Does Coffee Cake Have Coffee In It?

Is your morning routine incomplete without a steamy cup of coffee and a sweet slice of coffee cake? Have you ever wondered about the impact your morning indulgence may have on your daily caffeine intake? Let’s dive into the truth about coffee cake and its relationship with coffee!

What is Coffee Cake?

Typically, coffee cake is a delicious treat that pairs well with a hot cup of joe. It’s a sponge cake or butter cake infused with flavors like cinnamon or nutmeg, often topped with streusel or glaze. Some recipes even include nuts or fruit. Despite its name, coffee cake doesn’t actually contain any coffee. It’s simply a delightful accompaniment to your favorite brew.

That being said, if there is caffeine in your coffee cake, it comes from added ingredients. Most coffee cake recipes use all-purpose flour, which doesn’t contain any caffeine. However, some recipes may call for cocoa powder or chocolate chips, both of which contain small amounts of caffeine. Additionally, if you enjoy your coffee cake with a cup of coffee, the caffeine intake can quickly add up.

Coffee Cake Caffeine Content

While coffee cake doesn’t usually contain coffee, it’s not always caffeine-free. Some recipes call for ingredients that may contain small amounts of caffeine. Let’s take a look at the caffeine content of these optional coffee cake ingredients:

  • Cocoa powder — 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder has 12 mg of caffeine. So if your recipe calls for 1/4 cup, the cake would have 48 mg of caffeine. Divided between several slices, this does not amount to much caffeine per serving.

  • Chocolate chips — If your coffee cake calls for 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, this can add around 50 mg of caffeine.

  • Instant coffee — If your recipe calls for a teaspoon of instant coffee, you can expect around 90 mg of caffeine to come along for the ride.

  • Coffee extract — Adding a teaspoon of coffee extract to your batter will have around 20 mg of caffeine.

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If you’re trying to reduce your overall caffeine intake, skipping the caffeinated ingredients in your coffee cake is an excellent place to start.

Does Caffeine Cook out of Cake?

If you’re sensitive to caffeine or simply trying to reduce your overall intake, you might wonder if there are ways to make your favorite coffee cake less potent. For example, if you add coffee to your cake, can caffeine cook out during the baking process? Unfortunately, this is a myth. Caffeine is a stable compound that doesn’t break down easily, even at high temperatures. This means that if you add espresso to your coffee cake, most of the caffeine will be retained in the finished product.

Your Daily Caffeine Intake

Coffee cake is undeniably delicious and pairs perfectly with your morning cup of coffee. However, if you prefer coffee cake with caffeinated ingredients, you may want to consider the impact on your daily caffeine intake.

Luckily, there are a few simple ways to cut back on caffeine without sacrificing your favorite breakfast pastry:

  • Choose a smaller serving size and savor it more slowly.
  • Use recipes that do not include any caffeinated ingredients.
  • If you prefer your coffee cake with coffee baked in, use decaf coffee or espresso. You can still enjoy the rich, bold flavor without the caffeine hit.

If you’re a die-hard caffeine lover, you might prefer to stick with the real thing. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that coffee cake is still a relatively low-caffeine food compared to a cup of coffee or an energy drink.

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Enjoying Coffee Cake in Moderation

Regardless of your breakfast preferences, coffee cake is a delicious indulgence that can be enjoyed in moderation. Here are some tips for savoring your morning treat without overdoing it:

  • Consider portion sizes. A small slice of coffee cake can be a satisfying treat without going overboard. Instead of reaching straight for the biggest piece, cut a smaller portion and savor each bite slowly.
  • Pair your coffee cake with some protein, such as steamed soy milk in your coffee or a drizzle of peanut butter on top of the cake. This will help balance out the sugar and carbs in the cake and keep you feeling full for longer.
  • Make your coffee cake with whole wheat flour to add fiber to each serving.
  • Lastly, let coffee cake be a special treat rather than a daily occurrence. Save it for a weekend brunch or a special occasion, and indulge mindfully.

By following these tips, you can enjoy your coffee cake in moderation and still savor every delicious bite.


Coffee cake is a beloved breakfast staple, and it’s essential to be aware of its possible caffeine content and how it can affect your daily intake. You can enjoy coffee cake in moderation as part of a balanced diet and caffeine intake plan.

As with all things, moderation is key. So the next time you indulge in a slice of coffee cake, remember to savor it mindfully and balance it out with other healthy options. As the saying goes, “everything in moderation, including moderation.”

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