The Coffee-Date cake

No puns intended here! This is a delightfully easy cake that will surely leave everyone at the coffee table going for seconds.

The most important ingredient, however, has to be the coffee. We need roasted ground coffee for this recipe, and instant versions cannot be used as a substitute.

During my time in Bangalore, ground coffee, or filter coffee as we call it, could be found in every department store or grocery. Back home in Assam, it is a little difficult to find ground coffee, which is why I was overjoyed when Lavazza stepped in to help me out.

The Lavazza Il Mattino Vivace has the perfect roast intensity for a smooth, yet a sharp cup of espresso and its underlying notes of caramel and toasted seeds is just the taste profile I need for baking.


Prep time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 50 to 60 mins


  • 240 grams wheat flour (atta)
  • 200 grams brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Half a teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 200 ml milk
  • 100 ml vegetable oil
  • 100 ml freshly brewed espresso or filter coffee
  • 20 seedless dates
  • A pinch of salt
  • Dark chocolate for topping


Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celcius and line your baking tin with parchment or baking paper.

Mix three tablespoons of the Lavazza Il Mattino Vivace coffee powder or any other ground coffee you have to 200 ml water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then cover and rest for 15 mins. Using a muslin cloth, strain the coffee out into a mug. We will need only 100 ml of the filter coffee and the rest will be saved our perfect cuppa when the cake is ready!

While the coffee is cooling, chop the dates into small but chunky pieces and keep aside.

In a large bowl, add the sugar, salt, oil, vanilla essence and milk and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add the espresso or filtered coffee and mix again. Sieve in the flour, baking powder and baking soda to form the batter.

Add the dates and stir to combine. Taste to see if the coffee flavour is coming out. If not, add a teaspoon of instant coffee powder to the batter. Chop some dark chocolate and sprinkle over the top.

Pour into the lined baking tray and bake for 50 mins or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.

Let the cake cool before de-moulding. Serve with a steaming cup of espresso or black coffee.

Happy cooking!

Cheat codes:

  • If you don’t have ground coffee or a filter pot, by all means, go ahead and use the cup of espresso you got from the nearest cafe.
  • To ensure the chocolate on the top melts, cook the cake for 45 mins at 190 degrees, then lower the temperature to 160 degrees and place the cake on the top shelf of your oven. Bake for 2-3 mins, or until the chocolate is oozy.
  • Please get de-seeded dates for this recipe. It will save you so much time. Trust me!

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