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Coffee and Cream Sponge Cake

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Layers of coffee infused sponge cake wrapped in a fluffy mocha whipped cream, this cake is a coffee lover’s dream come true! Coffee and cream sponge cake is a grown up dessert that is sure to impress.

Side view of a coffee and cream sponge cake with mini chocolate chips on top on a green pedestal cake stand

This cake is the perfect way to end a dinner party.  It might become your birthday dessert request as well. 

The sponge is laced with coffee perfection and frosted with a mocha whipped cream frosting that is going to make you want to take that next bite.  It is like enjoying your coffeehouse favorite in cake form and it really doesn’t get much better than that!

I originally posted this cake back in February of 2016 as part of a group I was in, the Cake Slice Bakers.  We were baking our way through Maida Heatter’s Cakes.

To tell you the truth, when I got the book I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to like it.  There were no pictures for one and pictures are usually one of my favorite parts about cookbooks.

I guess I am a bit of a kid when it comes to that.

first slice of coffee and cream sponge cake being removed from cake

In addition to the lack of visuals, some of the recipes were multiple pages long.  The whole thing seemed a little overly complicated.

Then I started baking and fell in love.  Some of my all time favorite bakes ended up coming from that book and I began to appreciate the lack of pictures.

Without having a picture to imitate, I was left to my own devices to finish the cakes.  That meant I got to do it my way without feeling bad about it. 

Plus then I didn’t have to compare my finished results to those of a professional food stylist.

slice of layer coffee and cream sponge cake on plate with fork.

The length of the recipes turned out to be just super detailed instructions.  While some of the detail might have been overkill, it was nice to be really walked through the recipe with nothing left out.

So that is how I found this beauty of a cake.  I made it to take to my mother-in-law’s house for a dinner and we all had a love at first bite experience.

side and top view of a coffee and cream sponge cake with mini chocolate chips sprinkled on.

This cake feels grown up, it is not overly sweet or frilly.  There is the right amount of coffee in it and the soft whipped cream frosting really brings it all together. 

We were all ooh-ing and ah-ing as we ate our slice.

So I thought it was high time to give those old pictures an upgrade and share this beauty with you again.  It is definitely worth the revisit.

Making the Sponge Cake

This was my first attempt at an actual sponge cake.  It seems fiddly, but it really isn’t that hard to put together. 

It does take an extra dirty bowl to whip up the egg whites, but the results are certainly worth that effort.

Once your batter base is put together, whip the egg whites to a stiff peak. Then fold them into the rest of the batter.

bowl of coffee cake batter with egg whites being folded in.

Be sure to be gentle at this stage. You just spent the time and effort to get all of that air into the egg whites, you don’t want to knock it all out.

Just gently fold the batter over the egg whites, working your way around the bowl.  As soon as it is mostly mixed in, stop.

Making the Mocha Whipped Cream Frosting

The soft fluffy whipped cream frosting really brings this beauty together.  Luckily it is easy to make too. 

It has melted chocolate and coffee to add flavor.  I think the chocolate also helps add a little stability, but that may just be me.

layer of coffee sponge cake with some mocha whipped cream frosting spread on

The result is flavorful and not too sweet.  It is the perfect thing to wrap up those coffee sponge layers.

Don’t stop there though.  Once you give this a taste you are going to want to dream up a million more things to put this mocha cloud on!

Decorating the Cake

A cake like this doesn’t need a crazy amount of decoration (or skill) to make it look nice.  You spread the frosting on smooth like in these pictures or make swoops with the whipped cream, whatever you prefer.

It really would be fine just as is, but I like to put either chocolate shavings or some mini chocolate chips on top.  It adds just a little interest (and more chocolate!!!)

Side view of a coffee and cream sponge cake with mini chocolate chips on top on a green pedestal cake stand

So you don’t have to have a lot of frosting skills to make this look like the showstopper dessert it is.  Just a knife or spatula to spread the goodness on and let it speak for itself!

More great layer cake recipes from Maida:

Layers of tender white cake, lots of pineapple filling and clouds of meringue frosting come together to make Maida’s Haleakala Cake.  It is another showstopper that will have everyone talking about how good it is. 

Take banana cake to knew heights with this star spangled banana cake. There is almost a gallon of meringue goodness on the outside of four layers of banana cake! Just imagine! 

Maida’s carrot cake has several layers of goodness as well and a surprise ingredient or two.  My grandma said it was the best carrot cake she’s ever had and she’s had a few! 

Layers of coffee infused sponge cake wrapped in a fluffy mocha whipped cream, this cake is a coffee lover's dream come true! Coffee and cream sponge cake is a grown up dessert that is sure to impress.

Below is my review of the cake after the first time I made this coffee and cream sponge cake.  I stand by it still!

The cake had a nice coffee flavor and the spongy texture that gives it the name.  The icing was a light and airy delicious pile of slightly sweet, slightly coffee, slightly chocolate whipped cream. YUM!

The whole thing worked so well together.  I shaved some chocolate to sprinkle on top and it was met with rave reviews.   I will definitely be making this again!

first slice of coffee and cream sponge cake being removed from cake.

Coffee and Cream Sponge Cake

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
Layers of coffee infused sponge cake wrapped in a fluffy mocha whipped cream, this cake is a coffee lover's dream come true! Coffee and cream sponge cake is a grown up dessert that is sure to impress.
4.73 from 48 ratings
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon instant coffee
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 3 large eggs separated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar divided
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Mocha Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 1 ounce semisweet chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon instant coffee
  • 1 Tablespoon boiling water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Optional but encouraged: Chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips


Coffee Sponge Cake

  • Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Prepare 2 9-inch pans. I sprayed mine with baking spray (the kind with the flour in it), but you can do whatever works best for you.
  • Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together and set aside. Alternately, you can put them in a mixing bowl and fluff them up with a wire whisk.
    1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ⅓ teaspoon salt
  • Dissolve coffee granules in the hot water and set aside.
    1 Tablespoon instant coffee, ¼ cup boiling water
  • In your mixer bowl, beat the 3 egg yolks, ¾ cup of sugar until pale and thick. Turn mixer to low and stir in a couple of tablespoons of the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and coffee mixture, beating until smooth. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
    ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • In a separate clean bowl, beat the 3 egg whites and salt until foamy. Slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and continue to beat until they form soft peaks.
  • Spoon a small amount of the egg whites into the yolk mixture and fold in to lighten it. Fold in the rest of the egg whites until blended, but not any more than you have to.
  • Spread into prepared pans.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched.
  • Cool for 2 minutes, then turn out. Continue to cool, right side up on a wire rack until completely cooled.
  • Mocha Whipped Cream Frosting
  • Place your mixer bowl and beater in the refrigerator.
  • Chop the chocolate and melt in the microwave. Start with a thirty second burst, then go in fifteen second increments stirring between each one until the chocolate is smooth.
    1 ounce semisweet chocolate
  • Stir the coffee granules into the water until dissolved. Pour over chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool. 
    1 Tablespoon instant coffee, 1 Tablespoon boiling water
  • Once the chocolate mixture is close to room temperature, add a couple of tablespoons of the cream to it and stir until smooth.
  • In the chilled bowl, whip the remaining cream, vanilla and sugar until soft peaks form. While the beater is running, add the chocolate mixture and beat until the cream is stiff enough to work as an icing. 
    2 cups heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1½ Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Layer the cake and frosting, smoothing the whipped cream as you go. It is soft and billowy, so you can make it look nice as is, but chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips add a little fun.



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 347kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 5gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 136mgFiber: 1gSugar: 29g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Thursday 14th of September 2023

It looks so good! I’d like to know how many days ahead of time can I make the cake? And the frosting would be ok to put it together the day before? Thanks


Thursday 14th of September 2023

Thank you! You can make the cake several weeks ahead of time if you want to wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it until you are ready to decorate it. The frosting a day ahead of time is great, then store it in the refrigerator. I wouldn't do much longer than a day ahead of time though.


Sunday 23rd of July 2023

I am thinking of making just the cake part as a base layer in an entremet and was wondering if 1/4 cup of just straight espresso would work instead of the powder and hot water, also I am planning on baking it in a sheet pan, I was curious how this would affect the timing. One more question if baking at high altitude are there any things I should consider ingredient-wise?


Sunday 23rd of July 2023

Well now I want to be invited to enjoy this entremet! Or at least want to see a picture. 1/4 cup of espresso would work great in place of the water and instant coffee. If you are using a 13x18-inch half sheet pan, the surface area will be greater than in two 9-inch pans. So the bake time will need to be reduced. I don't have a lot of experience with high altitude baking, but I would think with a thin layer of batter in a sheet pan you shouldn't have too much issue with the batter rising too quickly and then falling. I am really curious about what exactly you are making and how it will turn out!

Carol Anne

Friday 19th of May 2023

I am so happy when someone writes in that has actually made this cake.The last response from Shelley has helped me so much to know that it is not overly sweet. I was wondering if it would be possible to bake this into 3 six inch pans to make a tall cake. I just love them so much more than the huge 9 inch cakes. I was a bit surprised when I read the instruction, because for some reason when I started out reading the post I thought that the sponge would be soaked with some sort of syrup like the European cakes I have been making. I am sure it will be delicious with the icing all the same.


Friday 19th of May 2023

It should work fine in 3 six inch pans. Just check them early as the bake time will be reduced. A coffee syrup would probably be delicious, but I don't think it's needed. The whipped cream keeps everything soft and adds great flavor.


Sunday 16th of May 2021

I made this for my friends birthday this weekend. A very simple cake to make. It was light and fluffy with just the right amount of coffee flavor. I shaved a Lindt hint of sea salt chocolate bar as a garnish (yum). My Asian friend had a piece and kept saying “it’s not too sweet.” He then told me that a lot of his Asian friends and family tend to judge American desserts based on the amount of sugar used (usually a colossal amount). With this cake he could tell it was made with less sugar and he couldn’t stop raving about/eating the cake. So the moral of that story is, this would be a great cake to make for your Asian friends and family (in addition to everyone else)! Will definitely be bookmarking this one to make again some day.


Sunday 16th of May 2021

I love it!! I am so glad the cake was a hit.


Monday 10th of May 2021

Can i make the frosting and store ahead of time...freezer or fridge?


Monday 10th of May 2021

A little bit ahead of time should be fine. I would store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.