Coffee and Donuts Cake

20130702-141232.jpg My Pastor just had a birthday! I never caught how old he was turning, but maybe he likes it that way:) Everybody knows that he’s a regular at starbucks, and that he loves his donuts. So naturally, when I remembered this cake from Sprinkle Bakes, I knew that it would be perfect for him!

20130702-142235.jpg this cake has three layers of moist, dark chocolate cake, covered in a fluffy coffee buttercream that tastes like homemade coffee ice cream, and it is filled with homemade pastry cream. With chocolate covered donuts pressed into the sides, can you say yum?! My pastor said that it was ‘coffeelicious’…
If you know someone who loves coffee and donuts (who doesn’t?!), you need make this for them!!

Coffee and Donuts Cake

Adapted From Sprinkle Bakes

Cake Layers

3 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups (21oz) granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups (7.5oz) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (4.5oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300F. Grease three 9″ round pans with butter. Line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and grease the paper.

Combine semisweet chocolate with coffee. Let mixture sit, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

In large bowl, sift sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In separate large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs on medium speed until thickened and pale (about 3 minutes). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until well combined. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.

Divide batter evenly between pans and bake in middle of oven until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes.

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

Pastry Cream

2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup (3.5oz) sugar
Pinch salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In medium saucepan, heat half-and-half, 6 tbsp of the sugar and salt over medium heat until simmering.

Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk in remaining sugar until thoroughly combined. Whisk in cornstarch until pale and creamy, about 20 seconds.

When half-and-half mixture comes to a full simmer, pour 1 cup into egg mixture and whisk vigorously to temper. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining half-and-half mixture and whisk to combine.

Heat over medium heat until a few bubbles break the surface and cook, stirring constantly, until it’s thick and glossy; about 30 seconds.

Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla.

Strain pastry cream through fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing onto surface of cream. Refrigerate for about three hours or until cold and set.

Coffee Frosting

3 sticks plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 cups (12oz) sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt

In small bowl, heat cream and espresso powder until hot; stir to dissolve powder and let cool.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will be pale and creamy.

Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light.


6 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
3 dozen plain mini donuts

Combine first three ingredients in small saucepan over low heat; stir until mixture is melted, remove from heat. Dip top of donuts in glaze, move to wire rack. Immediately sprinkle with pearl non-pareils or white sprinkles.


Place first cake layer on serving platter or cake turntable, anchoring it with a bit of buttercream. Top with half of pastry cream, spreading almost to edges but leaving a bit of room. Top with second cake later. Spread with remaining pastry cream and top with third cake layer. Brush crumbs from cake; frost with coffee frosting, using an offset spatula. Press donuts onto side of cake. Save one donut for top; attach a toothpick to the donut and press onto middle of cake top. Garnish with espresso powder and pearl non-pareils or white sprinkles.