Recipe: Compost Coffee Cake
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Recipe: Compost Coffee Cake

Use leftover coffee grounds to make this tasty cake

Chefs from Fairmont hotels around the world have come together to create an eco-friendly recipe book, Sustainable Kitchen, Earth-Friendly Recipes From Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. The recipes emphasise the importance of using local, seasonal produce and minimising waste in the kitchen. Here we share one of them: a compost coffee cake, created by Michael Pagnacco.

Recipe: Compost Coffee Cake



  • 415g all-purpose flour
  • 10g salt
  • 10g baking powder
  • 5g baking soda
  • 100g coffee grounds (leftover)
  • 180g buttermilk
  • 180g strong coffee (leftover, cold)
  • 15g vanilla
  • 170g butter
  • 350g sugar
  • 3 large eggs

Streusel for cake:

  • 90g walnuts or pecans
  • 150g sugar
  • 20g coffee grounds (leftover)
  • 3g cinnamon (ground)

Glaze for cake:

  • 60g strong coffee (leftover, cold)
  • 500g icing sugar



  1. Finely chop walnuts or pecans.
  2. Combine nuts with sugar, coffee grounds and cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. Set aside.


Combine coffee and sugar until mixed.


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
  2. (dry ingredients) Mix well
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk cold coffee, buttermilk and vanilla.
  4. (wet ingredients) Set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a bundt pan, and dust with flour.
  6. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, blend butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  7. Add eggs to butter/sugar mixture one at a time, mixing at low speed.
  8. Add dry and wet ingredients to butter/sugar mixture in the following order, stirring well after each step: 1/3 dry, ½ wet, 1/3 dry, ½ wet and remaining dry ingredients. Make sure to scrape down sides of bowl to make sure all ingredients are combined in cake batter.
  9. Pour half of cake batter into bundt pan. Sprinkle streusel on top of batter. Pour rest of cake batter on top.
  10. Bake for approximately an hour. Use a wooden skewer or toothpick – if it comes out cleanly, the cake is done.
  11. Cool bundt pan on rack for 10 minutes, then invert cake onto plate.
  12. Drizzle glaze over warm cake. Let glaze harden before serving.