Old Fashioned Coffee and Walnut Cake

Yesterday I shared with you my coffee buttercream recipe, this was just the lead up to my coffee cake. My mother and I had a slice of this when it was freshly made and she said it was just like the one my grandmother used to make. This pleased me to no end. I never met my grandmother (on my mother’s side) and I have all sorts of ideas as to who she was and what she was like. I always think we would have gotten on very well (we’re both totally mad!) and that we would be very similar as people.

Anyway… I really had a major craving for this cake recently, and as soon as I made it, I had one slice and then the rest of it sat lonely and unwanted in my kitchen. One slice was enough sadly. But fear not, as this cake freezes well! I don’t often get sweet cravings these days. Which is very much to my surprise as last year when I was pregnant with Elena, all I wanted was ice cream, chocolate and cake. This time around, I am much more into savoury food, if I even feel like eating that is.

This is a no fuss coffee cake, not too heavy on the coffee and not too sweet either. I love it!



I usually top this sponge with buttercream icing but occasionally I use a mascarpone icing instead, to give it a lighter creamier feel. The ingredients for this are listed in case you’d rather the mascarpone filling. This makes a not too big 18 cm cake, but the recipe works just a well if you double the quantities and make a slightly larger 20cm cake, depending on how many people you are feeding.

For the cake:

  • 120 g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 120 g butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 120 g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso coffee powder, mixed with 1 tsp boiling water
  • 70 g chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • walnut halves to decorate the top

for the mascarpone filling:

  • 250 g (1 tub) of mascarpone
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso coffee powder, mixed with 1 tsp boiling water
  • 1 tsp regular caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

or 1 quantity of my coffee buttercream icing


Pre-heat the oven to 170 C and line two round 18 cm cake tins.

Sieve the flour, baking pwder together. Make sure to allow lots of air in by holding the sieve up high.

Next cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy and add the eggs, vanilla, milk and coffee to this and beat for about 1 minute.

Sieve the flour (for the second time) over the wet ingredients and beat. Throw in the chopped walnuts and fold in.


Divide the mix between the two tins and pop into the oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then remove from the tin and cool fully on a wire rack.

Either ice the cake with the buttercream icing or to assemble the mascarpone filling continue reading.

To make the mascapone filling loosen the mascarpone by beating it for 20-30 seconds. Add the coffee, sugar, milk and vanilla and beat just until combined and smooth.

Use half the mix on the bottom layer of the cake and then top with the remaining mix.

Decorate with walnut halves and give it a sprinkling of icing sugar to finish.





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