Traditional coffee cake, while delicious, is misleading. Its name leads one to believe that coffee is a flavor in the cake when sadly, it typically is not. In this recipe, the name “coffee-coffee cake” rings true. This cake is moist and dense—the perfect accompaniment to a fresh cup of coffee. The coarsely ground coffee in the filling of this cake rounds out the cinnamon, nuts, and raisins, working to create an exciting coffee cake that perfectly embodies its name.
In the batter of this coffee-coffee cake, sour cream works to form a dense, moist cake and the addition of brewed coffee adds subtle flavor complexity to the cake. However, the true magic of this cake lies in its filling. The star of the show is the coffee grounds. They both add a delectable crunchiness and a pop of coffee flavor in the center of the cake. In this recipe, walnuts are called for in the filling, but you can substitute pecans or leave them out entirely. Golden raisins are an important specificity for this filling; unlike regular raisins which are dried in the sun, golden raisins are dried in a dehydrator and result in a plumper and juicer fruit. If you want to go wild, try substituting dried currants, dried cherries, or dried apricots in place of the raisins.
Another wonderful thing about this cake is that it is devilishly delicious no matter what it is topped with. A classic buttercream frosting is superb and veers the cake into more of a dessert territory. If frosting isn’t your jam, sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar or whip up a simple sugar glaze with confectioner’s sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.
The Bundt pan is key to this cake coming out perfectly. Bundt pans are made for heavier, moister cakes (like this one) by ensuring heat is transferred evenly through the cake by allowing more cake to connect with the edges of the pan.
You can still enjoy traditional coffee cake with a cup of your favorite coffee, but this coffee-coffee cake will forever subvert your coffee cake expectations, expanding your coffee cake fantasies to actually include coffee in the cake.