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Herman Cake and Puro Fairtrade Coffee

Herman Cake and Puro Fairtrade Coffee

This cinnamon-swirled friendship cake is ultimately topped with a buttery caramel sauce that pushes this coffee cake to a dessert level.
By Kelsey Hilts

Herman Cake & Puro Fairtrade Coffee

Herman Cake & Puro Fairtrade Coffee

I recently had the opportunity to sample Puro Coffee, a Fairtrade, organic coffee that is roasted and packed in Belgium by a company called Miko.  Miko is a family-run company that has been roasting coffee since 1801 and is one of the oldest coffee roasting companies in the world.  Miko created Puro in 2004 with the vision of sourcing shade-grown Fairtrade coffee and addressing environmental, economic and social issues involved in the business.

I was impressed before even receiving the package of coffee when I started to read all of the information about the company, watch videos about their social initiatives and learn how they have already made an impact on the {local and global} farmers, communities and environment.

Puro Fairtrade Coffee has partnered with the World Land Trust to protect threatened habitats around the world and they are working to ensure that the local farmers and communities are able to manage and farm the land in a sustainable fashion.  In essence, they strive to restore the complex balance between harvesting the crop (coffee), maintaining and preserving the natural habitats and rainforests, and paying the farmers fair wages for their work.  In doing so, they are helping to build an infrastructure that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable for the local communities and the planet at large. Moreover, they are establishing that people and planet are more important than short-term profit.

To this end, part of the proceeds from all of the Puro coffee sales is donated to their efforts of purchasing, protecting and preserving rainforest.  As a result of their charitable donations and preservation efforts, to date Puro Fairtrade Coffee has saved 10,710 acres of rainforest and as a result, fourteen new species have been discovered.

Here is a short video about Puro Fairtrade Coffee and what they have done.  I also highly recommend exploring the Puro website because it is a wealth of information both about their coffee and their projects.  If you’re still interested, like Puro Fairtrade Coffee on Facebook to learn more and have a chance to win a Puro Fairtrade Coffee gift box.

Herman Cake & Puro Fairtrade Coffee

With coffee, I picture food.  Countless other breakfast and sweet and/or savory delicacies pair well with coffee, however, one of the first things I thought of was coffee cake.  And the first coffee cake that came to mind was a Herman Cake {friendship cake} that my mom made on special occasions throughout my childhood.

{A friendship cake seemed an appropriate choice to pair with organic, Fairtrade coffee.  Altruism, honesty, compassion, empathy and understanding are all adjectives used to describe and define friendship.  One could use many of the same words to describe companies, such as Puro Fairtrade Coffee, that produce Fairtrade and organic products.  They show qualities of a friend on many levels – caring about all of the people along the way, from farmers to factory workers, who play a role in production; caring about the environment and working to preserve it for future generations; and caring about the consumer by ultimately delivering a quality product.}

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Though I didn’t have my mom’s specific Herman starter, I was able to use my sourdough starter, feeding it with a bit more sugar than typical, to make it fit for a sweeter bread.  I was happy that it worked so well because ultimately caring for one starter is much easier than having two separate jars of starter to manage.  Plus, I must admit that I am lazy with my starters.  I only “feed” them when I am ready to use them.  With that said, my starters have lasted well in the refrigerator without necessarily being “fed” on a regular basis.

This cinnamon-swirled friendship cake is ultimately topped with a buttery caramel sauce that pushes this coffee cake to a dessert level.  You will make friends by serving this!

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Herman Cake & Puro Fairtrade Coffee

Herman Coffee Cake

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  • Author: Kelsey Hilts | Itsy Bitsy Foodies
  • Yield: 12+ 1x


This cinnamon-swirled friendship cake is ultimately topped with a buttery caramel sauce that pushes this coffee cake to a dessert level.



Feeding the Herman Starter

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c milk
  • ½ c sugar

Herman Cake

  • 2 cups starter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Cake Topping

  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Caramel Glaze

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk


  1. Feed the Herman starter by mixing in 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk and ½ cup sugar.
  2. Measure two cups of the “fed” starter and add it to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Reserve the remaining starter in a sealed container in the refrigerator for your next use. (That will be the base that you “feed” when you want to bake the next time.)
  4. Mix the remaining Herman cake ingredients into the large mixing bowl with the 2 cups starter.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 pan.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix the streusel topping ingredients together.
  7. Drizzle the cinnamon topping generously over the top of the coffee cake batter.
  8. Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden, the top springs back to the touch, and a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely in the pan.
  10. In a medium saucepan, mix the glaze ingredients together and let it boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  11. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake.
  12. Serve immediately or cover with foil and serve later or the next day.
  13. This coffee cake could also be made in advance, frozen, and then once thawed and ready to serve, topped with the glaze.
  • Category: Brunch

Disclosure: Thank you to Puro Fairtrade Coffee for all of the coffee samples.  As always, all opinions are my own.

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