Aunt Patty's Coffee Cake

Makes 1 Bundt Cake
My godmother’s coffee cake would arrive at our house by mail wrapped in foil, almost wet and gooey on the outside and still moist, with the most amazing texture inside. Her trick was wrapping it in foil while it was still hot from the oven, and then freezing it. She put the frozen cake in the mail, and its super-moist texture developed during the trip defrosting. There is something about the coffee and cocoa filling that makes it impossible to stop eating. Serve with coffee or hot chocolate, for breakfast or as a part of a brunch meal. Add a scoop of ice cream and chocolate sauce, and you have dessert.


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, instant coffee, and cocoa.
3. Separately whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add one egg at a time, beating until just combined. Beat in one third of the flour mixture, then half of the sour cream, then another third of the flour mixture. Beat in the remainder of the sour cream and the last third of the flour mixture. (Always start with flour and end with flour.) Add the vanilla and mix for another minute or two, scraping the sides of the bowl well with a spatula.
4. Pour one third of the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle half of the filling on top. Pour in another third of the batter and sprinkle the remainder of the filling on top of that. End with the last third of the batter. Run a dinner knife down through the batter and swirl the knife gently to marble the batter in about six places.
5. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a plate or onto foil. The cake can be frozen while still warm.

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