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Coffee and walnut cake

This is everything a coffee and walnut cake should be. Packed with the punch of coffee and the crunch of nuts, it's the ultimate satisfying treat for any time of the day.

  • 45 minutes prep. time
  • 25–30 minutes cooking time
  • Serves 12
  • Cakes, bakes & desserts
Slice of coffee and walnut cake on a plate
Coffee and walnut cake | © National Trust Images/William Shaw


  • 350g butter or margarine, softened 
  • 350g caster sugar 
  • 7 medium eggs
  • 350g self-raising flour 
  • 70g chopped walnuts
  • 1 shot espresso, cooled 

For the frosting 

  • 200g butter or margarine, softened 
  • 400g icing sugar 
  • 1 shot espresso, cooled 

To finish 

  • 100g chopped mixed nuts 
  • 20g walnuts 


Top tip

If you don’t have espresso, use a teaspoon of instant coffee granules dissolved in a little hot water. You'll need two 23cm loose-bottomed sandwich tins, a piping bag and a star piping nozzle.

Step 1

Place the butter or margarine and caster sugar into a bowl and cream until light and fluffy.

Step 2

Gradually add in the eggs until combined, followed by the flour.

Step 3

When combined, gently fold in the walnuts and cooled espresso until evenly mixed.

Step 4

Divide the mixture between the two lined sandwich tins and place in the oven at 165°C (145°C fan/gas mark 3) for 25–30 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Leave to cool.

Step 5

For the frosting

Place the butter or margarine, icing sugar and espresso into a bowl or mixer and cream together until light and fluffy.

Step 6

Remove the cakes from the tins and carefully level the tops with a knife.

Step 7

Crumble the pieces of cake from levelling the tops, place on a tray and bake at 170°C (150°C fan/gas mark 4) for a few minutes until starting to crisp up. Remove from the oven and leave to go cold. Once cold, mix the cake crumbs into the chopped mixed nuts.

Step 8

Divide the frosting into three. Use the first third to sandwich the cakes together. Coat the sides of the cake with more frosting.

Step 9

Sprinkle the nut and crumb mix onto a tray or board, and then holding the top and bottom of the cake with your palms, roll the frosted sides in the nut mix to coat.

Step 10

Place the cake back down on a board and spread some of the remaining frosting over the top.

Step 11

Place the last of the frosting into a piping bag and with a star nozzle, pipe rosettes onto each portion. Place a walnut on top of each rosette and then crush and sprinkle any remaining nuts gently over the top. Serve.

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