Delicious Coffee Walnut Cake Recipe for Any Occasion

Finally, a decadent coffee walnut layer cake that will make your taste buds dance with joy! This recipe is the result of years of experimentation and taste-testing, all to perfect the ultimate coffee cake experience. As a barista, I know a thing or two about blending flavors and creating the perfect balance. That’s why I’m so excited to share this recipe with you.

This coffee walnut layer cake is inspired by the rich flavors of Brazilian coffee and the nuttiness of freshly roasted walnuts. The combination is pure magic, leaving a lingering aroma and flavor in your mouth that will have you coming back for more!

Not only is this cake simple to make, but it’s also versatile enough to suit any occasion from birthdays to weddings or even as an indulgent afternoon snack. With its dense sponge texture, it provides a satisfyingly luxurious eating experience without being too overpowering.

But why settle for just any coffee cake? Treat yourself with this one-of-a-kind combination of a buttery and nutty cake with layers of freshly whipped buttercream frosting laced in espresso granules. This decadent treat will impress even the most discerning foodie at your next gathering.

In short, if you’re looking for an easy yet indulgent dessert that will satisfy your cravings for both coffee and sweetness, this coffee walnut layer cake is the answer. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Coffee Walnut Layer Cake
Coffee Walnut Layer Cake

Dear coffee lovers, I have a treat for you – The Coffee Walnut Layer Cake Recipe. Trust me, you’ll love this recipe! This cake is a perfect combination of moist and dense sponge cake with an irresistible coffee walnut flavor.

Firstly, the walnut halves in the recipe will give a delicious and crunchy texture to the cake. We soak them in boiling water with instant coffee granules to infuse the nutty flavor into every bite.

Secondly, the recipe calls for unsalted butter and confectioners’ sugar to create a smooth and creamy buttercream frosting that enhances the taste of coffee even more. I assure you will not be able to resist licking the spatula after making it.

Thirdly, this cake is perfect for any occasion, from birthdays to entertaining your guests or even impressing your boss at work. It is an elegant cake that screams “made from scratch” but is incredibly simple to make.

Last but not least, this recipe has variations that allow you to experiment with flavors according to your preferences. You can substitute the walnuts for other nuts such as almonds if you desire a different taste or tweak the recipe by adding in cocoa powder for a mocha experience.

In conclusion, whether you’re a coffee lover or not, if you want something sweet and tasty that will lift your mood in no time, this Coffee Walnut Layer Cake Recipe is perfect for you. It’s quick and easy to make with minimal ingredients needed but will leave an unforgettable taste on your palate. Trust me; your family members, friends or as a matter of fact anyone who takes one bite of your cake will be impressed beyond imagination. So why not try it out today?

Ingredient List

 A slice of heaven: Coffee Walnut Layer Cake
A slice of heaven: Coffee Walnut Layer Cake

Before we start making this coffee walnut layer cake, let’s gather all the ingredients we need. Here are the required ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons of instant coffee granules
  • 1 cup of walnut halves, plus more for garnishing
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 3 cups of self-raising flour
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs

For the frosting:

  • 400g unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 cups of confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 4 tablespoons of instant coffee granules, mixed with
    2 tablespoons hot water
  • 4 tablespoons of milk

Make sure you have these ingredients on hand before you begin. If you want to add your own twist to this recipe, keep reading for some ideas in the Substitutions and Variations section.

The Recipe How-To

 Rich coffee flavor in every layer of this cake
Rich coffee flavor in every layer of this cake

Step 1: Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Cake Pans

The first step in making this delicious coffee walnut layer cake is to preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and prepare two 9-inch (23-cm) cake pans. Grease the pans with softened butter and line them with parchment paper.

Step 2: Soak the Walnuts in Boiling Water and Coffee Granules

In a small bowl, soak 1/2 cup of walnut pieces in 1/4 cup of boiling water and 2 tablespoons of instant coffee granules. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, until the walnuts are soft and infused with coffee flavor.

Step 3: Make the Cake Batter

In a food processor, combine the soaked walnuts and any remaining liquid, along with 2 sticks (225g) of unsalted butter at room temperature and 2 cups (400g) of caster sugar. Process until creamy and smooth.

Add in four eggs, one at a time, processing well after each addition. Sift in 3 cups (375g) of self-raising flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Pulse until just combined.

Step 4: Fold in the Chopped Walnut Halves

Fold in 1 cup (125g) chopped walnut halves until evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Step 5: Bake the Cakes

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Step 6: Assemble the Coffee Walnut Layer Cake

To assemble this deliciously moist cake, place one layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread with your favorite coffee buttercream frosting or whipped cream. Place the second layer on top and frost the top and sides with more frosting.

Step 7: Garnish and Serve

Decorate with some extra walnut halves or chopped walnuts on top. Serve this stunning coffee walnut layer cake to impress your friends and family!

Substitutions and Variations

 Layers of moist cake, crunchy walnuts, and smooth coffee frosting
Layers of moist cake, crunchy walnuts, and smooth coffee frosting

As a barista and a coffee aficionado, I know that everyone has their own unique taste preferences. Therefore, if you want to switch things up or simply don’t have all the ingredients needed for Coffee Walnut Layer Cake Recipe, here are some substitutions and variations that you can use to still achieve great results.

For those who want to make this walnut cake recipe gluten-free, I recommend using gluten-free self-rising flour or gluten-free baking powder instead of regular self-raising flour. To make it even more special and indulgent, try adding some chopped walnuts or cinnamon to the cake mix for a variation on the classic coffee walnut flavor.

If you’re in the mood for something richer, try making a coffee cream cheese frosting instead of the espresso buttercream suggested in the recipe. This will give your cake an even creamier texture while providing a balance between sweetness and tanginess.

For chocolate lovers, try adding cocoa powder or grated dark chocolate to your walnut cake mix before baking. You can also try making a mocha cake by adding some melted chocolate to your espresso mixture before adding it to your cake mix. You can further elevate it by topping with some caramel sauce for extra indulgence.

In case you prefer cakes with less sugar content, replace some of the sugar with brown sugar or honey for a more natural sweetness. Finally, in case you want to experiment with different types of coffee aside from instant coffee or espresso, there are plenty of options available such as Brazilian coffee or an Ethiopian coffee that will impart distinct flavors to your beloved walnut birthday cake.

Regardless of whether you choose to substitute or not, be creative and try different combinations until you find your perfect formula. Trust me; it’ll be worth it!

Serving and Pairing

 Perfect cake for coffee lovers
Perfect cake for coffee lovers

Coffee Walnut Layer Cake is a rich and indulgent treat that begs to be savored with a warm cup of coffee or tea. To make the most of this cake’s rich, nutty flavor and dense, moist texture, I suggest serving it in small slices as part of an elegant afternoon tea spread or as the sweet finale to a cozy dinner party.

For your tea pairing, try a bold and robust Assam tea, which has enough caffeine to match the cake’s espresso-infused flavor without overpowering its subtle notes of caramel and walnut. If you prefer something milder, opt for a fragrant Darjeeling or a floral jasmine green tea. Adding a dash of milk or cream to your tea will bring out the cake’s creamy buttercream frosting and velvety crumb.

If you’re serving Coffee Walnut Layer Cake as dessert after dinner, consider pairing it with a bold and complex coffee blend made from Brazilian beans, which complement the cake’s nutty taste and earthy aroma. You can also try a smooth and creamy latte made with whole milk or oat milk, which will highlight the cake’s buttery richness.

To add a touch of elegance to your presentation, adorn each slice of cake with a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder and garnish with walnut halves or chopped walnuts for added texture and crunch. Alternatively, you can serve this cake alongside other crowd-pleasing treats like chocolate truffles, fruit tarts or mini cheesecakes for an impeccably stylish dessert spread that will leave your guests in awe.

No matter how you decide to serve it up, this Coffee Walnut Layer Cake is sure to impress both coffee lovers and sweet tooths alike.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Caffeine and sugar in one amazing dessert
Caffeine and sugar in one amazing dessert

Coffee Walnut Layer Cake is a delightful dessert that may take some time and effort to prepare, but it’s totally worth it. Fortunately, it can be made ahead of time and stored properly for your convenience.

To make the most of your time and ensure that your cake stays fresh and delicious, it is advisable to make the cake layers ahead of time. Wrap each layer tightly in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer for up to one month. This method will save you a lot of time on the day you plan to serve your cake.

It’s important to keep in mind that the frosting or buttercream should be prepared no more than two days before serving. Once made, simply store the buttercream in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Before assembling or frosting the cake, allow it to come down to room temperature.

Slices of Coffee Walnut Layer Cake can be stored, covered with plastic wrap, for up to three days at room temperature, or for up to one week refrigerated. Before storing, ensure that the cake has been completely cooled down.

Reheating leftovers is easy as well! Warm individual slices in the microwave or in the oven using low heat settings until they are just heated through. To restore their texture and freshness, consider brushing them with simple syrup before reheating.

By utilizing these tips and methods, your Coffee Walnut Layer Cake will stay moist, flavorful and enjoyable even after several servings.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Indulgence at its best: Coffee Walnut Layer Cake
Indulgence at its best: Coffee Walnut Layer Cake

If you want to achieve perfect results while baking this Coffee Walnut Layer Cake, it’s important to keep in mind a few tips. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, these tips will help ensure your cake comes out moist, flavorful and visually stunning.

First of all, when baking with high altitude, adjustments must be made to prevent the cake from becoming too dry. For those baking above sea level, reduce the amount of baking powder by 1/8 teaspoon for every 1,000 feet above sea level.

Another important tip is to not overmix the cake batter. Once the flour is added to the mix, over-mixing can lead to gluten development which results in a dense sponge. It’s best to stop mixing as soon as the flour is just combined with the remaining ingredients.

Using fresh ingredients is also crucial for achieving optimal taste and texture. Use only fresh walnut pieces, unsalted butter and eggs. Trying this recipe with an older ingredient stock may result in a less than satisfactory outcome.

To give your cake an extra kick of espresso coffee flavor, brush each layer with brewed espresso before adding the buttercream frosting. This step enhances the depth and richness of the flavor profile without being overpowering.

Finally, be sure to let your baked cake cool completely before trimming or frosting as attempting to frost a warm cake could lead to issues like “Christmas tree” effect where it crumbles due to heat from directly applying frosting onto it.

These simple tips will help you bake a delicious, spectacular-looking Coffee Walnut Layer Cake that is sure to impress!


As a barista and avid coffee lover, I have encountered a series of questions from those desiring to learn about the intricacies of making delectable coffee-based desserts. With this in mind, I have documented some commonly asked questions regarding the Coffee Walnut Layer Cake recipe. These FAQs will provide you with a deeper understanding of the ingredients and steps needed to create this delicious and decadent dessert.

Can you add coffee to box cake mix?

For an extra kick of flavor in your cake mix, swap out hot water for some rich and robust brewed coffee. The combination of coffee and chocolate is a delightful pairing, resulting in a chocolatey taste that will pleasantly surprise your taste buds.

Why did my coffee and walnut cake not rise?

If you used plain flour to make your coffee and walnut cake, there’s a chance that it didn’t rise as expected. Using plain flour without any raising agents may result in a dense sponge with little to no rise. For a more successful rise, it’s recommended to use self-raising flour and baking powder. Additionally, an overmixing of the sponge could lead to a dense final result.

What makes coffee cake different from cake?

What sets coffee cakes apart from other cakes is their unique streusel topping and the absence of frosting. While some variations have a delightful swirl of streusel, others might contain fillings such as fruit, nuts, or chocolate. Occasionally, a light glaze adds the finishing touch.

Should a coffee and walnut cake be refrigerated?

To ensure the freshness of your coffee and walnut cake, it is recommended to store any uneaten portions in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a maximum of four days. Prior to enjoying the leftover cake, allow it to come to room temperature. Additionally, the plain sponge of the cake can be kept in the freezer for a period of three months.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this coffee walnut layer cake is the perfect dessert for any coffee lover. With its rich espresso and walnut flavors, it is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and caffeine cravings all at once. Additionally, the recipe is flexible and can be easily adjusted to fit your dietary restrictions or preferences.

By using high-quality ingredients and following the step-by-step instructions, you can achieve a dense, moist sponge cake that is simply irresistible. You can also impress your friends and family by serving this delicious cake as a centerpiece for special occasions.

So why not give this coffee walnut layer cake recipe a try? You won’t regret it!

Coffee Walnut Layer Cake

Coffee Walnut Layer Cake Recipe

from today's NY Times, this will be on the thanksgiving dessert table tomorrow.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine International
Calories 820.4 kcal


For the cake

  • butter, for pans
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 cup sugar, plus
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk, at room temperature,more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee, dissolved in
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water

For the frosting

  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee, dissolved in
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1/4 cup walnut halves, for decoration


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Butter two 8-inch cake pans, and line base of each with parchment paper.
  • In food processor, combine 1/2 cup walnut pieces and sugar.
  • Process to a fine powder.
  • Add butter, flour, baking powder and eggs.
  • Process to a smooth batter.
  • Add 2 tablespoons milk to coffee mixture and pour this down feed tube with motor running.
  • Mixture should be just soft enough to drop from a spoon; if not, add more milk.
  • Divide cake batter between two pans.
  • Bake until risen and springy to touch, about 25 minutes.
  • Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and place on rack.
  • Remove parchment paper.
  • Cool completely.
  • For frosting: Place confectioners' sugar in food processor and pulse until lump-free.
  • Add butter and process until smooth.
  • Add coffee mixture down feed tube and pulse until well blended.
  • Place one cake upside down on a plate or cake stand.
  • Spread with about half the frosting.
  • Place second cake right side up on frosting, and cover top and sides in a swirly pattern.
  • Place a walnut half in center of cake, and gently press remaining halves into top of cake, around the edge.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 149gCalories: 820.4kcalCarbohydrates: 88.2gProtein: 8.2gFat: 50.3gSaturated Fat: 27.1gCholesterol: 213mgSodium: 180.2mgFiber: 1.4gSugar: 65.4g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert, Fruit, Kosher, Nuts, Small Appliance
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