A Bake in the Life: Coffee and Walnut Cake

When I first knew I would be going to university I remember reading countless articles designed to prepare very excited and slightly terrified new undergraduates for one of the biggest experiences of their lives. One thing that they all had in common was a section of tips offered by current and graduated university students. One tip that has always stuck with me was the following:

‘The best way to make new friends is with food!’

I took this advice to heart and I moved into my first student flat with a large pile of carefully decorated cupcakes which I offered out to my new flatmates – much to their appreciation!

A few years down the line…

Nowadays I’m fairly well known for the abundance of baked goods that will be forced upon you when you visit my house. I know not everyone is Mary Berry when it comes to baking but even this recipe is so simple anyone can make one, and I promise your new and old friends will be forever thankful! One of my most tried and tested cake recipes that everyone seems to love is a traditional coffee and walnut cake. This recipe comes from my mum and is one of my favourites 🙂

April 2014 037

Coffee & Walnut Cake

You will need:

For 1 two layered sandwich cake:

8oz/225g Butter (and a bit extra to grease your cake tins)

8oz/225g Self Raising Flour

8oz/225g Caster Sugar

4 Beaten Eggs

2oz/55g Chopped/Broken Walnuts

5 tbsps Cooled Coffee (Made from 1tsp coffee and boiling water)

For butter cream icing to fill and top the cake:

7oz/200g Icing Sugar

2 tbsps Cooled Coffee (Made as before!)

4½ oz/125g Butter

Walnuts to decorate the top of your cake


Let’s get started!

  • Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.
  • Grease and line cake tins with grease proof/baking paper – so after all this hard work you can get your cakes out in one piece!


  • Make up coffee and allow to cool. It is important to ensure the coffee is completely cold or else when added to the mixture it may cause it to curdle (however, if this does happen don’t worry too much as it should be okay after you add some flour!).


  • Beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy.


  • Beat 4 eggs (I usually just use a mug/measuring jug).


  • Add to the butter and sugar mixture slowly to prevent curdling.
  • Add cooled coffee mixture, flour and walnuts and mix thoroughly (any curdling should be sorted by now!).


  • Pour half of the cake mixture into each sandwich tin.


  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown (If in doubt push a cocktail stick into the centre of the cake and if wet continue to cook until it comes out clean).
  • Leave cakes to cool in tins for 30 minutes then remove and cool on wire rack.
  • Prepare butter cream icing by beating together butter and icing sugar until smooth and creamy.
  • Add a tbsp at a time of cooled coffee until icing is a thick but easily spreadable texture (If possible allow the icing to cool and thicken up in the fridge for 30 minutes).
  • Once cooled place the first cake onto a plate and smooth over half of the icing.
  • Place second cake on top and smooth over the rest of the icing.
  • Decorate with walnuts however you like! Whole, crumbled or maybe if you are feeling fancy with chocolate covered coffee beans!

This is probably my favourite cake to bake and eat, as not only is it delicious but makes me think of home 🙂 Beating together the sugar, butter and eggs first ensures a very airy sponge and gives that beautiful light texture. I like to add broken walnuts to the cake mixture to add some crunch throughout the cake, as well as decoration, but you can leave this out if you want. My mum also sprinkles broken walnuts on top of the filling before adding the second cake on top which I really enjoy.


You can of course just make a single cake by halving all ingredient amounts and only applying butter cream icing to the top of the cake, or scrap the icing all together and simply sieve over some icing sugar. Whatever you decide to do just make sure to enjoy a piece yourself before you give it all away! 🙂

A Bake in the Life…


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