The coffee and walnut cake was the first coffee flavoured food that I liked. I always found that the taste was far too bitter for me despite loving the taste. Since then, it has (much as it pains me to say this) become my “signature dish”. I love the taste and the walnuts give it a far more exciting texture than a plain sponge cake. I have been making this cake for just under 10 years now and it is my go to cake for events. It has been used for birthdays, stone settings, afternoon teas and as a general all-purpose cake for when I want a sweet treat.
Being a take on the standard sponge cake, the coffee and walnut cake follows the standard ratio of 2oz (56g) butter, sugar and flour to each egg. As it has three layers instead of two, I use five times the empirical recipe. This does of course assume you are using self-raising flour! If, like me, you only have plain flour, use a teaspoon of baking powder for each 2oz of flour that you use. The size of the walnuts chunks is entirely up to you. Personally, I like the chunks to be relatively large so they add an extra texture but you can chop them up incredibly small (or add them with the first set of flour so they get broken up during the mixing.
This cake is perfect almost any event and isn’t as sweet as a standard Victoria sponge or chocolate cake so is incredibly popular with adults.
I hope you enjoy making and eating it as much as I do!
For the Cake:
280g (10oz) Sugar
280g (10oz) Unsalted Butter
280g (10oz) Plain Flour
5 tsp Baking Powder
2tbsp Instant Coffee
100g Walnuts roughly chopped
For the Icing:
250g Unsalted Butter
375g Icing Sugar (Sieved)
2tbsp Instant Coffee
Preheat your oven to 180 oC (Gas Mark 4) and line three 8” baking tins with baking parchment, butter and flour
Mix the coffee with one tablespoon of boiling water
Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy
Add the coffee to the sugar and butter and mix until combined
Stir together the flour and baking powder
Add the eggs one at a time adding tablespoon of the flour mix after each egg
Once all the eggs are added, mix in the remainder of the flour
Once that is all beaten together, add the walnuts and mix on a low speed to prevent the walnuts being broken up too much
Split the mixture evenly between the three tins and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean
To make the icing, add a tablespoon of boiling water to the coffee
Beat the butter until it is soft
Add about a quarter of the icing sugar along with the coffee to the butter and beat to combine
Add the rest of the icing sugar in a couple of batches and beat until it is soft and spreadable
If the icing is too stiff, add a small amount of milk to slacken it up
To assemble the cake, add the first layer of cake to the serving plate or cake board using a small amount of icing to keep it in place.
Add a layer of icing to the cake and add the next layer
Repeat this with the final layer and add a final layer of icing on the top
Decorate the cake using either chopped walnuts or walnut halves
Let me know how the cake turns out for you in the comments! Photos are always appreciated so give me a tag on instagram (@thatcookingthing)!
Have a good week and see you next Monday for the first recipe in my Cooking from Basics series!