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Coffee & Coconut Cake


This delicious alternative to coffee and walnut cake is a long-standing favourite on the Scottish Cafe’s afternoon tea menu, which can be enjoyed daily, in the heart of Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens.



Serves 6

For the cake

  • 225g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 225g light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour, sieved
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g desiccated coconut, toasted
  • 2 shots espresso, or 2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 50ml hot water
  • Toasted desiccated coconut, to decorate

For the frosting

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 50ml double cream
  • 50ml espresso, or 2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 50ml hot water


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line the base of two 20cm non-stick cake tins with greaseproof paper.

To toast the desiccated coconut, simply heat in a non-stick pan for a minute until golden brown. Place aside for later use.

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time with a little of the flour to stop the mixture curdling, then add the remaining flour and the baking powder. Fold in the coconut and espresso. Divide the mixture between the two tins and smooth the mixture level.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 mins until risen and golden. Remove from the oven, turn the cakes out and cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat the icing sugar, cream and espresso together in a bowl until light and fluffy. When the cakes are cool, remove the greaseproof paper and place one sponge on a board or plate. Spread half the frosting on top, then carefully place the other sponge, bottom side up, on top of the frosting. Use a palette knife to smooth the remaining frosting over the cake. Decorate with a generous sprinkle of toasted coconut.


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