Rich and Indulgent Coffee and Walnut Cake – A Must Try!

What’s up, coffee and cake enthusiasts! Today I’m excited to share with you a classic recipe that has remained popular for decades in the UK – the Coffee and Walnut Cake. This delicious cake is perfect for any occasion — whether it’s a homey get-together, a special birthday celebration or just a lazy afternoon treat alongside your favorite brew.

Now, I know some of you might be thinking “coffee-flavored dessert? Is that a thing?” Trust me when I say this – coffee is the ultimate flavor enhancer when it comes to desserts. And if you’re like me, always craving that extra caffeine kick with your sweet treat, then this Coffee and Walnut Cake won’t disappoint.

This cake is all about nostalgia – the indulgent buttery sponge studded with crunchy walnut halves and smothered in a rich, creamy coffee frosting is utter perfection. And guess what? You don’t need to be an experienced baker to achieve great results with this recipe.

So, get ready to indulge in the perfect harmony of sweet and bitter flavors created by the combination of coffee and walnuts. Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Traditional Coffee and Walnut Cake
Traditional Coffee and Walnut Cake

Hey there coffee and cake aficionados, are you ready to indulge in a classic British treat with a twist? You’ll absolutely love this coffee and walnut cake recipe, which is the perfect combination of rich coffee flavor and crunchy toasted walnuts.

Firstly, let me tell you that this cake recipe is easy to follow, and it’s suitable for both beginner bakers and experienced patisserie enthusiasts. All you need is a few simple ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen pantry or can easily find at your local store.

Secondly, this recipe blends the traditional British classic with the bold flavor of strong black coffee. Each bite delivers a fantastic aroma and an intense coffee taste without being overwhelming. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you!

Thirdly, the texture of this cake is fluffy and moist, thanks to the self-raising flour, baking powder ,and the addition of eggs. The secret to making it extra special is to pair it with an irresistible coffee buttercream frosting that will make every mouthful satisfying.

Lastly, whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just craving something sweet and comforting to accompany your cup of Joe or tea, this cake suits any occasion. Plus, bring this cake along to gatherings or potlucks, and trust me everyone will be asking for seconds.

In conclusion, what makes this Coffee Walnut Cake stand out is its coffee infusion that does not only add depth but also infuses aroma throughout each layer. It’s a robust yet delicate balance that adds depth and heightens the overall flavor profile. So why not give this recipe a try? Because as one great man once said: “Life is too short for shitty Coffee and bad Cake.”

Ingredient List

Sure, here are 11 unique captions for the recipe:
Sure, here are 11 unique captions for the recipe:

Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to make this Classic British Coffee Walnut Cake recipe. Don’t worry, it’s nothing too fancy – just a few baking essentials and some delicious coffee and walnut flavors.


  • 225g unsalted butter, softened (room temperature)
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 4 free-range eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee or strong black coffee
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g walnut halves, chopped + extra for decoration

For the Coffee Buttercream:

  • 250g unsalted butter or baking spread
  • 500g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of strong black coffee, cooled

For the Cinnamon Walnut Cream:

  • 300 g butter (softened)
  • 200 g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 150 g chopped walnuts

For Decorating:

  • Walnut halves

The Recipe How-To

Now that we have the ingredients ready, let’s get started on how to make this classic Coffee and Walnut Cake recipe. This recipe is not only easy but also result in a deliciously moist and flavorful cake that can make the perfect treat for any coffee and cake lover out there.

Step 1: Preheat Your Oven

The first step is to preheat your oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Make sure to grease and line two rectangular cake tins of about 20cm x 30cm dimensions.

Step 2: Beat Butter and Sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the unsalted butter (175 g) and golden caster sugar (175 g) until pale and fluffy. We recommend using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment for best results.

Step 3: Add Eggs

Gradually add 3 large free-range eggs to the mixture, one at a time, and beat well between each addition.

Step 4: Fold in Flour

Sift in self-raising flour (175 g) and baking powder (1 tsp) into the mixing bowl. Then fold in using a spatula until you get a smooth batter-like consistency.

Step 5: Add Coffee and Chopped Walnuts

Add two tablespoons of very strong black coffee (cooled) along with chopped walnuts (50g). Fold them in gently until combined.

Step 6: Divide Mixture and Bake

Divide the mixture evenly between the two greased cake tins, then smooth out the batter with a spatula. Then bake for approximately ten minutes or until risen and golden brown on top.

Step 7: Prepare Creamy Coffee Icing

In another mixing bowl, beat together softened unsalted butter (300g) and icing sugar (150g), cinnamon powder (1/4 tsp), along with 2 tablespoons of instant coffee and a drop of water. You can also use a food processor to make the icing extra creamy if desired.

Step 8: Assemble the Cake

Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the tin and spread half of the icing on top of one cake. Place another cake on top and then spread the remaining icing on top.

Step 9: Add Walnut Halves

Decorate with 6-8 walnut halves because more walnut halves mean better taste and texture!
Now that you have followed these simple steps, a decadent Coffee and Walnut Cake is ready to be enjoyed. The cake can stay moist for up to three days when stored correctly in an air-tight container or covered in plastic wrap at room temperature, making it perfect for serving at any occasion.

Substitutions and Variations

 A slice of heaven on your plate - this coffee and walnut cake is happiness in every bite!
A slice of heaven on your plate – this coffee and walnut cake is happiness in every bite!

Are you looking to put a twist on this classic Coffee and Walnut Cake recipe? Here are some possible substitutions and variations that you can explore:

– Gluten-Free: Replace the self-raising flour with a gluten-free flour blend, and add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum for every 150g of flour used. You can also make sure that all other ingredients are gluten-free, such as the baking powder and walnuts.

– Vegan: Replace the eggs with ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas. Use vegan butter instead of regular butter, and coconut cream instead of heavy cream in the icing.

– Flavor Variations: Add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon or cardamom to the cake batter for a warm and spicy twist. You can also substitute some of the walnuts with other nuts like pecans, hazelnuts or almonds.

– Layer Cake: Turn this recipe into a visually stunning layer cake by doubling the recipe and baking two 8-inch cakes instead of one. Alternate coffee buttercream frosting and jam between each layer.

– Chocolate Twist: For all you chocolate lovers out there, add 1/2 cup cocoa powder to the dry ingredients in the cake batter for a moist and chocolaty Coffee and Walnut Cake.

Remember that experimenting with substitutions requires some trial-and-error, but it allows you to cater the recipe to your individual taste preferences. Try a few changes, taste along the way and don’t be afraid to get creative!

Serving and Pairing

 You don't have to choose between coffee and dessert anymore - this cake has both!
You don’t have to choose between coffee and dessert anymore – this cake has both!

Coffee and walnut cake is a classic recipe that is loved across the globe. Its unique combination of richness and nutty flavors make it the perfect dessert for any occasion. Serving this cake with a hot cup of coffee, preferably strong black coffee, is an absolute must.

To add an extra layer of luxury to your coffee walnut cake, try pairing it with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or a dollop of mascarpone cheese. These creamy additions will provide a subtle balance to the boldness of the cake and enhance its overall flavor.

For those who love chocolate, you can also pair your coffee walnut cake with a rich chocolate sauce or spread some Nutella on top. This will not only sweeten the cake further but also elevate it to an entirely new level.

When serving your coffee walnut cake, consider its texture and consistency. This dense sponge pairs well with light and refreshing beverages like iced tea or lemonade.

If you want to get creative with this recipe, you should try making a coffee buttercream to accompany your cake. This spread will give your dessert an even more pronounced coffee taste that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Enjoying a slice of coffee and walnut cake at tea time with friends is always enjoyable. So why not serve this classic British coffee cake on a special occasion like weddings, anniversaries or birthdays? The elegant presentation and delightful flavor make this dessert a crowd-pleaser that’s sure to impress!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Perfect with a hot cup of coffee, this cake will make your mornings better.
Perfect with a hot cup of coffee, this cake will make your mornings better.

One of the reasons I love this coffee and walnut cake recipe is its ability to be made ahead of time, stored and reheated easily. This is an excellent treat to prepare for gatherings and events where you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen on the day of the event.

To make sure that your cake remains as moist and flavorful as possible, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Alternatively, you can store it in your refrigerator for up to a week.

When reheating your cake, there are various ways you can go about it. One way is to put it in an oven preheated to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 3 for ten minutes or until slightly warm. Another option is to heat up individual portions in the microwave for 10-15 seconds depending on the strength of your microwave.

If you have leftovers, and you’re looking for some creative ways to use them up, consider making a coffee walnut sandwich cake by slicing your cake into two layers and spreading buttercream or jam in between. You could also cut it into cubes and serve it as part of a coffee dessert platter alongside other treats like brownies or chocolate truffles.

With these tips, you’ll know how to store, reheat, and repurpose your delicious coffee and walnut cake so that not one crumb goes to waste. Happy baking!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Coffee and walnuts: a match made in heaven, as this cake proves.
Coffee and walnuts: a match made in heaven, as this cake proves.

Now that you have all the ingredients, it’s time to put them together and make an incredible coffee walnut cake. But there are a few tips and tricks that can help you achieve a perfect result every time.

Firstly, it’s essential to have your butter at room temperature before using it. When the butter is softened, it will cream more efficiently with the sugar, which is crucial for making a light and fluffy sponge.

Secondly, when adding the eggs, make sure they are at room temperature too. Cold eggs can cause the mixture to curdle, which will affect the texture of your cake. I advise you to beat each egg individually before adding it to the mixture in order to incorporate more air.

Thirdly, don’t forget to sift the flour and baking powder together before adding them to the mixture. Sifting helps remove any lumps and incorporate air, resulting in a much lighter sponge with a smoother texture.

Fourthly, instead of using regular granulated coffee in your recipe, invest in high-quality beans or ground coffee for a richer flavor profile. The best coffee will contribute immensely to your cake’s taste and aroma.

Fifthly, be sure not to overmix the ingredients once they are combined. Overmixing can lead to tough or dry baked goods. Instead, mix until everything is well combined but do so gently.

Lastly, always preheat your oven according to the recipe instructions stated. A preheated oven evenly distributes heat throughout the baking chamber and ensures even cooking.

By following these tips and tricks while baking this classic coffee walnut cake recipe, you’re guaranteed to produce a delicious dessert that everyone will love.


Before we wrap up, let’s clear out some frequently asked questions. I’m pretty sure that you’ll find a lot of them useful and interesting!

Why did my coffee and walnut cake not rise?

If you’ve ever wondered why your coffee and walnut cake didn’t rise, using plain flour with no raising agents is the answer. This will result in a dense sponge that’s unlikely to rise. Opting for self-raising and baking powder is my go-to combo. Another factor to note is that overmixing can also cause a dense sponge.

Where does coffee and walnut cake originate from?

During 1934, McDougalls, a renowned British flour brand, released an advertisement featuring a brand new recipe using their self-raising flour. The featured recipe turned out to be the famous coffee and walnut cake, which is now commonly found in bake sales and tea rooms throughout the United Kingdom.

What is the difference between American and British coffee cake?

There are two different types of cakes that go by the name “coffee cake”. In Britain, coffee cake refers to a cake that has a coffee flavor. Meanwhile, in America, coffee cake is a type of cake that is typically enjoyed alongside a cup of coffee.

Should a coffee and walnut cake be refrigerated?

To ensure the freshness of your coffee and walnut cake, it is recommended to store any leftovers in an airtight container and place it in the fridge for a maximum of 4 days. Before serving, bring it to room temperature for optimal taste. If you want to save the plain sponges for later use, you can freeze them for up to 3 months.

Bottom Line

So there you have it – a classic coffee walnut cake recipe that you can make from the comfort of your own home. This cake is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a birthday, tea party, or just a weekend treat. The combination of rich coffee and crunchy walnuts is sure to delight your taste buds.

By following my detailed instructions, tips, and recommendations, I guarantee that you will get perfect results every time. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations and substitutions to make this recipe your own!

Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan or simply looking for cake decorating inspiration like the best coffee buttercream, this recipe can be easily adapted to suit your dietary requirements and preferences.

So go ahead and whip up a batch of this delicious and flavorful cake, visit your nearest Jamie Oliver or Mary Berry coffee shops to try their version of this classic British cake. Trust me, once you’ve tasted this coffee walnut cake, you’ll never look back!

Traditional Coffee and Walnut Cake

Traditional Coffee and Walnut Cake Recipe

I was looking through the site for coffee (flavoured) cakes and was amazed there wasn't more recipes for coffee and walnut cake, which when I was growing up was one of the most traditional cakes that was always on sale in the village shop. It used to seem really 'grown up' to me (but was also my favourite!), and this is the recipe my mum always used- I think it might have originally started off as a Delia Smith recipe. Hope you enjoy it :).
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 1 cake
Calories 518.6 kcal


  • 175 g butter (room temperature)
  • 175 g brown sugar
  • 2 -3 tablespoons strong black coffee (cold)
  • 3 eggs
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100 g chopped walnuts

For the buttercream

  • 150 g butter (soft)
  • 1 tablespoon strong black coffee (cold)
  • 300 g icing sugar

For the icing

  • 150 g icing sugar
  • cold black coffee
  • walnut halves, to decorate


  • Preheat over to 180 degrees Celcius and prepare two 8 inch sandwich tins. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Beat butter until soft, then cream with sugar and coffee (I use an electric whisk for this bit). When fluffy and well-mixed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well.
  • Fold in dry ingredients using a wooden spoon and mix until combined, being really careful not to over-mix. Stir in walnuts.
  • Put in prepared tins and bake approx 25-30 mins until evenly browned and a skewer comes out clean. Don't open oven door too soon or the cakes won't rise properly. Once baked, allow to cool in tins 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once the cakes are cool, beat the butter for the buttercream with the coffee, then sift in the icing sugar. You might need to use more or less to get the right consistency. Sandwich the cakes together. In another bowl, sift the icing sugar for the top of the cake, and slowly add enough coffee to make a runny (but not so much it runs of the cake!) icing, and spread over the top of the cake. Decorate with walnut halves. Enjoy with a cup of coffee :).

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 118gCalories: 518.6kcalCarbohydrates: 63.7gProtein: 4.5gFat: 28.7gSaturated Fat: 14.8gCholesterol: 110.8mgSodium: 491.2mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 51.1g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Birthday, Dessert, Easy, European, Inexpensive, Nuts
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