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Learn how to create the perfect pairing.

By Hayley Sugg
March 10, 2021
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The name says it all: Coffee cake was obviously created to be paired with a bold cup of java. But rather than settle for a grocery store cake that was baked who-knows-when and watery office coffee, spend your weekend morning whipping up a homemade cake and the perfect coffee to serve it with. Contrasting flavors and textures will keep this new pastime fresh. Who doesn't love the idea of settling in with a sweet slice of cake and a warming cup of coffee?

an image pairing espresso and cake
Credit: Mathias Darmell / EyeEm / Deb C

Espresso

Espresso has such a bold flavor that if you pair it with a basic coffee cake the dessert's taste may be overwhelmed. Because of this, you'll want your coffee cake to feature dark chocolate, an ingredient that can stand up to the deep richness of espresso. This Easy Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake recipe uses semisweet chocolate chips, which can easily be swapped in for bittersweet morsels.

an image pairing a cappuccino and coffee cake
Credit: Yoly / Anonymous

Cappuccino

Mild and milky, cappuccino works well with coffee cakes of the same variety. Its mellow flavor won't outshine your cake, instead pairing blissfully for a rich treat. Try a cup of White Chocolate Cappuccino, and serve it with a hearty slice of Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, which features a cream cheese filling and crunchy topping.

an image pairing a latte and a coffee cake
Credit: Paula / Megan Wane

Latte

With a ratio of milk and coffee similar to a cappuccino, what sets a latte apart is that everything is blended together for a rich and smooth beverage. Because of this, you'll want an equally creamy coffee cake, which means opting for milk chocolate chips throughout your Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake. They provide a melty and irresistible slice.

an image pairing a cup of black coffee and pecan cake
Credit: Buckwheat Queen / Marianne

Black Coffee

While black coffee is the best fallback for times you need a warm drink with coffee cake, there are some coffee and cake varieties that are more ideally paired. Dark roasts, such as French roast, are known for their rich aroma and nutty caramel notes. They're perfect for serving up a piece of Pecan Sour Cream Coffee Cake. The natural nuttiness of the dessert will amplify the coffee's more subtle nutty flavor.

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