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Sarah Playfair’s Molly’s Coffee Cake

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

My mother, Molly, was a fantastic cook - both my sisters have inherited her talent and passion for food and cooking.  One of my absolute favourite recipes is her coffee cake - I have never managed to find a better one, though I keep trying.  Eating it reminds me of childhood teas in what we called the piano room, because Mum’s grand piano was kept there, next to the kitchen.  Then later on in my parents’ London kitchen in Parson’s Green - happy memories!


1/2 lb butter

1/2 lb caster sugar

1/2 lb self-raising flour

4 eggs

2 tbs very strong coffee, boiled down to make it even stronger (make enough for the icing as well, see below)

*   Cream butter and sugar very thoroughly (10 mins +)

*   Add pre-beaten eggs, one at a time

*   Add coffee (it may curdle, but it doesn’t matter)

*   Fold in sieved flour

*   Bake in oven at 190C or Gas mark 4-5 for about an hour (in Aga use top oven with cooler shelf for 35-40 mins)

For filling:   make butter icing with Camp Coffee (4oz butter, 6oz icing sugar, 2 tsp Camp Coffee)

To cover:    use 2-4 tbs of the very strong coffee with 8oz icing sugar to make royal icing

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