There’s nothing I like more than a cake challenge, and thankfully, there is always potential for a new one just around the corner.
A coffee-passionate person in my life is about to have a birthday, and this got me thinking about the coffee cakes that my Gromma used to make when I was a kid. She used to have some sort of mad compulsion to make this and I remember we had to take home at least one a week lest some kind of famine strike the family. It was a fairly basic recipe, with instant coffee and a brown coffee frosting, and delicious though it was I wanted something a little more subtle for my friend’s upcoming birthday.
I love the way that ginger brings a subtle heat and spiciness to recipes and, as it turns out, when this coffee and ginger combination is topped by a thin, lemony frosting drizzled on top, it reaches a whole other level of awesome.
Counter-intuitive though it may sound, you simply cannot use good coffee grounds in this. I tried using the fantastic Ugandan Peabody from Alternative Grounds on my second batch of these and there were literally inedible. Trust me; Maxwell House grounds or something along those lines is perfect; don’t waste the good shiz.
(Makes 12 cupcakes)
1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tbsp cheap coffee grounds
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup icing sugar
juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Pour the almond milk and vinegar together in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and nutmeg and stir well
Add the oil, coffee and grated ginger to the milk mix and stir well
Combine the flour mix and the milk mix and stir until just combined
Divide between 12 cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
Set aside to cool
Combine the icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, then add enough water until it becomes the right consistency; watery but thick enough to leave a trail on the back of a spoon
Beat this well until it’s totally smooth, then drizzle over the cooled cakes in the manner shown above. Don’t be afraid to drizzle it all over the counter to get it perfect!
I took these to a few people to be taste-tested and they were all eaten within about 5 seconds of reaching their destination. The requests that I make more suggest that these are pretty good.
Remember: don’t use good coffee!