at how easily the donuts adhered to the Swiss buttercream.  If you are pressed for time and your donut glaze is a little tacky,  skewers can be used to carefully apply the donuts to the cake. 

The top of the cake gets an extra sprinkling of espresso powder, and the donuts are sprinkled with silver sugar crystals, both available at King Arthur Flour.

(Cute video after the recipe!)

Coffee and Donuts Cake                              [click for printable recipe]

 12 servings

Cake Layers

3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut

1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee

3 cups sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)

2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3 large eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300°F.  Grease pans with shortening. Line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between 2- 10” pans or 3- 9” pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, approx 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Coffee Buttercream

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

2 large eggs

3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened

3 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water

In a small heavy saucepan set over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  Continue to cook until it registers 240°F on a candy thermometer.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs until they are frothy. While mixer is running, add the sugar syrup in a thin stream, carefully tempering the syrup into the eggs without cooking them.  Beat until it is cool. Change to the paddle attachment and add the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Add the espresso mixture, and beat until it is light and fluffy.

Mini Cake Donuts (3 dozen)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cups sugar

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, mix flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat milk , egg and vanilla together.  Add flour mixture to egg mixture and beat on low speed to combine.  Stop mixer and pour melted butter over dough.  Mix again until just incorporated. Transfer batter to a piping bag and pipe into the cavities of a donut baking pan.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.   

Chocolate Glaze for Donuts

2/3 cup heavy cream

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate finely chopped

1 tbsp. light corn syrup

Nonpariels or sanding sugar

Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until very hot but not boiling.  Place chocolate and corn syrup in a small bowl then pour hot cream over mixture and stir until smooth.

Quickly dip cooled donut tops into glaze and allow the excess to drizzle back into the bowl.  Sprinkle with sugar or nonpareils. Allow glazed donuts to dry, about 40 minutes to 1 hour.  Chocolate glaze will darken in color as it cools.

Assembly

Espresso powder for sprinkling

Decorative large crystal sugar for sprinkling

Frost and stack cake layers.  Press unglazed side of donut gently into the side of the cake.  Repeat with entire batch of 3 dozen donuts.  Sprinkle top of cake with espresso powder and decorative sugar.  Extra donuts can be used to garnish the top of the cake.

Please note, I used the entire batch of 3 dozen donuts for decorating.  You may want to resist snacking on a few donuts while you are making them, or else you may not have enough to complete the cake.

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Jessica @ How Sweet
Jessica @ How Sweet
10 years ago

OH my goodness! This is truly a work of art. I don't know if I'd ever have the patience to make such a beautiful cake! I think I would do well eating it though. 🙂

Liz @ LBBakes
Liz @ LBBakes
10 years ago

Oh my, I am a donut lover, so this is awesome!

Heather
Heather
10 years ago

Beautiful, and so creative! It looks sinfully delicious too!

Sue
Sue
10 years ago

You always come up with the cutest, most delicious ideas! This cakes looks so good and I love the little donuts as the crowning touch!
The video your cousin created for you is so sweeet! I see that creativity runs in the family:)

Sarah
Sarah
10 years ago

Oh no, dangerous! Two of my vices rolled into one tasty cake! This is a great idea — I love your creativity.

Katie
Katie
10 years ago

Gasp! This cake makes me SO HAPPY! The donuts are so incredibly adorable – it almost looks too good to eat (though eat it, I would).

Honey
Honey
10 years ago

yum!!!!! and the video is cute…you are so creative….Patti b.

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

This is quite the show stopper, how lovely!

Lora
Lora
10 years ago

This is just in—-credible! So love your creativity.

Heather Ozee
Heather Ozee
10 years ago

Oh Heather…. you're making me want to make the drive from Atlanta all the way to your door just for a bite of that cake! and a hug of course 😉 Thanks for the sweet post. You're going to give this Georgia girl a head as big as Stone Mountain 😉 Love You!!!!

lisa is cooking
lisa is cooking
10 years ago

What a fantastic cake! I want this for breakfast right now. And every day.

Ingrid_3Bs
Ingrid_3Bs
10 years ago

I just love our creative you! Another fantastic job Heather!
~ingrid

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

This is a cake for me. I love coffee and I could probably eat most of those donuts.

oneordinaryday
oneordinaryday
10 years ago

Very clever! Coffee and donuts are definitely a good match.

linda
linda
10 years ago

spectacular!
i want a piece of this creative cake…so i will have to bake it!!!

Johnny
Johnny
10 years ago

Gorgeous! Truly a marriage of coffee and donuts was going to be a wondrous one!
My dad would die of happiness if I had presented him with this…

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
10 years ago

Wow, that is one crazy cake! I love it. And I have a huge soft spot for pugs.. I have a puggle, so they always get me!

Erika Beth, the Messy Chef
Erika Beth, the Messy Chef
10 years ago

Donuts AND cake? I think that's illegal in some countries. I wonder if it can be made without the coffee flavor… (Oh, and that video is super cute!)

Eva
Eva
10 years ago

This is definitely an over-the-top cake! I love the combination. The glazed donuts look way cute(:

Leah
Leah
10 years ago

Just amazing as always! Coffee and donuts nom nom nom!

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

this looks amazing!!! cant wait to find the time to try it out :p

Honey
Honey
10 years ago

OMG… this is gorgeous! You are an artist. I saw this on foodgawker and it looked like gold… i had to click on it. Who would have thought?
This is amazing! Good work!

Sakorarox
Sakorarox
10 years ago

oh my god! kill us with the sugar overdose why dont you?! 😉 Its such a pretty cake I wouldnt want to cut into it! and those individual doughnuts? *to die for*

*swoons*

Nachiketa
Nachiketa
10 years ago

This is just fantastic……. 🙂
Just left speechless…… totally love it…..

Cheers,
The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts – Nachiketa
Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

Paula
Paula
10 years ago

OMG, looks incredible!

cookies and cups
cookies and cups
10 years ago

How fun! What a great cake 🙂

Bonnie
Bonnie
10 years ago

wow, what an awesome over the top cake. I love it! It looks so delicious! Now I'm craving chocolate! The video is absolutely adorable!

The Urban Baker
The Urban Baker
10 years ago

this is crazy cute! i recently ordered the mini donut pans and it is all your fault! can't wait to make them!

www.sweetcreationsbystephanie.com
www.sweetcreationsbystephanie.com
10 years ago

My mouth is watering… WOW

Can someone post a link for the mini donut pans? I've not seen anything this small

NicoleD
NicoleD
10 years ago

Those mini donuts are the cutest thing ever! What an amazing cake.

Ashley
Ashley
10 years ago

Was this mini donut recipe better than your prior one? I had planned to use your first for a party but this one looks just as yummy!!

Ειρήνη
Ειρήνη
10 years ago

love the idea and the photos!

Gena
Gena
10 years ago

I LOVE your blog. It is a new discovery for me. I mentioned you in my blog here:
http://thegreedypalate.blogspot.com/2010/09/vanilla-bean-doughnuts.html

Loved your baby donuts so much that I will DEF try this cake too!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
10 years ago

This comment has been removed by the author.

Val
Val
10 years ago

Be still my heart!!!!!!!!!

the decorated cookie
the decorated cookie
10 years ago

I want to devour this entire cake! I posted a link on my column (ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com). Scah-rumptious!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
10 years ago

Thanks for the feature @Chic Cookies!

Ok, I'm going to try to answer again – I got the names wrong last time – sorry!

Stephanie – there is a link in the paragraph above the sliced piece of cake picture. Or you could go to Amazon.com and search for the Norpro non-stick mini donut pan (12 cavity).

Ashley – These donuts were a little more cakey and dense than the last. I think if I were making the donuts to eat alone, I'd make the previous vanilla bean baby donuts.

Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes
Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes
10 years ago

This is absolutely gorgeous! I must make it. I did something similar for an ice cream cupcake contest:

http://www.20somethingcupcakes.com/2010/05/sugar-donut-coffee-ice-cream-cupcakes/

Stacey
Stacey
10 years ago

Wow now that's a cake. It's so beautiful and I love the mini donuts.

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot
Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot
10 years ago

That cake is pretty dang spectacular! You are really having fun with that mini doughnut pan aren't you? That video is adorable too. How sweet is that?

Kendall
Kendall
10 years ago

Just had to say hi and say that your desserts/baked goods are so incredibly beautiful! I love to bake myself, but I've never had the patience or know how to make anything that looked as good as I'm sure it tastes!

Preppy Pink Crocodile
Preppy Pink Crocodile
10 years ago

Amazing! That's the only word that comes to mind.

Erin
Erin
10 years ago

ooooooooooh YUM!!

Deer Little Fawn
Deer Little Fawn
10 years ago

I have only just discovered your blog, I'm pleased I did! Oh My God this cake is AMAZING!! I can't even cope with this cake! coffee, donuts, cake.. my favourite things combined! Want!
x Beth
http://deerlittlefawn.blogspot.com

Biscuit's Aunt
Biscuit's Aunt
10 years ago

Heather, you are amazingly patient with your creative creations!!! Love the cake and really love the animated "Sprinkle Bakes". Love you!

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

That's the most glamorous interpretation of coffee and donuts I've ever seen!

Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes
Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes
10 years ago

This comment has been removed by the author.

Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes
Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes
10 years ago

Why are you so amazing?
P.S. I put you twice above

Kelly
Kelly
10 years ago

My husband and I are trying to get pregnant. I have already been looking for a creative way to tell my family when we are. I'm going to use these coffee cake and coffee buttercream recipes to make a cake for them to "spill the beans". 🙂 It will be decorated with a toppled over cup filled with whole coffee beans & I'll pipe "We're spilling the beans" on top. Thanks so much for this!

Heidi
Heidi
10 years ago

Freakin' adorable!!!