Cakes & Bakes

Cappuccino Loaf

‘A very simple loaf cake with a heady hit of coffee and a light-as-anything whipped mascarpone topping’. That’s the blurb that got my attention, while flicking through You magazine last year. It’s a recipe by Eleanor Maidment and I’ve had it on my ‘to try’ list for ages.

Version 1: made with instant coffee

I recently decided to test the loaf and I ended up making it twice in one week! I think the real star is the topping – sweet lord. it’s so good. Light and creamy and delicious when piled on the loaf.

I changed the recipe the second time, both versions were a success and I’ll explain why. Version 1: The original recipe as below. It has a lot of coffee in it. I love coffee, but think it might have too much of a hit for some (not me!). Version 2: I replaced the instant coffee with Camp coffee essence. It is a more subtle coffee flavour.

I enjoyed both versions of the recipe, but think version 2 would have a wider appeal and be more of a hit with the whole family. My kids were happy out eating the first version, but with 3 tbsp of instant coffee in it, I’d prefer them wolfing the Camp version. Both sponges have a nice coffee flavour, version 1 results in a darker sponge, due to the real coffee, you can see the colour difference in the pictures on this page.


  • 175 g unsalted softened butter (I use salted)
  • 3 tbsp instant coffee* (version 2: replace with 1-2 tbsp Camp coffee essence)
  • 5 tbsp whole milk* (version 2: reduce milk to 3-4 tbsp depending on amount of Camp used. You want a total of 5 tbsp of liquid)
  • 175g light brown soft sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1⁄2 tsp fine salt (I left this out as I used salted butter)

For the topping:

  • 100g mascarpone
  • 60g icing sugar, sifted
  • 100g double cream
  • 10g dark chocolate, grated
Version 2: made with Camp coffee essence


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 31⁄2. Grease a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with some butter then line with baking parchment. Heat the milk and coffee in a small saucepan until warm and stir to completely dissolve the coffee; leave to cool. (For Version 2, just mix the milk and Camp coffee essence in a small jug, no need to heat it)
  2. In a large bowl, using electric beaters, cream the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the coffee mixture. Then beat in the flour and salt until you have a smooth batter. Scrape this into the tin, smooth the top and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin.
  3. Using a hand whisk, whisk the mascarpone and icing sugar until combined. Add the cream and whisk until it just holds soft peaks (don’t overbeat or it may split). Swirl over the top of the cake and decorate it with grated chocolate.

Some @thecakemum observations/tips:

  • The cake took 50 minutes to bake in my oven. Remember each oven is different, so do keep an eye on the cake when baking for the first time.
  • I use loaf tin liners. It saves having to grease the tin and cut baking paper. You can pick them up in most discount shops. Just make sure you buy the 2lb or 900g size.
  • It seems like a lot of topping on the loaf, but it is the right amount. Trust me, it’s damn good.
  • As there is cream and mascarpone in the topping, it should be stored in the fridge. Just take it out half an hour before serving, to allow it to get to room temperature. Recipes don’t often state this, but it is important especially in warm weather.

Happy Baking

De (aka thecakemum)

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