This is an adaptation from a Sandra Lee recipe posted on the Food Network Website. I served this at a party and it was the most popular dessert by far.


  • Cake Ingredients
  • 1 Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1-1/4 C Milk
  • 1/3 C Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/ C Instant Coffee Crystals
  • 2 T Hot Water

  • Filling / Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 – 3 C Butter Cream Frosting
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp Instant Coffee Crystals
  • 1 – 2 tsp Hot Water


    Shift the cake mix to remove lumps. Combine the cake mix with milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix the instant coffee with hot water and add to cake batter. Bake at 325 for a moist cake. This recipe makes 2 thin 8-inch layers. It did not bake well in a bundt pan. For filling combine the instant coffee with hot water. Mix cocoa powder and coffee liquid into prepared frosting to taste. Fill and frost cake if desired. Cake can also be frosted with vanilla butter cream. Crushed chocolate covered expresso beans could be used as a garnish or added to the filling for crunch.


msulli10 Says... 25 Feb 2010 , 7:38pm

Am I reading this correctly? You use 1 cup of instant coffe crystals in the cake batter? Interesting.

cakegrandma Says... 25 Feb 2010 , 8:05pm

Can you clarify how much coffee crystals you actually use???

wildflower_girl Says... 25 Feb 2010 , 9:11pm

I'm going to assume she transposed the ingredient. 1 cup hot water to 2 T coffee crystals...

msulli10 Says... 26 Feb 2010 , 6:31am

Wildflower_girl - I agree with you. I think I will try to pm her.

cakegrandma Says... 26 Feb 2010 , 8:53am

I think if you assume that she transpose the water and coffee crystals then there would be too much liquid in the cake. If you get an answer from pm'ing her let us know please. Thanks, evelyn

BeanCountingBaker Says... 26 Feb 2010 , 1:07pm

I am very sorry I made a typing mistake when posting this recipe. The correct amount of coffee crystals is 1/3 cup. The coffee liquid is quite thick when the 2 tablespoons of water are added.

cpastrychef Says... 27 Feb 2010 , 4:37am

It sounds like it would be very tasty! Thanks for the recipes.

Rhi33 Says... 7 Mar 2010 , 9:28am

Would you recommend this recipe for cupcakes?

Shannellr Says... 8 Mar 2010 , 2:54pm

Has anyone tried it yet? Sounds good - can it be doubled?

BeanCountingBaker Says... 8 Mar 2010 , 4:39pm

I expect cupcakes would work fine. I have not doubled the recipe, it turns out great as a two layer 8" cake, and worked well as a 9" x 13" split and stacked into two 4.5" x 6.5" layers. The only time I've had a questionable result was baking in a bundt pan, it was too dense and for my taste, it baked forever but still seemed under cooked.

GenGen Says... 10 Mar 2010 , 7:33pm

phew i wish i had read the comments before making this lol wowsa.. well it turned out interestingly anyways. will try it again later.

aligirl Says... 12 Mar 2010 , 7:10am

Do you think this would taste good with a chocolate cake mix? My husband loves mocha coffee and I think he might like that in a cake.

lifeisgood Says... 16 Mar 2010 , 9:54am

I have used this recipe twice now and it works INCREDIBLE for stacking and carving. The flavor is amazing as well!! Thanks so much!

BeanCountingBaker Says... 16 Mar 2010 , 1:18pm

GenGen - I'm sorry you had trouble. I don't know how to correct the recipe since I didn't catch the mistake right away.

Aligirl - When looking for a recipe for a coffee or cappucino cake I was looking for something that was not chocolate. I found tons of similar recipes for chocolate cappucino or coffe flavored cakes.

GabbyRM Says... 2 May 2010 , 2:50pm

I'm glad I read the comments before making this. It is DELICIOUS! It's my new favorite recipe. Thanks!

Kiddiekakes Says... 24 May 2010 , 6:56am

I wonder if you could use a chocolate cake mix instead to make a Chocolate Cappuccino cake...Mmmm

Cakefriendly Says... 13 Jul 2010 , 10:48am

hi there!! i'm a little confused about the frosting ingredients: 2 – 3 C Butter Cream Frosting 1 – 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder 1 – 2 Tbsp Instant Coffee Crystals 1 – 2 tsp Hot Water what is 2-3C ? is it 2/3 of a cup 1-2C? is it 1/2of a cup... i guess i'm the only one who did not get it! please, help

ElizabellaCreativeCakes Says... 31 Oct 2010 , 7:47pm

Tried it today with a Devil's Food cake mix. Worked great! Chocolate makes the coffee a little less strong with the taste, but still tasted great!

mkemmis Says... 29 Mar 2011 , 2:13pm

I made this without reading the comments first and used 1 cup of instant coffee and 2 tablespoons of hot water. It was a bit runny when I was pouring it into the pans, but baked up beautifully and was super delicious! I brought it to work and everybody loved it!!

Teeker Says... 9 Dec 2011 , 6:55pm

This cake is amazing! It is really moist and delicious! The first time I tried it I used all Starbucks instant coffee and it was horrible, but that was my fault. Their coffee is much too strong. The second time I used a small amount of starbucks instant coffee and a store brand and it was great! I can't wait to make it again.

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