The Home Barista Recipes for Leftover Coffee Grounds: Literal Coffee Cake

literal coffee cake

We are currently in a series of weekly recipes to help us cut down on our guilt by finding ways to use our leftover gourmet home brewed coffee and antioxidant rich grounds. And I know I said that Maple Mocha Granola is my favorite way to use up leftover coffee and grounds, but I’m thinking of revising that statement this week.

My kids LOVE coffee cake. One even requests it for her birthday cake. But I got to thinking-it must be very confusing for them:

“Listen kids, it’s called coffee cake. But it doesn’t actually have coffee in it. We call it that because you eat it whilst drinking coffee.”

“So are we drinking coffee for my 6th birthday?

“Um, no”

“Well last year we drank milk with our chocolate cake. Does that mean we should call it milk cake?”

“Um, also no."

So this week, I’ve decided to clear things up a bit for the youngsters (I mean, they are already dealing with all the exceptions to the i before e rule, poor dears). That’s right, let’s put actual coffee in the cake...thereby officially making it an adult brunch item. Hmmm, maybe this doesn’t so much benefit the youngsters like I thought. Well, too late now!

Literal Coffee Cake

A delicious coffee cake made with leftover coffee grounds. Rich with antioxidants, this gluten-free treat has a subtle coffee flavor and a delightful crumb topping. Featuring whole food ingredients, this is a real-food treat everyone will love (and no one will know it's healthy).

Crumb Topping:

  • ½ cup gluten free flour (all-purpose will also work)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground coffee (wet or dry)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted (or butter))


  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ⅓ c agave nectar (or honey or maple syrup)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cups gluten free flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon finely ground coffee
  • ½ cup STRONG coffee (like the kind your husband leaves in the bottom of the french press:)
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. To make the crumb topping, mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Pour in melted coconut oil and stir til combined and crumbly. Set aside.
  3. To make the cake, toss the softened butter, the coconut sugar, and the agave nectar in a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment til fluffy. Then add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla and beat til even fluffier.
  4. Next add the dry ingredients, strong coffee, and yogurt, stirring until combined.
  5. Pour half of the batter into 9x9 pan and top with half of the crumb topping. Then add the second half of the batter and top with the remaining crumb topping. Cut through the batter with a knife to swirl. Sprinkle with walnuts.
  6. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve with milk but do NOT call it milk cake.

Serve with milk but do NOT call it milk cake.

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