I came across What purpose does coffee serve in a chocolate cake recipe? as a similar question to one I'd just asked about baking.

Looking at the recipe she provided there, wouldn't the amount of liquid (coffee, buttermilk, oil, and eggs) to solid (flour, sugar, and cocoa powder) make it a very runny batter? It's 4 1/3 cups liquid plus 3 eggs to 6 1/2 cups solid (if I count the sugar as a solid). It just seems like a lot of liquid to solid. Maybe the coffee being hot does something?


Compare that recipe to this very similar one from Ina Garten (complete with handy video) Chocolate Buttermilk Cake. Watch her pour. No question, that is a wet batter. Apparently it works fine, Ina's recipe is very highly rated.

Both recipes use volumetric measurements (ugh), so I'll use cups.

Ina's recipe (sugar is wet (sort of), subject for another question) - Wet ingredients (2 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 (eggs) = 5 cups wet to 2.5 cups dry (flour plus cocoa) 5/2.5 = 2

Your recipe: Wet ingredients (2.5 + 1.5 + 1.33 + 1.5 + .75 (egg) = 7.58 cups wet to 4 cups dry (flour plus cocoa) 7.58/4 = 1.9

So they're very close, Ina's actually a bit "wetter".

I am not aware of anything special the coffee would do to the baking chemistry here. It's got some acid, but I don't think that is relevant. As far as the "wetness" of the batter, it's the same as water as far as I know. The temperature might help dissolve the sugar, but that would be a minor thing at best.


Any time I've ever added coffee (liquid or crystals), it has imparted flavor.
I've never added more than a bit. It doesn't take much to add coffee flavor.
I don't know of any other reason to add coffee to a recipe.

  • I did answer this poster's question; the second one. (there are two question marks) My answer indirectly addressed the first question by referencing amounts used in my experience. Oct 19 '14 at 19:53
  • It appears that a moderator agrees with you, cause he's been here since I posted my comment, and he didn't say anything. So, I retract. I still think it's the liquid to solid ratio that is the primary question.
    – Jolenealaska
    Oct 19 '14 at 19:58
  • No worries. :) . Oct 19 '14 at 20:21
  • @Jolenealaska In fact, I edited from a review queue, so I never saw your comment. I do agree, this answers half of the question, so it's an answer, but it would certainly be a better answer if it answered both halves!
    – Cascabel
    Oct 19 '14 at 22:10

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