a cake for the weekend: coffee & walnut





On a rainy Friday afternoon, my thoughts turned once again to baking. This weekend’s cake is a classic. I suspect it is one that you either adore (as I do) or cannot abide. For me, there is nothing more satisfying with a cup of tea than a slice of coffee and walnut cake. It is not necessarily an easy cake to get right: they can often end up rather dry. This recipe, however, makes a perfect cake every time. It is a Nigel Slater recipe that I tore out of the Observer Food Magazine years ago and which takes pretty much an hour from start to finish. If you are fond of coffee and walnut cake, I urge you to try it. Even if you are not, you may surprise yourself. My previously doubtful husband is now a complete convert.

Coffee and Walnut Cake

175g butter

175g golden caster sugar

3 large eggs

175g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

65g walnut pieces

2 tsp instant coffee granules


200g butter

400g icing sugar

2 tsp instant coffee granules

35g walnut pieces


Grease and line the base of two 21cm loose-bottomed cake tins

Heat the oven to 180c/ gas mark 4

Bring all your ingredients to room temperature before you start.

Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and break them up with a fork.

Add the eggs a little at a time to the butter and sugar, beating well after each addition.

Mix the flour and baking power together and add to the mixture slowly, folding in.

Dissolve the coffee granules in 1 tbsp boiling water and stir into the cake. Chop the walnuts and fold in gently.

Divide between the cake tins, smooth lightly and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack whilst you get on with the icing:

Beat the butter until pale and soft then gradually add the icing sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Stir 1 tbsp boiling water into the coffee granules then mix into the buttercream.

Fold in the walnut pieces.

When the cake is cool, turn one half upside-down and spread with just under half of the butter cream, then place the second half on top. Spread over the remaining buttercream.

Pop the kettle on and cut yourself a slice!



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