Coffee and walnut cake
- February 2016
- Serves 10-12
- Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 60 min
You can’t go wrong with a classic coffee and walnut cake – perfect for afternoon tea or a birthday cake for a caffeine lover.
- 32.5g (8.2g saturated)
- 51.4g (36.9g sugars)
For the cake
- 225g vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
- 100g walnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra to decorate
- 225g light brown soft sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 225g plain flour
- 2 tbsp instant espresso, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
- 4 medium free-range eggs, beaten
For the icing
- 1 medium free-range egg
- 100g caster sugar
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 25g full-fat cream cheese
- 1 tsp coffee extract (we like Camp)
- 1 tsp instant espresso, dissolved in 1 tsp boiling water
- 120g icing sugar
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base of a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper. For the cake mix, put the walnuts, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and plain flour in a mixing bowl and mix well with a metal spoon or balloon whisk.
- Make a well in the centre and add the vegetable oil, espresso and beaten eggs, then mix thoroughly until you have a smooth batter.
- Spoon the mix into the lined cake tin and bake for about 60 minutes, or until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Cover the top loosely with foil after 40 minutes if it’s getting too brown. Once cooked, take out of the oven and put on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the cake tin and leave to cool completely on the rack.
- While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Find a large heatproof mixing bowl that sits snugly on top of a medium saucepan to make a double boiler. Fill the pan halfway up with boiling water, making sure it doesn’t touch the bowl. Bring the water back to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
- Put the egg and caster sugar in the mixing bowl and sit on top of the pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and egg until thick and pale in colour – about 5 minutes. The beaters should leave a trail of mixture when lifted.
- Whisk in the softened butter a little at a time, then add the cream cheese, coffee extract and liquid espresso. Sift in the icing sugar, then whisk it in at a lower speed until smooth. Cool and chill the icing for 2 hours, so it firms up.
- Once the sponge has cooled, cut it in half through the centre, using a serrated knife or a piece of thread. Spread a third of the icing on the bottom half of the sponge. Sandwich with the top half, then spread the rest of the icing all over the cake. Decorate with the extra chopped walnuts.
The cake will keep in an airtight container for a day or in the fridge for 2-3 days. Make the icing up to 12 hours ahead and keep covered in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before icing the cake.
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