Coffee and Walnut Cake

Coffee and Walnut Cake

A Little Bit Fancy…But Really Easy!

Special occasions call for special cakes. But they don’t have to be complicated to make. When tasked with providing a special birthday cake for my beautiful mum I wanted to make something that was reliable and that would not take a lot of time or create a lot of angst. She has often talked about a coffee and walnut slice that her mother, my grandmother, would make. Now this slice was apparently delicious but the recipe was sadly in my grandmother’s head so was never passed down to Mum or me. So for my mum’s recent birthday I decided to make a Coffee and Walnut Cake to recreate the flavours she had enjoyed from her mother’s baking.

I love that this is not an overly sweet cake and that the strong, memorable flavours of the coffee and walnuts shine through. Their bitterness is balanced by the coffee icing which is slathered on top. I think it all works really well together. A lot of recipes for coffee and walnut cakes I have seen were for sponge cakes. Sponge cakes can fail if you don’t get them just so. However, this cake is based on a butter cake recipe which for me is next to foolproof. How is that for taking the pressure off a celebration cake?

So for a small gathering to celebrate mum’s birthday, I served Coffee and Walnut Cake.  I hope to make it again when our whole family can get together in less uncertain times.  I must say, cake just seems to make everything better doesn’t it?

Coffee and Walunt Cake

A delicious cake which is a little bit fancy!

Coffee and Walnut Cake

A perfect celebration cake when you don't have time to make something elaborate.

Course Cake
Keyword Coffee and Walnut Cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10
Author Jane Georgiades


  • 80 g walnuts coarsely chopped
  • 150 g butter softened
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup espresso or plunger coffee

Coffee Icing

  • 10 - 12 walnut halves
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 100 g butter softened
  • 2 tbsp espresso or plunger coffee


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the chopped walnuts. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour then add the coffee to create a thick batter - not too dry but not runny. Combine well. Spoon into a lined and greased springform pan (20cm) and bake until risen and golden. You may need to add foil over the top half way through to prevent it browning too much. Cake is cooked when a skewer comes out clean.


  1. Combine softened butter and icing sugar mixture and add the coffee. Allow the icing to stand while cake is cooking so that it sets a little. Spread onto cooled cake and decorate with walnut halves. Serve with tea or coffee.

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