Coffee Walnut cake


Happy Birthday Daddy! And hi again to you! Past week was extremely busy. It felt like a never ending day filled with a lot of thinking, working hard on my new website (yay!) and studying. Not that much sleep, doubting about the things I want to do and the things I want to achieve. Something which absolutely isn’t easy.. But in between this endless train of thought, there were 2 birthdays: one was my Dad’s, the second my Grandmother’s.

For my father’s birthday we wanted to make a delicious small cake that would suit him perfectly. He’s allergic for chocolate, so unfortunately for us, nothing with that this time. But my father loves coffee, loves anything not too sweet, loves strong flavours.. And the idea was born: a delicious coffee and walnut cake. I was inspired by one of the many cooks I absolutely admire: Nigella Lawson. She makes the most delicious indulgent food, not even mentioning her way of cooking and presenting, amazing.


This cake on itself isn’t sweet, has a delicious strong coffee and a delicious light walnut flavour. Combined with the soft, sweet, fresh and extra tasteful frosting this cake becomes an absolute birthday cake. It looks fantastic and only a small piece of it, standing on your plate, 4 layers high, indulgent with all those layers of frosting makes you smile. Isn’t that the ultimate birthday feeling?

Coffee Walnut Cake
yield: 8 servings

50 grams walnut pieces
225 grams caster sugar
225 grams soft unsalted butter
200 grams plain flour
4 teaspoons good quality espresso powder
3 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
1 – 2 tablespoons milk
1 lemon
drop of vanilla paste
pinch of salt
250 grams icing sugar
100 grams soft unsalted butter
2 ½ teaspoons good quality espresso powder, with 2 tsp hot water
some walnuts to decorate
Drop of vanilla paste

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter 2 sandwich tins and set those aside.
Put the walnut pieces and sugar into a food processor and blitz to a fine nutty powder. Add the butter, flour, espresso powder, baking powder
Add the 225g/2 sticks butter, flour, 4 teaspoons espresso powder, baking powder, vanilla, salt and eggs and process to a smooth batter.
Add the milk, pouring it down the funnel with the motor still running, to loosen the cake mixture: it should be a soft, dropping consistency, so add more milk if you need to.
Divide the mixture between the 2 lined tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the sponge has risen and feels springy to the touch.
Cool the cakes completely.
For the butter cream/frosting: pulse the icing sugar in the food processor and add the butter and vanilla. Process to make a smooth icing. Add the espresso powder with the water. Blend into the buttercream.
Now you can later up your cake. Place one sponge inside down, spread half the frosting. Place the second on top and spread the other half of the frosting on top of this one. Decorate with some walnuts.


Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson