Dutch Bros Kahlua Kicker Cake

As if I needed an excuse...

What better reason to make a Dutch Bros Kahlua Kicker cake than discovering that it's National Coffee Day?? 

Last week I went to coffee with my sister, and learned that on September 29th (National Coffee day in the U.S.) - the annual Dutch Bros Buck for Kids (B4K) event was coming up.  In the Portland/Oregon City area where I got coffee that day, proceeds are going to a local children's hospital. <3 

My vague 'maybe I should try a Dutch Bros cake someday' idea suddenly turned into "I NEED TO MAKE THIS CAKE RIGHT NOW!" 

I loved how it turned out - recipe below! 


"What if I've never added a drip to a cake before?"
  • Don't stress! It's easier than you probably think it is! 🙂 
  • My biggest tips - make sure you measure your white chocolate and heavy cream accurately. Too much/little of either may affect your drip consistency. 
  • Make sure you try a test drip first! Don't pour the ganache over your whole cake until you're confident in the consistency of your ganache. 
  • I loved this YouTube tutorial by Sugar&Sparrow when I was new to cake drips! 
“How do I store this cake?”
  • Before serving, I prefer storing cakes in cake boxes – they help keep the cake from drying out without any plastic wrap touching the sides of the cake and potentially messing up the decorations! I place cakes in the fridge if storing overnight but allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

  • Cover any remaining cake well after serving to keep it from drying out - it will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for 3-5 days. 

(Disclosure: As an Amazon associate I may earn from qualifying purchases, and my posts often contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you!) 

Don't forget to pin for later!
Dutch Bros Coffee Cake pinterest pin

Dutch Bros Kahlua Kicker Cake

Celebrate National Coffee Day with this colorfully delicious coffee and Irish cream Dutch Bros Kahlua Kicker Cake!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time37 minutes
Decorating time55 minutes
Total Time2 hours 2 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Coffee Cake, Coffee Flavored Cake, Dutch Bros Coffee Cake, Dutch Bros Kahlua Kicker Cake, Kahlua Kicker Cake
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 782kcal
Author: Sarah H


Kahlua Kicker Cake layers

  • 3 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (or 2 sticks, room temperature)
  • 5 eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk (room temperature)
  • ¾ cup Irish Cream coffee creamer
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons instant espresso powder (make sure you use powder and not granules – large granules might not dissolve)

Kahlua Kicker Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (one package, softened)
  • 1 cup butter (two sticks, softened)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup Irish Cream Coffee Creamer
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cake drips + Decorations

Coffee drip


Kahlua Kicker Cake layers

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8 inch round pans with baker's floured spray (or grease and line with parchment rounds).
  • Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined. Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
  • Pour in eggs and mix on low until just incorporated. Combine the buttermilk, coffee creamer, vanilla, and espresso powder and mix in at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  • Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part). This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
  • Bake for 34-37 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans. Cool completely before frosting. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.
  • Once the layers have fully cooled, they can be leveled and any caramelized bits can be trimmed from the sides / top of the cake using a serrated knife if desired. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble and break.

Kahlua Kicker Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with creamer until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. Add salt and beat until well combined.

Coffee filling (optional)

  • This step is optional, but I wanted a little bit more kick in between the cake layers, so I took about ¾ c of frosting from the mixer bowl and stirred in ¼ cup of instant espresso powder.


  • Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle. Spread the layer with frosting (or pipe a circle of frosting around the outer edge, and spread the coffee filling in the center).
  • Sprinkle a few chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans over the filling, and add your next cake layer on top. (You'll see me add a few candy melts to the filling in the video - thought the extra color would look cool cutting into the cake but they weren't really visible. I wouldn't bother. ;) )
  • Repeat the process with the next layers, and add your last cake layer on top - I put mine on upside-down to make shaping the frosting on top of the cake easier.
  • Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like - a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer.
  • Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place it into the fridge to set the frosting and chill the cake so the drips will set.

Drip & Decorations

  • Place heavy cream and white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on 50% power in 30-second intervals until smooth, stirring in between. Divide into 4 parts. Stir in blue, yellow, and red gel food coloring to the first 3, and espresso powder and an additional teaspoon of whipping cream to the 4th.
  • Allow drip mixtures have cooled to a moderate temperature – they should feel slightly warm and still be fairly liquid. (Too cold and they won't drip; too hot and they might melt your frosting). Transfer to 4 squeeze bottles or piping bags. (Or you can use a spoon; it will just give you a little less control.)
  • Okay! Now that all the pieces are ready, it’s time to decorate your cake! My cake was pretty well set after about 20 minutes in the freezer, which was what I wanted to make sure that the drips would set and the coffee cup would stay put.
  • Mark eight sections on the top of the cake – I used a large kitchen knife; you can use whatever’s large and straight and close-by. With the red, yellow, and blue ganache in turn, pipe a border of ganache around the top of the two of the sections and fill it in, allowing some ganache to drip down the side of the cake. Leave two sections (next to each other) empty.
  • Just behind those empty sections, press the coffee cup upside down into the top of the cake at an angle, leaving a bit of room to drizzle the brown ganache underneath. Drizzle brown ganache under the rim of the cup with a small container or spoon, allowing it to run away from the cup and drizzle down the side of the cake. It should set fairly quickly if your cake is frozen.
  • I decorated around the top of the cake around the cup with swirls of frosting to resemble whipped cream, and just left the cake base alone this time. I’ve added leftover filling, more frosting, and more chocolate-covered espresso beans to the base of the cake before though. Your option!
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat - and enjoy!



Serving: 1slice | Calories: 782kcal | Carbohydrates: 101g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 38g

Did you make this Dutch Bros Kahlua Kicker cake? 

Send me an email and let me know how it went – or make my day and find me on Pinterest or on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!

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(Or click / tap the photos to be taken to the recipe pages!)

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