Coffee and Walnut Cake

My recipe for a classic Coffee & Walnut Cake. Three layers of delicious coffee sponge packed full of chopped walnuts and topped with smooth coffee buttercream.

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My recipe for a classic Coffee & Walnut Cake. Three layers of delicious coffee sponge packed full of chopped walnuts and topped with smooth coffee buttercream.This Friday is the Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and I thought I’d share with you what I’m going to be making to take along to the one at my boys’ school. It’s my version of a classic coffee & walnut cake.

As you may have realised, I’m a bit of a fan of cake. However, there’s one cake I love above all others and that is coffee & walnut. If I spot it in a café then I really struggle to resist buying a slice to have with a pot of tea (as a side note shouldn’t all tea in cafés come in a pot? It’s just not the same having just one cup). For me a good coffee and walnut cake should have a really good coffee flavour and lots of walnuts running all the way through and that’s what I’ve made here.

I’ve bowed to Pinterest peer pressure and made my cake with three layers (you can never find simple 2-layer cakes on there). I think this particular cake works well with three layers as it means you can have extra buttercream, but if you’ve only got two tins I’ve added some extra notes below the recipe to adapt it. I also got a bit carried away with my piping bag to make it look pretty. If you’re not a fan of piping then just slather it on with a knife, it’ll still taste amazing 🙂

My recipe for a classic Coffee & Walnut Cake. Three layers of delicious coffee sponge packed full of chopped walnuts and topped with smooth coffee buttercream.

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My recipe for a classic Coffee & Walnut Cake. Three layers of delicious coffee sponge packed full of chopped walnuts and topped with smooth coffee buttercream.

Coffee-Walnut-Cake-3
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Coffee & Walnut Cake

My recipe for a classic Coffee & Walnut Cake. Three layers of delicious coffee sponge packed full of chopped walnuts and topped with smooth coffee buttercream.

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Active Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 899 kcal

Ingredients

For the coffee & walnut sponge

  • 10 g 2 tbsp coffee powder (or instant coffee granules ground in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar)
  • 150 g self-raising flour
  • 165 g soft light brown sugar
  • 165 g soft margarine or butter
  • 3 medium eggs
  • tsp milk
  • tsp salt
  • 75 g chopped walnuts

For the coffee buttercream

  • 250 g softened butter
  • 500 g icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • tbsp boiling water

To decorate

  • 25 g chopped walnuts
  • A handful of walnut halves

Instructions

Make the coffee & walnut sponge

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160ºC/140ºC fan.
  2. Line 3x18cm round sandwich tins (I use these liners).
  3. Sift the self-raising flour (150g), coffee powder (10g) into a large bowl and salt (⅛ tsp). Add the remaining ingredients (3 medium eggs, 165g soft margarine, 165g soft light brown sugar and 1½ tsp milk) and mix until fully combined (either by hand or using an electric mixer on a low speed). Fold in the chopped walnuts (75g).
  4. Divide the mixture equally between the three tins.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for about 10 minutes, then remove them from their tins and move them to a wire rack to cool fully before decorating.

Make the coffee buttercream

  1. Mix the instant coffee granules (3 tbsp) with the boiling water (1½ tbsp) and then set aside to cool.
  2. Cut the butter (250g) into cubes and then beat on a low-medium speed until soft. Gradually add the icing sugar (you add it gradually to stop it flying everywhere) and beat until fully combined.
  3. Add the vanilla extract (¼tsp) and add the coffee a teaspoon at a time, beating in each addition before adding more.
  4. Check the consistency of your buttercream. It should be soft and perfect for piping at this point. If it’s still a little stiff then beat in a little milk.

Decorate

  1. Place the bottom layer of your cake onto your chosen dish. Cover with ⅓ of your buttercream. Sprinkle over half of the chopped walnuts.
  2. Place another layer on top and repeat the last step.
  3. Place the final layer on top. Decorate with the remaining buttercream and then finish with the walnut halves.

Recipe Notes

  • I've decorated my cakes by piping buttercream roses and then filling any gaps around the edge with a little extra squirt of buttercream. I used a JEM 1B nozzle.
  • If you'd prefer to make this as a 2-layer cake then the only change you'll need is to increase the cooking time to 30-35 minutes. You'll also need ⅔ of the buttercream (or you could use the extra buttercream to make a thin coating around the outside of the cake.
  • If you'd like to bake the cake in one deep tin and then slice it up into layers, you'll need to increase the cooking time to 45-50 minutes.
  • The undecorated cakes are suitable for freezing. Simply wrap them tightly in clingfilm and pop them into the freezer. Defrost them thoroughly before decorating.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a comment and rating at the bottom of the page to let others know what you thought.

Nutrition Facts
Coffee & Walnut Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 899 Calories from Fat 486
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 54g 83%
Saturated Fat 21g 105%
Cholesterol 128mg 43%
Sodium 486mg 20%
Potassium 264mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 101g 34%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 81g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 32.2%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 6.3%
Iron 6.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

My recipe for a classic Coffee & Walnut Cake. Three layers of delicious coffee sponge packed full of chopped walnuts and topped with smooth coffee buttercream.

Free From/Suitable For…

  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Soy-Free

The ingredients for this recipe are easily available free from all these allergens. However, please ensure you double-check allergen information for all ingredients.

My recipe for a classic Coffee & Walnut Cake. Three layers of delicious coffee sponge packed full of chopped walnuts and topped with smooth coffee buttercream.

17 Comments:

  1. Delicious! This cake is absolutely amazing! Love espresso and walnuts cake. Did you try this cake with almonds or peanuts? Or which one would be more perfect?

    • Charlotte Oates

      I’ve only tried it with walnuts as I wanted to stick to the original classic combination. I’m sure it would work well with the other too though.

  2. Would caster sugar be an ok alternative to LB sugar. Thanks x

    • Charlotte Oates

      I prefer the flavour with LB sugar as it add a slight caramel hint to the cake but the recipe will work absolutely fine with caster.

  3. My daughter made me this cake for mother’s day today and we’ve just finished it all off. I never normally write reviews but had to as it was divine. I absolutely love coffee cake and regularly have it when I’m in cafes but I can honestly say I’ve never had one that tastes as good as this one. I will be getting my daughter to make me it again for my birthday in June. Great recipe.

  4. Hi Charlotte- did you use large or medium eggs? The cake looks lovely! Thank you Paula

  5. Can you make this cake the day before?

    • Yes, simply store it in an airtight container overnight (preferably in the fridge if you can, but don’t worry if you haven’t got space).

  6. This cake is absolutely amazing! Love espresso and walnuts cake. Did you try this cake with almonds or peanuts?

    • I haven’t as I wanted to stick to the classic coffee and walnut combination. I’m sure it would work well with either almonds or peanuts though.

  7. I’m going to make this for Thanksgiving. Think I’ll add a little cinnamon to the cake and add a little maple and cinnamon to the frosting. Do you think that would flavor up fine with this cake?

    • I’ve not tried adding cinnamon but I would imagine it will work well as it goes well with both coffee and walnuts. Take care if you’re adding maple syrup to the buttercream as it’s quite runny and you need to ensure you keep it quite a firm, smooth in order to use it on the cake. Add it only a tsp at a time and beat it in throughly before adding more. It will make the buttercream sweeter so you may want to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe slightly.

  8. Can powdered espresso be used or would it be too strong?

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