This is one of my all time favourite cakes & I don’t even like coffee!! Beautifully moist cake with the perfect flavour partnership of coffee & walnut.
This was one of the recipes I baked for our wedding cakes. I made it many times in the run up, always tweaking something or other until it was just right. It’s never a cake I could become bored of eating!!!
Because I needed the cake to stay moist for a few days, I ground the walnuts into the cake mixture to help add and maintain moisture. There is no reason why you couldn’t also add in some larger walnut pieces if you still like that added crunch.
I mix most of this recipe in a food processor which makes it quick and easy to prepare. I found that separating 1 egg and whisking the egg whites to soft peaks made the sponge very light. I did try doing this with more than 1 egg white but the sponge became so light that it had a tendency to sink.
I covered the entire cake in icing as it helps to seal in the moisture and keep the cake as fresh as possible. If you prefer, you could ice in between the sandwich layers and on top.
For our wedding, I made this 3 days in advance; it was still as good as new.
COFFEE AND WALNUT CAKE
adapted from ‘Coffee and walnut layer cake’ by Nigella Lawson
For the sponges:
- 50g walnut pieces
- 225g caster sugar
- 225g unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- 200g plain flour
- 4 tsp instant espresso powder
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1-2 tbsp milk
For the buttercream:
- 175g unsalted butter
- 350g icing sugar
- 2½ tsp instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
- 1 tbsp milk
- walnut pieces
1. Preheat the oven 160°C fan/180°C. Grease and line 2x 20cm deep sandwich tins.
2. Blitz walnuts and sugar in a food processor.
3. Add the butter and blitz again.
4. Separate 1 egg. Add 3 eggs (1 at a time) and the egg yolk to the mixture and blitz until smooth.
5. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
6. Sieve in the flour, espresso powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda. Fold together gently.
7. Whisk the remaining egg whites and fold in gently (start with one spoonful to loosen the mixture).
8. Add the milk, the mixture should be a soft, dropping consistency, so add more milk if you need to.
9. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the sponge has risen and feels springy to the touch.
10. Cool the cakes in their tins for about 10 minutes, before turning them out onto the rack and peeling off the baking parchment.
11. To make the buttercream, beat the butter until soft then sieve in the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
12. Dissolve the espresso powder in boiling water and add it into the buttercream along with the milk. Mix well.
13. Place 1 sponge upside down on your cake plate.
14. Spread with about 1/4 of the icing; then place the second sponge on top, right side up (i.e. so the 2 flat sides of the sponges meet in the middle) and cover with the remaining icing.
15. Scatter the top with walnut pieces.