I truly understood why Coffee and walnut cake is so delicious a few years ago when I was introduced to it by my uncle. I was getting into coffee a lot more back then and I like walnuts anyway. The two do make such great match. 

For my parents anniversary about two/three years ago, I made a coffee and walnut cake and it was a total disaster, I actually made it twice and they were both flat as a pancake. It was hideous and I felt so so so deflated, we had people coming round and I didn’t know what to do? but I still had to serve it and just tell them it didn’t turn out 🙁

I later found out it was due to the self-raising flour, don’t ever buy Tesco self raining flour absolute rubbish and totally ruined my day! I do believe though that when do things wrong there’s can be positive from it. I learnt a great lesson, always use good quality self-raising and ever since that day I have! lol

So with this coffee and walnut cake (actually it was also made for my parents anniversary!!!! I just realised), I was determined not to have a flat pancake cake….I had my good quality self raising at hand and was ready to go!…yet again there was another story! Dear o dear!!!!

The first recipe I used was Nigella’s recipe, I love her recipes and I thought they will be no disasters here as her recipes usually work out right?…but I was wrong. When the cake came out of the oven the texture looked slightly odd…Her recipe uses all in one method and I feel this is where I went wrong as I don’t think the butter had incorporated properly and I didn’t want to over mix it (Nigella’s recipe cake is the one in the middle tier of the cake pictures). Eeek I felt deflated yet again, however came round two ding ding. This time I used Guardian recipe which didn’t have the all in one method and I made sure that the sugar and butter was creamed to the max! 

I personally like an intense flavour of coffee in my coffee and walnut, I don’t see the point of having weak tasting coffee cake it should be strong and intense. As I wasn’t the only person having the cake I couldn’t add too much coffee which was a shame :(.

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Coffee and Walnut cake
Serves 8
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
  1. 2 tbsp - instant coffee
  2. 100g - walnut halves
  3. 225g - unsalted butter, at room temperature
  4. 225g - light-brown sugar
  5. 4 eggs - beaten
  6. 225g - plain flour
  7. 3tsp - baking powder
  8. 1/4tsp - salt
  9. Milk, optional
For the icing
  1. 2tbsp - instant coffee
  2. 165g - unsalted butter
  3. 425g - icing sugar
  4. 1/4tsp - salt
  5. 4tbsp - double cream (I used milk)
  1. 1. Mix the coffee with 1 tbsp boiling water, and then leave to cool. Meanwhile, toast the walnut halves in a dry pan until they smell toasted and nutty, then set a quarter of them aside and roughly chop the remainder.
  2. 2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160C fan) and grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.
  3. 3. Beat the butter and sugar together until really light and fluffy. Whilst the mixer is running
  4. pour in the beaten egg mix very gradually, scraping down the sides of the mixer as necessary.
  5. 4. In a bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt. Then add this to the mixture and gently fold in with a large metal spoon, adding the coffee and chopped walnuts as you go.
  6. 5. The batter should fall, reluctantly, from a spoon; if not, add a little milk to loosen it. Divide between the 2 tins, and bake for about 25 minutes until well risen. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tins, then put on a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, mix the 2tbsp coffee for the icing with 1tbsp boiling water and allow to cool.
For the icing
  1. 1. Beat the butter until soft, then sift in the sugar and salt and add the cooled coffee and cream. Stir together until evenly combined. Top one cake with a little less than half the icing, spreading it more thickly in a ring around the edge, and then place the other cake on top. Spoon the remaining icing on the top, and arrange the walnuts in a pleasing pattern.
  1. Keep whole pieces of walnuts for decoration and use broken ones for the cake mix.
Adapted from Guardian
Adapted from Guardian