Coffee and walnut cake


First published in 2015
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I always think that where the French are good with patisserie, we in the UK cannot be beaten when it comes to puddings and cakes; cakes in particular are a specialty of British baking, and with the start of a new season of Great British Bake Off this week, I suspect there will be many home bakers making their way to the kitchen, to sift the flour and beat some eggs!

We are a nation of cake lovers . . . old family favourites are the ubiquitous Victoria sandwich, Lemon drizzle cake, Madeira cake, Chocolate cake and Coffee and walnut cake, which is a personal favourite of mine. There’s something very ‘ye olde worlde tea room’ about a lovely coffee and walnut cake, it beckons all cake and coffee lovers with its creamy good looks, and it’s the mainstay of the afternoon tea table.

I remember a wonderful old tea room in Yorkshire, near to where I used to live – they always had a least four home-made cakes on offer, of which a grand coffee and walnut cake would be sitting amongst a fresh orange cake, chocolate cake and always a farmhouse fruit cake or Dundee cake. Although I was always tempted by the fresh orange cake, it was invariably a slice of coffee and walnut cake that made its way to my table with a pot of tea or cup of coffee!

Today’s recipe for Coffee and walnut cake is based on my mum’s recipe that she used to make for Sunday tea, but I’ve increased the quantities to make a large cake that will serve twelve people with ease (12 slices). Don’t forget to use the best quality instant coffee you can lay your hands on, as that makes a difference to the taste.





Buttercream icing

Preheat oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease and line 2 x 8 inch (20cm) sandwich tins with baking paper
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy – I use a hand-held whisk for this
Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, with a tablespoon of flour to stop it curdling, and beat well between each addition of egg and flour
Add any remaining flour along with the coffee and walnuts and mix well
Divide the cake mixture between the two sandwich tins and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until well risen and a dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes before turning the cakes out onto a wire rack
Whilst the cakes are cooling, make the coffee buttercream. Beat the butter together with the icing sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the coffee and chopped walnuts. Mix well again and allow to firm up in the fridge for 15–20 minutes
When the cakes are completely cold, sandwich them together with half of the coffee buttercream. Spread the rest of the buttercream over the top of the cake and decorate with the walnut halves
First published in 2015
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