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Coffee Walnut Cake

You simply can’t buy a cake that tastes as good as this: a buttery yet light sponge cake with a rich coffee taste and aroma, crunchy walnuts and a bittersweet coffee icing laden with more nuts. 

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Baking time: 25 minutes

Preparation method

Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.  Put the soft butter and sugar into a bowl and beat with an electric whisk, mixer or wooden spoon until light and cream.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time with a rubber spatula.

Beat the eggs with a fork until slightly frothy then gradually beat into the mixture, beating well after each addition.

 Add the nuts to the bowl, sift the flour onto the mixture and pour in the dissolved coffee.  Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold the ingredients together until thoroughly combined. 

Divide the mixture between the two tins and spread evenly.  Bake in the heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until a good golden brown and the sponges spring back when lightly pressed.  Run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the tin to loosen the sponges then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

To make the filling and topping, heat the butter in a small, heavy pan until it starts bubbling and turns a light nutty brown colour.

Meanwhile sift the icing sugar into a large heatproof mixing bowl.  Pour the hot butter onto the icing sugar, quickly followed by the dissolved coffee and the cream.   Beat well until the mixture is very smooth.  Stir in the chopped nuts.

Leave until thick enough to spread and almost set (in warm weather you will need to chill it in the fridge).  Use half the mixture to sandwich the two sponges.

Set the cake on a serving plate and spread the rest of the mixture over the top – don’t worry if it starts to drip down the sides.  Decorate with walnut halves if you wish. 

Store in an airtight container and eat within 4 days.

what you will need

Makes one large cake - cuts into 10

For the sponge cake:

175g unsalted butter, at room temperature

175g caster sugar

3 large free-range eggs

75g walnut pieces, chopped smaller

175g Marriage’s Self Raising Flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water


For the filling and topping:

125g unsalted butter

300g icing sugar

3 tablespoons instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water

4 tablespoons cream (whipping, single or double)

25g walnut pieces, chopped smaller

Walnut halves to decorate (optional)

2 x 20.5cm/ 8in sandwich tins, greased and base-lined