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Coffee and walnut cake
Coffee and walnut cake
added by River Cottage Cakes Handbook

This traditional cake never fails to please; its bitter-sweet flavours make it one of my all-time favourites. I like to use old-fashioned Camp coffee essence for the coffee bit, however, you can use instant coffee or very strong freshly brewed coffee instead.

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Prep time
  • 20 minutes
Cook Time
  • 25 - 30 minutes
  • 10
  • For the cake
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 200g unsalted butter, cut into small
  • pieces and softened
  • 100g light soft brown sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 50ml coffee essence (or 1 tbsp instant
  • coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling
  • water, or 3 tbsp very strong
  • fresh coffee)
  • 100g chopped walnuts
  • 25–50ml milk
  • For the buttercream:
  • 60g unsalted butter, cut into small
  • pieces and softened
  • 125g icing sugar, sifted
  • 10ml coffee essence (or 2 tsp instant
  • coffee dissolved in 2 tsp boiling
  • water or 1 tbsp strong fresh coffee)
  • For the topping
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp coffee essence (or 2 tsp instant
  • coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp boiling
  • water, or 1 tbsp strong fresh coffee)
  • 50g chopped walnuts
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Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4.

Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using either a wooden spoon or a hand-held electric whisk, beat the butter to a cream. Add the brown and caster sugars and beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tbsp flour with each and beating thoroughly before adding the next. Stir in the coffee essence. Now carefully fold in the remaining flour, half at a time, with a large metal spoon. Fold in the chopped walnuts, and sufficient milk to give a soft dropping consistency.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins, spreading it out evenly with the back of the spoon. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the tops are a light golden brown and the cakes spring back into shape when gently pressed. Leave in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, prepare the buttercream. Beat the butter to a cream, add the icing sugar and the coffee essence and beat until light and creamy.

To make glacé icing for the topping, sift the icing sugar into the bowl, add the coffee essence and 1-2 tbsp boiling water, and mix until thick.

Spread one of the cooled cakes with the buttercream. Sandwich together with the second cake and cover the top with the glacé icing. Finish with the chopped walnuts. 

This cake will keep for a week in an airtight tin.

4 replies
Replied on

This is the type of cake I adore combining my 2 favorite things coffee and walnuts, but what size tins do you cook them in?

Replied on

Made this cake a couple of weeks back for a friends Baby Shower and loved it, making another one tomorrow for Mothers day, its so easy and extremely yummy. may have to treat myself to the book.

Replied on

Just made this cake for the first time. My first coffee and walnut cake. It's superb. Not too sweet and easy to make. This is going to be one of my regular cakes from now on. Delicious

Replied on

Lovely memories of Camp coffee that my mother loved. Can't see this cake lasting a week in an airtight tin! Wonderful.

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