This coffee and walnut cake with coffee cream cheese buttercream frosting has everything you need in a cake.
I love cake. I mean really love cake. The other day I desperately got the urge to make a coffee layer cake so quickly googled to try to find something suitable.
Normally I am the type of person who will scroll through pages and pages of recipes, spending hours I will never get back trying to find the perfect recipe, ending up frustrated and disappointed when I invariably can’t.
However this time, the cake gods were with me and the first recipe to pop up was this fairly simple yet gorgeous Coffee and Walnut Cake courtesy of Nigella Lawson. I have to tell you that this cake is a keeper.
It blew me away! It ticked every single box I would consider when looking for a cake: it was easy to make (everything thrown in the mixer), turned out perfectly, and tasted divine.
My kids didn’t even want to try it (where on earth did they come from? Perhaps they were switched at birth?) and I was a bit worried whether the bloke and I would manage to eat it between us (as if there was ever going to be any doubt, really), but three days in, as the last slices were being devoured, it was just as soft and delicious as the day it was made.
The only minor change to the cake itself was to add a little extra coffee (I love the flavour in cakes). The frosting was my own though and I didn’t follow Nigella’s recipe. The cake is enough to make 10-12 nice sized portions.
This recipe was originally published in May 2016 then updated and republished in July 2018.
- 50 g (1/3 cup) walnuts
- 225 g (1 cup + 2) tablespoons sugar
- 225 g (1 cup less 1 tablespoon) butter (softened)
- 200 g (1 + 2/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 4 large eggs
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- 75 g (1/3 cup) butter
- 85 g (1/3 cup) cream cheese
- 1/2 tablespoon hot water
- 1.5 teaspoons instant coffee
- 200-300 g (2-3 cups) icing (confectioners') sugar
- walnuts for decoration optional
Pre-heat the oven to 175°C (350°F) and grease/line 2 x 8" (20cm) cake tins.
Using a food processor, blitz the sugar and walnuts together until the nuts are nice and fine.
Add the remaining ingredients (apart from the milk) and process until a thick batter forms. Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk a bit at a time until a soft, slow dropping consistency is achieved.
Divide the mixture equally between the two pans and then bake for around 20-25 minutes. The cakes are ready when they bounce back when gently pushed down (or an inserted skewer comes out clean).
Take out of the oven and let them cool for about ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack (top side down) until they are completely cool.
In the meantime, prepare the frosting: beat the butter and cream cheese together until nice and smooth. In a cup, mix the water and instant coffee and beat into the butter mixture. Sift in the icing sugar and then add as much as you need to reach a thick, spreading consistency.
Spread around one third of the frosting on the flat side of one of the cakes. Place the other cake on top and then slather the remaining frosting all over the top of that one. Decorate with walnuts (optional) and enjoy!
If you love cakes as much as I do, you’ll love these recipes: