Hawaij Spiced Coffee Cake

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full disclosure here.

Hawaij Spiced Coffee Cake is a combination of sweet and savory spices mixed in a traditional coffee cake that is topped off with a coffee flavored cream cheese frosting.

A plate with a slice of coffee cake with 2 forks and a coffee mug.

I’m not a huge breakfast eater.   Whenever I do decide to eat breakfast it’s either something simple like toast or it’s a sweet like french toast, pancakes, or baked donuts.

One of my favorite sweet breakfast recipes is coffee cake.   I’ve made so many different flavors of coffee cake and I just can’t stop!   I’m happy to keep on making more.

I found a recipe for Hawaij Spiced Coffee Cake that was really unique.  The spice mixture itself was different and the cake had just a few simple ingredients.


  • cardamom seeds
  • ground ginger
  • cinnamon
  • ground cloves
  • ground nutmeg
  • butter
  • sugar
  • eggs
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • espresso powder
  • cream cheese
  • powdered sugar
  • heavy cream

To Make the Spice Mixture:  Combine all the spices in a small bowl and set aside.  You only need a tablespoon of the spice mixture so you can store the rest in a zip top baggie or a small jar.

To Make the Cake:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray and 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray.  Cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and mix well.  Stir in the flour, hawaij spice, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well.  Combine espresso powder and hot water then pour into the bowl.  Mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.

To make the topping:  Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl.    Add in the espresso powder and powdered sugar.  Beat until smooth.  Add in the heavy cream and beat until desired consistency is reached.

Pin Image:  A plate with a slice of coffee cake with 2 forks and a coffee mug, text title, a baking dish with coffee cake with cream cheese frosting on top.

The recipe for this spice mixture makes more than you need for this recipe but you can store it in a small container for up to 3 months.  It’s delicious in baked goods and if you add in cumin and black pepper you can use it in cooking as well.

The cake is super easy to make so I whipped it up while my son was playing cars in the kitchen and put it into the oven.  Once it came out I made an easy espresso flavored cream cheese frosting to go on top.

What is Hawaij spice?

Hawaij literally means “mixture” in Arabic.  It’s a spice mixture that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes which makes it extremely versatile.  While the spices may vary slightly, the mixture is usually some combination of cumin, black pepper, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. The ingredients vary based on what you are making with the spice mixture.

Do I have to put the frosting on top?

No you don’t!  However, this is not your traditional coffee cake.  It is a little denser cake that doesn’t have a crumble topping on it so using the frosting on top really works.  If you don’t want to use the cream cheese you can substitute mascarpone cheese for an even lighter topping.

I don’t like espresso or coffee, can I still make this?

You certainly can.   Just leave the espresso powder out of the cake.   It will change the flavor slightly but if you don’t like espresso you won’t miss it.   As for the frosting, instead of using espresso powder and coffee flavored liqueur I would use 2 teaspoons of vanilla and a half teaspoon of either the spice mixture or just plain cinnamon.

I can’t find cardamom seeds, can I substitute ground cardamom?

Yes you can!  While the seeds will yield a stronger flavor you can use 1 Tablespoon of ground cardamom in place of the ground seeds to give the spice mixture a similar flavor.

A baking dish with spiced Hawaij Coffee Cake

I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor of this coffee cake.  It was definitely different from most coffee cakes I’ve had.  While it was full of spices then cake was more dense then I’m used too.

The frosting was also different but really enjoyable.  It was sweet, creamy, and lightly coffee flavored.  Since I always have a cup of coffee with my breakfast this coffee cake paired so well with it in the morning. 

More Coffee Cake Recipes:

If you’ve tried my Hawaij Spiced Coffee Cake or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:

Hawaij Spiced Coffee Cake

Yield: serves 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Hawaij Spiced Coffee Cake is a combination of sweet and savory spices mixed in a traditional coffee cake that is topped off with a coffee flavored cream cheese frosting.


For the Hawaij Spice Mix:

  • 2 Tablespoons of cardamom seeds, roughly ground
  • 3 Tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

For the cake:

  • 12 Tablespoons (3/4 c.) butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/3 c. flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons espresso powder
  • 1 Tablespoon hot water

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 c. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. To make the spice mix combine all the spice ingredient stogether and mix well.
  3. To make the cake beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Combine the flour, 1 Tablespoon of Hawaij spice, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
  6. Dissolve the espresso powder in the hot water then mix into the batter.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the ceter comes out clean.
  8. To make the topping place the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl and mix on medium high heat until smooth and creamy.
  9. Add in thepowdered sugar and espresso powder and beat for 1-2 minutes.
  10. Add the heavy cream and beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes or until fluffy.
  11. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake.


Recipe adapted from Food Network

A baking dish with coffee cake and cream cheese frosting.



Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas

We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you’re at it, join our Pinterest board, too!


  1. I LOVE cardamom! It’s one of my favorite spices of all time. I am totally trying this. It sounds scrumptious.

  2. I’d love this for breakfast. And it’s great that it’s in an 8 x 8 pan, so there won’t be too much!

  3. The spices and the frosting sounds amazing! I would love a slice of this yummy cake! This is a perfect treat for Mother’s Day!

  4. This coffee cake looks so delicious. I would love a slice of this during Mother’s Day or any day for that matter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *