Espresso Spice Pound Cake

Espresso Spice Pound CakeClose your eyes.

OK, not really, because then you won’t be able to read. So, Pretend close your eyes and listen to this:

coffee
sugar
cocoa
cinnamon
salt
nutmeg
cardamom
allspice
mace
ginger

Sound good to you?

Because it sure sounded good to me when I read them off the side of my new bottle of Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice from Savory Spice Shop that my dear friend Nadine gave me for Christmas (also powdered honey–magic).

Baker's Brew Coffee SpiceI thought it would smell sweet and I would immediately want to use it in cookies–maybe shortbread. When I removed the lid and pulled off the paper seal, my brain was expecting Sweet and Cookie-ish. What my brain processed was Mysterious and Earthy, and my cookie baker morphed into a mole maker in a hot second.

As a matter of fact, the first three foods I prepared using this spice were heavy on the rice, beef and chorizo and decidedly light on the sugar, butter and flour. After a couple of weeks of being denied, my inner baker reasserted herself and locked my inner mole maker in a closet so she could Get Busy.

peppermint marshmallowsFirst I got busy with some hot chocolate, because it was fast and easy. But then, I had to break out the big guns. That’s right friends: the swirly pan. Y’all, that thing is gorgeous. And as a bonus, it doesn’t hold as much as my standard Bundt pan, so I am forced to make 3-4 cupcakes along with the Main Event. The sacrifices I make…

At any rate, one of my Van Halen pound cake winners had asked for her cake to be sent to her so she could serve it as dessert for a dinner party on the 12th. And guess what? She is rummaging around on my recipe page to plan her entire recipe with Items from the blog! She’d better call her party the 7000 calorie meal or something.

Rather than just using the Baker’s Brew to provide a bass note as it did in the other dishes, I wanted to feature it, front and center. So, to the more-or-less-standard Van Halen pound cake, I kept adding the spice a teaspoon at a time, until I had added a full 2 tablespoons.  I loved the flavor, but this spice blend is so well-balanced that it ended up just tasting mysterious. Mysterious in a good way, but still, I thought it needed a Little Something Else to nudge one of the flavors into the forefront while the others assumed Supporting Roles. I grabbed the espresso powder (King Arthur’s is the best I’ve found thus far), and a mere 2 teaspoons was just enough to make the coffee flavor take a step forward (or to make all the others take a step back, depending on how you look at it). Perfect.

Espresso Spice Pound CakeTo further play up the subtle coffee-chocolate duo, I added an espresso-flavored glaze and some Jackson Pollack-y drizzles of melted chocolate.

Y’all know I don’t generally make a Van Halen pound cake the same way twice, so I am happy to report that since the swirly pan requires cupcakes (and to whomever just said “Hey lady, just scale down the recipe,” hush. I mean it) I got to taste the finished product. It really is a great cake, and I hope it’s a fitting end to Missy’s dinner party.

If you’d like it to be a fitting end for your dinner party, here’s how to make it.

Espresso Spice Pound Cake
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Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Remember when using the creaming method, have all your ingredients at cool room temperature. In this cake, this includes the eggs, butter, cream, half and half and sour cream. Don't worry about letting your cream come up in temperature a bit--since you're not whipping to peaks, it will be just fine.
What You Need
  • 13 oz cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 oz sour cream
  • 2 oz half and half or milk
  • 12 oz (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 19.5 oz granulated sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons Baker's Brew Coffee Spice
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 ounces heavy cream, whipped just until thickened
What To Do
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and set the oven rack for one below the center position.
  2. Thoroughly spray your Bundt pan (and cupcake tin if you have to make that sacrifice) with pan spray and then give it a good coating of flour. Knock out all the excess flour. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. Combine the sour cream and half and half (or milk) until smooth. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth.
  6. Add the sugar, salt, vanilla, Baker's Brew and espresso powder and cream until very light and fluffy, scraping bowl as necessary. This should take about 7-10 minutes.
  7. With the mixer on medium speed, drizzle in the eggs, a bit at a time, until well combined. Scrape bowl as necessary. This step should take about 5 minutes.
  8. With the mixer on low speed, add half the flour mixer followed by half the sour cream/half and half mixture.
  9. Add half of the remaining flour, the rest of the sour cream mixture and the last of the flour. This whole sequence should take no more than 30 seconds. There will still be plenty of streaks of flour. Worry not.
  10. Scrape the bowl and the beater very well, and then mix on high speed for no more than 3 seconds.
  11. Scrape bowl and beaters again.
  12. Pour in the thickened cream. (I usually wait to whip it until right before adding. Just do it by hand. It's really not enough to worry about getting out an egg beater or hand mixer).
  13. Gently but thoroughly fold the cream into the batter. The batter will be very thick and lovely. Take a moment to admire it.
  14. Scrape the batter into you prepared pan (and sacrificial muffin tins) and smooth the top.
  15. Bake until well risen, deep golden brown and firm to the touch. Stick a toothpick into the center of the cake and it will come out clean. This takes about an hour. One hour and 5 minutes in my oven. It could be different for yours.
  16. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes. Then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely, For a super moist cake, place some long sheets of plastic wrap over the rack before turning out, and then wrap the cake up tightly. Stick it in the fridge or freezer until it comes to room temperature (but chilling of freezing it won't hurt it either).
  17. Glaze decoratively or just dust with a mixture of powdered sugar and some Baker's Brew Coffee Spice.
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Other Stuff to Know
To make espresso glaze, whisk together powdered sugar with a pinch of fine salt, espresso powder, a touch of Baker's Brew Coffee Spice and enough milk to make a thick glaze.

To make the chocolate drizzle, melt 2-3 oz of your favorite eating chocolate. You can do this in the microwave in 20-second bursts at half power, stirring in between.

Prepare to bask in the Adoration of your Diners.

And there you have it. Please note that the instructions in the recipe exactly follow The Creaming Method with my modification of beating the eggs to achieve a more stable emulsion. You can certainly make this cake by plopping in the eggs one at a time, but try this refinement. I think you’ll appreciate the results.

Have a lovely day.

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Comments

    • says

      Hi Adrienne! That pan is lovely, isn’t it? If you click on the words “the swirly pan” up in the post, that takes you to a link to buy from Williams Sonoma. If you’d like it from somewhere else, just do a search for Heritage Bundt Swirl pan by NordicWare and you’ll find several options. :)

  1. Eva says

    Hi Jenni, I looked and looked again and decided I’d better ask you. I don’t see sugar in the recipe except for the glaze. So is this a more savory cake like the other savory things you made with the Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice? The cake is lovely to look at! Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Oh no, I’m so sorry! Obviously I have had a Lapse. Very good question and very good catch. The correct measurement for the sugar is 19.5 oz! Eek–I will go fix that immediately. This is what I get for writing recipes with three cats in the house. :/

      • Eva says

        Thank you Jenni! I understand about the distractions… I have 6 teenagers at home! I will assume then the butter and the sugar are creamed together… the sugar was missing from that step too. :/ The cake looks divine and I shall try it as soon as I can get the special spice. Yum! Thanks again for sharing!

        • says

          Lord, I should just send my posts to you for editing. Yes, you’re correct–cream the butter first, then add sugar, salt, vanilla, spice and espresso powder and cream until light and fluffy! I hope you like it–it really is a great cake. And the spice is totally worth buying–so versatile!

          • Eva says

            The Spice is on the way as well as some other gems I found. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thanks again!

          • says

            Thank you for being my After-the-fact editor! You are going to find so many ways to use that Baker’s Brew, Eva! Can’t wait to hear how you like the pound cake and about all the other goodies you got!

    • says

      Groovy!! I haven’t seen you in forever!!! I’m so glad you stopped by–and especially for this cake. He is The Best! Happy New Year to you; hope all is well in ME in the Groovy Household! :)

    • says

      Very good question. Honestly, I urge you to buy some, because it is amazingly versatile–perfect in everything from cakes to chili! But, if you’d like a substitute, I’d recommend going with 4 teaspoons of espresso powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg, cardamom, allspice and ginger. Of course, feel free to substitute in whatever baking spices you like. Enjoy, Deb!

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