coffee and walnut cake

P1040045Coffee and walnut is one of my favourite combinations for cake. It’s often not received with as much enthusiasm as sponge or chocolate cake, but honestly, it’s great. Whether you like coffee or not, don’t rule out this cake. I managed to convince my flatmates and I hope this recipe will convince you too! This also works really well in a loaf tin, with lots of creamy coffee icing spread on top when cooled. Slice thinly width ways, and the loaf is perfect as a light afternoon treat!


  • 175g brown sugar (I used Demerara – don’t worry that it doesn’t become ‘pale’ and is a bit grainy – it’s delicious!)
  • 175g butter
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp strong black coffee granules mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
  • 1 tsp baking powder

for the icing:

1 tbsp strong coffee
½ tsp vanilla extract
115g butter
200g icing sugar


  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. It won’t be as pale as usual – using Demerara sugar changes the colour of the butter. Instead, it’ll be a little grainy and a light brown colour, but it gives a sweeter taste and a lovely colour.
  3. In a smaller bowl, beat together the eggs. Add the eggs gradually to the butter and sugar mix, beating well with each addition. If it begins to curdle, add a little of the flour.
  4. Add the coffee one tablespoon at a time, stirring it throughout the mixture.
  5. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Fold gently with a wooden spoon, working in figures of eight.
  6. Divide the mixture between two lined baking tins, and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until risen and golden brown.
  7. Whilst the cake cooks, make the butter icing: whisk together the butter and icing sugar until fluffy. Be careful not to overwork the mixture, else it might split! Add the vanilla and coffee, and gently stir it through the icing. Cover, and refrigerate.
  8. Once the cakes are cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for an hour.
  9. Then, spread half the icing in the middle of the cakes, and the remaining icing on the top of the cake. Decorate the top of the cake with sliced walnuts, spacing them around the edge of the cake. Serve with cups of tea!

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