Coffee and Rum Cake

Guest post from the amazing Clare of the Little Bear Cakery!

Coffee and rum cake
Coffee and rum cake

At the beginning of the year I was lucky enough to spend four days doing work experience at The Delaunay, Aldwych. Part of Rex Restaurant Associates (owners of the Wolseley), The Delaunay is an all-day cafe-restaurant inspired by the grand cafes of Europe with an emphasis on Austro-Hungarian cakes.

Everything I tried whilst working there was utterly delicious and it is now my go-to place for sweet treats in London. Next weekend I am going to sample the full afternoon tea which I am very much looking forward to.

This coffee and rum cake is inspired by one of the cakes on their afternoon tea menu. They use an Austrian rum called “Stroh” but I have just used a golden rum in my recipe here.


For the macerated sultanas

  • 75g sultanas
  • 25g rum

For the sponge

  •  2 level tsp of instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tblsp boiling water
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 5 medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt

 For the coffee syrup

  • 2 level tsp of instant coffee
  • 150ml boiling water
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 50 ml rum

 For the buttercream

  1. ½ tsp instant coffee, dissolved in ½ tblsp boiling water
  2. 50g unsalted butter, softened
  3. 50g icing sugar, sifted

 For the coffee glaze

  • 1 tblsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1½ tblsp boiling water
  • 125g icing sugar, sifted


  1. The night before you make the cake, you will need to soak your sultanas in the rum. I find that an old jam jar works well for this as you can give it a good shake every now and then to make sure that the raisins get a good even soaking.
  2. The next day, the sultanas should have absorbed the rum. Finely chop them and then put them back in the jar until you are ready to use them.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease and line the base and sides of an 8″ square tin with baking parchment.
  4. To make the sponge, cream together the butter and sugar in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes until pale and fluffy.

    Coffee and rum cake
    Coffee and rum cake
  5. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them to the creamed mixture. Reserve the vanilla pod for the coffee syrup.
  6. With the mixer on a medium speed, gradually add the eggs. Stop the mixer several times to scrape the sides.
  7. Once all of the eggs are incorporated, sift in the flour and salt and gently fold it into the creamed mixture.
  8. Finally add the dissolved coffee and chopped macerated sultanas and mix until it is evenly combined.
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Spread it evenly into the corners and level it in the tin.
  10. Place the tin in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes until the cake is well risen, light brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  11. Remove the tin to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes before turning the cake out onto the rack to cool completely.
  12. Meanwhile, make the syrup by placing the coffee, boiling water, sugar and vanilla pod (that you scraped earlier) into a small saucepan.
  13. Over a low heat, bring the syrup to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
  14. Once the sugar has dissolved, place the syrup to one side to cool.
  15. Once cooled, add the rum.
  16. To make the buttercream, cream together the butter, icing sugar and dissolved coffee until pale and fluffy.
  17. Once the sponge has completely cooled, generously trim the domed top off the sponge. Keep the trimmings for nibbling of course!
  18. Now cut the square in half to leave you with two rectangles.
  19. Soak the top of each rectangle with the coffee rum syrup.
  20. Now, using a palette knife, spread the buttercream on the top of one of the rectangles.
  21. Place the other rectangle of sponge on top so that the syrup soaked side is face down on the buttercream.
  22. Run your palette knife around the edge of the cake neatening up any stray buttercream. You’re aiming for nice neat square edges.
  23. Soak the top of the cake with the coffee rum syrup.
  24. Place the cake in the fridge for a minimum of half an hour.
  25. Finally, make the glaze by mixing the dissolved coffee with the icing sugar.
  26. Place the cake on top of a couple of ramekins, one at each end, over a chopping board. This will allow any excess glaze to run off.
  27. Spread the coffee glaze evenly over the top and sides of the cake and leave to set.
  28. Once the glaze has hardened, trim any excess that may be hanging from the bottom of the cake.
  29. Place the cake on a board to serve.

Serves approximately 8 thick slices

For more recipes and cakespiration visit the Little Bear Cakery blog and website, or find Clare on Instagram and Twitter.