Coffee – Orange Cake with Mocha Meringue Icing

Recipe Courtesy: Late Mrs K M Mathew

One of the great things about being a grown up is eating Cake for breakfast without having to ask for permission.. 

One of the best cake and wine experience that I had after our wedding was at Preethi chechi’s (source of most of my recipes) home. We got the opportunity to slice into a whole cake of this delightful combination and it depicted us perfectly as my husband loves coffee and I lived on orange juice.To my surprise, she claimed that the source of the recipe was my mother! Amma had found this recipe published in a newspaper long ago by the veteran Late Mrs K M Mathew.

The citrus -caffeine combination is a match made in heaven and in a perfect balance. The orange zest adds a certain freshness to the cake and the coffee invigorates your senses. I must admit that the icing is a little temperamental and the recipe has to be followed very carefully to get it to the right texture. But even if it goes wrong, it would still taste good. So you have plenty of opportunities for trial and error.

P.S It has been noted that the icing changes texture on a rainy day.


Coffee -Orange Cake

Unsalted Butter -250 gms ( room temperature)

Castor Sugar – 250 gms

Eggs – 4 nos Separated ( approx 250 gms with shell at room temperature)

Instant Coffee Powder – 2 tsp

Orange juice – 2 dsp (you could add more to your taste)

Orange Rind – 1 tsp ( I’ve used the zest of a whole orange)

Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

Plain Flour – 250 gms

Baking Powder- 1/2 tsp

Baking Soda – 1/4 tsp

Mocha Meringue Icing

Instant Coffee powder – 1 tsp

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – 1 dsp

Water – 50 ml

Granulated Sugar – 250 gms

Water – 150 ml

Egg White – of 1 egg

Salt – a pinch

Chopped nuts – 1/4 cup (or as required)


Coffee- Orange Cake

    Grease and prepare a 9 inch round tin and preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
    Sift the flour with baking powder and baking soda thrice and set it aside.
    Beat the butter and sugar till it’s almost fluffy and white . This could take almost 10 minutes. The sugar has to completely dissolve in the butter.
    Now add the egg yolks one by one and beat it.
    Then add the coffee powder, orange juice, orange rind or zest and vanilla essence. Fold it into the batter.
    Beat the egg whites stiff to soft peak consistency.
    Fold in the prepared flour and stiffly beaten egg whites in three parts.
  • Pour it into the prepared baking dish. I leave a deep impression with the back of a ladle in the centre . I have noticed that the cakes tend to dome lesser when I do that. Wrapping a wet towel around the tin helps too but the baking time would increase then.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes at 180 degrees in the middle tray of the oven till it’s springy to touch in the middle or when the skewer comes out clean.
  • Take the cake out and let it cool well before doing the icing . The cake tastes good on its own too.

Mocha Meringue Icing

  • Mix the coffee powder and cocoa with water in a thick bottom drinking glass.
  • Place this in a sauce pan of water and double boil it to reduce it a paste like texture which coats the spoon . Let it cool.
  • Dry roast the chopped nuts and set it aside
  • Place the sugar and water in a saucepan on medium flame. Do not stir it. Let it boil to a soft ball consistency
  • Meanwhile , beat the egg white stiff with a pinch of salt. Do make sure that there is no bits of the egg yolk as it’ll affect the texture. Set it aside.
  • The sugar syrup has to be boiled to a soft-ball consistency.
  • The test is to drop a spoonful of syrup in a glass of cold water and you’ll be able to roll it into a soft ball.
  • Now add this sugar syrup in a thin line into the stiffly beaten egg white while you mix it in using a fork
  • Add in the coffee-cocoa reduction and mix it in using a fork.
  • Pour this mixture over the cake and sprinkle the roasted nuts on the top
  • This is a runny icing mixture which will harden in time. So place the cake on a bigger plate, before pouring the icing.

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