Coffee and Walnut cake is a classic British treat that is absolute heaven for coffee fans. Light and fluffy coffee flavoured sponges sandwiched together with a light coffee buttercream and topped with walnuts. This tea time favourite is an old fashioned classic!
There’s something so comfortingly old fashioned about a coffee and walnut cake.
The mere sight of this coffee sponge with dreamy swirls of coffee buttercream and topped with crunchy walnuts transports me back in time to my Gran’s kitchen.
She made a wonderful coffee and walnut cake and this is my version of her recipe. While it can never be exactly the same as Granny’s, it’s pretty close.
The classic, old fashioned style bakes are my absolute favourite – the sight of a cherry and coconut cake, a jam filled Swiss Roll or a Pineapple upside down cake takes me right back to simpler, carefree times.
My version of this classic cake definitely has a stronger coffee taste than my Gran’s version. I’m pretty sure she used Camp coffee essence, which gives a more subtle taste.
I’ve never actually tried baking with Camp before, but if you would prefer less of a coffee kick, you can always decrease the coffee to two teaspoons.
You’ll need two 20cm sandwich tins with a depth of 2 inches to make this cake.
A piping bag fitted with an open star tip – I used my favourite Wilton 6B open star tip. But obviously if you would rather just spread the buttercream with a palette knife, then please go ahead. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the rustic look! I just tend to get a little carried away when decorating cakes!
Tips for making this coffee and walnut cake recipe
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before you start baking – this makes such a difference to the texture of the sponge. If your eggs are in the fridge, take them out at least one hour before you start making the cake.
- The sponge is made with the creaming method – which means you cream the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy before adding the eggs, beating well after each addition before lightly folding in the dry ingredients, coffee and chopped walnuts.
- Take care not to overmix the batter when folding in the dry ingredients – if you overbeat the sponge could turn out tough.
- Dissolving the coffee in boiling water ensures the coffee is evenly dispersed throughout the cake – making for an “even bake”, as Mary Berry often used to say on The Great British Bake Off!
Commonly asked questions
How long does this coffee and walnut cake keep for?
This cake will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container. If it’s stored for longer the sponge will become rather dry.
Can you freeze this cake?
Yes, the sponges freeze very well. Wrap the uniced sponges in a double layer of cling film and tin foil and freeze for up to three months. Allow to defrost fully before sandwiching the sponges with buttercream.
More Classic Cake Recipes for you to try
- 200g soft butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 large room temperature eggs, beaten
- 200g self raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water - I use Nescafe Azera
- 75g walnut pieces, finely chopped
- FOR THE COFFEE BUTTERCREAM
- 200g soft unsalted butter
- 400g icing sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
- Whole walnut halves for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan/350F. Grease and line two 20cm/8 inch sandwich tins with a depth of 2 inches.
- Place the butter and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy - this takes about 5 minutes.
- Add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Make sure the eggs are well incorporated into the mixture before adding more.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl and lightly fold into the mixture, followed by the dissolved coffee mixture and the chopped walnuts. Try not to overmix the batter.
- Pour the batter evenly into the lined baking tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until risen and springy to the touch. A skewer inserted in the middle of the sponges should emerge clean. Leave the sponges to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before carefully inverting onto a wire cooling rack. Leave to cool completely.
- To make the coffee buttercream, cream the butter and icing sugar together until very light and fluffy for at least 5 minutes. Add the dissolved coffee mixture and continue to beat for 2-3 minutes or until very light and airy.
- To assemble the cake, place one sponge half on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread the sponge with just under ½ of the buttercream or place in a piping bag fitted with an open star French nozzle and pipe the buttercream in a decorative fashion. Top with the other piece of sponge and spread the remaining buttercream all over the cake, scraping with a cake scraper to get a smooth finish if desired.
- I like to finish off by piping any remaining buttercream on top for a pretty effect but if you prefer simply spread the buttercream over the sponges with a palette knife. Top with the whole walnuts.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 570Total Fat 34gSaturated Fat 18gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 135mgSodium 374mgCarbohydrates 65gFiber 1gSugar 51gProtein 5g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.