Simple Coffee Cake

No baking skills required.

It seems there are almost endless ways that you can dress up a plain packet of cake mix. I think this is about the 15th different recipe that I’ve come up with in the last few years, and I don’t bake much 🙂

This cake is very moist and yet also light. The coffee is just a subtle hint of flavour making it perfect for morning or afternoon tea.

I sprinkled some chopped walnuts over my cake but this is optional. Tip: if you buy a bag of plain nuts for baking, put any left-overs in a sealed bag in the freezer. They will stay fresh and keep for much longer than they would in the pantry.

Ingredients – makes an 18cm/7 inch cake:

  • 1/2 cup strong coffee, cooled
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 packet (340g/12 oz) vanilla cake mix  (I used my supermarket’s own brand)


  • 1 cup icing (powdered) sugar
  • approx 4 teaspoons milk
  • 1 handful chopped walnuts, optional


  • Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan forced/350F.
  • Spray an 18cm/7 inch spring-form cake pan with cooking spray.
  • Put the cooled coffee, oil, sour cream and eggs in a jug and whisk to combine.
  • Place the cake mix into a medium bowl. Add the liquid from the jug and then mix with a fork until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes – the cake is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and leave in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Make the icing by mixing the icing (powdered) sugar and milk to a thick but spreadable consistency. Frost the top of the cake and then sprinkle over the chopped walnuts, if using.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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