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Wake-Me-Up Coffee Cake

Wake up and smell the coffee! This Wake-Me-Up Coffee Cake has everything you need to jumpstart your day. With buttery hazelnut-studded sponge, creamy coffee syrup and mascarpone frosting, it's the perfect indulgent treat. Top it off with a latte 'tree' design and you've got a real showstopper!

Ahh, I'm so excited to share this recipe today - Wake-Me-Up Coffee Cake! It's a wonderful way to surprise your family and friends.

Picture this - rich, velvety mascarpone frosting gently enveloped around pillowy-soft layers of creamy sponge cake. Add a tablespoon of hazelnut liqueur to the mix, and you have one truly knock-out cake!

And, with a little twist on the traditional by adding a coffee-flavored syrup to the layers before frosting, you'll get a delicious surprise of a latte-like flavor in every bite.

On top of that, let me take you on a visual delight. Once frosted, the cake is decorated with a whimsical dotted pattern of white cream cascading down the side of the cake and oval-shaped ‘leaves’ outlining the entire cake - it's extremely pleasing to the eye, and the taste buds.

I can't wait to hear all about your Wake-Me-Up Coffee Cake experience once you give it a go!

Why You’ll Love This Wake-Me-Up Coffee Cake Recipe

These are all the reasons I'm loving this Wake-Me-Up Coffee Cake recipe:

It's a unique flavor: This Wake-Me-Up Coffee Cake is unlike any other cake out there; it's a delicious combination of hazelnuts, coffee syrup, mascarpone, and hazelnut chocolate spread!

It's a treat for all senses: Not only does this cake taste good but it also looks beautiful. The light brown soft sugar and toasted hazelnuts decorating the top of the cake add a special touch that will make the cake stand out.

It's an energizing snack: The strong coffee flavor and the mascarpone tend to wake you up, so this cake is perfect for when you need a little energy boost.

Wake-Me-Up Coffee Cake

Wake up and smell the coffee! This Wake-Me-Up Coffee Cake has everything you need to jumpstart your day. With buttery hazelnut-studded sponge, creamy coffee syrup and mascarpone frosting, it's the perfect indulgent treat. Top it off with a latte 'tree' design and you've got a real showstopper!

A challenge
Prep Time:
1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time:
25 minutes
Serves 16


For the cakes

  • 100g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g bag chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 300g light brown soft sugar
  • 6 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp fine instant coffee powder (see tip)
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 175g plain flour

For the coffee syrup

  • 50g light brown soft sugar
  • 1 tsp fine instant coffee powder
  • 1 tbsp hazelnut liqueur

For the frosting and nuts

  • 400g mascarpone
  • 300g hazelnut chocolate spread
  • 1 tbsp fine instant coffee powder
  • 50g chopped toasted hazelnuts

For the latte topping

  • 150ml pot double cream
  • 4 tsp icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tbsp fine instant coffee powder, dissolved in 1 tsp boiling water


  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease two 20cm sandwich tins (ideally around 4.5cm deep or higher) with an ample amount of butter and line their bases with parchment paper. Place the hazelnuts into a food processor along with 2 tablespoons of the sugar, then pulse until they are finely chopped. Don't expect them to be as fine as ground almonds and be mindful not to over-process as this could make the nuts greasy.
  • Step 2: Combine the butter, milk, and coffee powder in a small pot and heat it over low heat until the butter melts. Set aside.
  • Step 3: Begin forming the sponge. Crack the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer and then add the remaining sugar. Using a handheld electric whisk, whip the mixture for 15-20 minutes or employ a tabletop mixer and beat for 5-10 minutes until it is thick, voluminous and ribbony. It is essential that the mixture is thick enough and almost doubled in size to get a fluffy sponge.
  • Step 4: In a separate bowl, combine the cornflour, plain flour, salt, and sift onto the whisked mixture. Gently incorporate the 'ingredients', add the ground nuts, and slowly fold in the warm milk. Blend using a light lifting and cutting motion until the liquid is no longer visible. Divide the batter between the tins and bake for 25 minutes until they have risen and are a golden hue.
  • Step 5: Utilize a palette knife to detach the edges of the cakes, then leave to cool in the tins on a wire rack for 20 minutes. (The cakes should appear leveled off, but it could be slightly wrinkled, which is okay). Carefully transfer the cakes from their tins and cool them paper-side facing down.
  • Step 6: Simultaneously create the syrup and frosting. Place the sugar and 4 tbsp water into a saucepan over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute before removing it from the source. Incorporate the coffee and alcoholic beverage. In a separate bowl, blend the mascarpone, hazelnut chocolate spread, and coffee until consistent.
  • Step 7: Cut the cold cakes in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Moisten the cut surfaces completely using a pastry brush to brush on the syrup. Put the first layer onto a plate or stand, cut-side up. Spread 3 generous dollops of frosting to the edges with a palette knife, forming a 5mm deep layer. Layer the remaining cakes onto the frosted cake, ending with the last layer cut-side down for a smooth top. Paddle the remainder of the frosting over the top and sides. Use the knife to create a neat ring of nuts into the frosting around the side of the cake. Sweep away any excess.
  • Step 8: In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of the cream, 1 teaspoon icing sugar, and 1 tablespoon milk. Put the remaining cream, milk and sugar, plus the remaining dissolved coffee, into a larger bowl. Whip the white cream until light and fluffy, then add the coffee cream and beat until it resembles soft cappuccino froth, thick yet still able to drip from a spoon. Spread most of the coffee cream over the cake, pushing it out so that it covers the top. Whisk in a bit extra coffee to the last of the cream, until it becomes a few shades darker.
  • Step 9: For a visually stunning latte 'tree' design, take a teaspoon with a small amount of white cream of the top. Begin at the bottom of the tree, just to the right of the cake's centre. Gradually apply pressure to the spoon to let the cream fall out in a wispy manner. As it drips, pull the spoon away from the cake in an outwards motion to make a leaf-like shape. Repeat with some more cream on the left, creating another leaf. Carry on this process 3-4 times, gradually getting smaller to reach the top. Finish it off by using the same technique to make a few curved swoops around the outer border.
  • Step 10: Utilize the dark cream for sculpting each leaf – use the tip of a teaspoon or a clean cocktail stick for this purpose. Then, move the cocktail stick in an upward and outward direction starting from the points of each leaf. Lastly, draw a line from the peak of the 'tree' to the base of the cake to conclude. This dessert can be kept for up to 2 days, making sure to loosely cover the cut edges but avoiding contact with the cake directly to preserve its decorations. For consumption, serve the cake either refrigerated or at room temperature.
Saturated Fat: 18g; Sodium: 0.3mg; Sugar: 33g; Protein: 8g; Carbohydrate: 45g; Calories: 544kcal; Fiber: 2g; Fat: 36g;

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