Mocha Swirl Bread with Espresso Glaze


So, besides pumpkin, and salted caramel, I have a serious thing for coffee flavoured desserts. And, I’ve just realized that I haven’t shared nearly enough of them with you. So here is a nice and simple one.

When I first read this recipe, I was sort of intrigued. First of all, it has cornmeal in it. Which, is nothing new, but sort of unexpected in a pound cake. Secondly, you basically just dump all the ingredients in the mixing bowl and turn it on. If I can be honest for a second? Every fibre of my being was completely and utterly against this, basically because it goes against everything I have ever learned about baking. But, I gave it a try, mostly out of curiosity, and also for the fact that I had already dumped in half the ingredients. Well, as you can see it turned out, and it was pretty darn good.

This cake is fairly dense, just like a pound cake, and has a great mocha flavour that is enhanced by the rich espresso glaze. Obviously, I love any sort of glaze, but especially one with espresso. So, if your a coffee lover like me, give it a try.



Mocha Swirl Bread with Espresso Glaze

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: one 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf

A mocha and vanilla swirl bread with an espresso glaze.


    For the Cake
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 8 tablespoons (4 oz or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • For the Glaze
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted


    For the Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease and flour an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant espresso powder in the boiling water. Set aside and allow to cool.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add in the yogurt, cornmeal, butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until all ingredients are well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Divide half the batter into another bowl and add in the dissolved espresso and cocoa powder. Mix until combined.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, alternating spoonfuls of the vanilla and mocha batter, creating a checkerboard pattern. Create 3 layers of this pattern. Run a knife or long skewer through the batter, using a swirling motion, to create the marble effect.
  6. Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, then remove from loaf pan, and cool completely on a cooling rack.
  7. For the Glaze
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk the espresso powder and boiling water until dissolved. Whisk in the yogurt. Then whisk in the sifted powdered sugar until smooth. If the glaze is too thick add in a few drops of water and mix. Spread the glaze onto the cooled cake.


Can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Adapted from Weekend Baking.

Disclosure: This post contains an amazon affiliate link.

  • Marie

    Loved this cake, and my colleagues too. Ended up making the glaze with light brown sugar because of a powdered sugar shortage – made for a good drizzling sauce rather than a glaze. But I’d say the cake is just great stand-alone as well! Obrigadinha Jessica

  • Angelica

    This bread was slightly hard to make and the glaze turned out too thin, when it should have been thicker, but this bread was really good.

  • Valerie

    This bread contains everything I love (except lemons!). And I like the fact that it calls for an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan- my 9×5-inch pan is missing! 😀

  • johngalt

    I’ve made it yesterday, and it is oh, so good! Very moist, and not too sweet, my family also loves it! My glaze didn’t turn out as pretty as yours, but who cares:D
    Thanks a lot for a wonderful recipe.
    And a happy new year!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      So glad you and your family enjoyed! Happy new year!!

  • Rico Sin Azúcar

    OMG, looks divine, Jessica! I love that espresso-yogurt glaze!!!!

  • Priyanka

    This looks fab! Can’t wait to try this out.. had one query though. When you say cornmeal, is this the yellow or white flour? am a little confused coz in India both are referred to as cornflour. Thanks

  • Denise

    This looks so good, I will have to try it!!

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  • cupcakemuffin

    Oh my gosh, this looks INCREDIBLE!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thank you!

  • Jonena

    It’s cooling on the rack! Thank you much!!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      You are very welcome! Hope you enjoy!

  • Katie – Apple & Spice

    Wow that looks amazing. I love how clearly defined the swirl is

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    I’m totally obsessed with coffee-flavored desserts! I can’t drink it but I can definitely eat it somehow, which means I’ll totally devour this entire loaf in no time.

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  • Chelsea

    This looks delicious!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thank you!