Mary Berry's Coffee and Walnut Cake, rich, decadent, with a silky coffee icing, and a moist, crunchy coffee sponge. One of my favourite desserts that makes an excellent choice for any party or celebration.
Another fabulous dessert by the queen of desserts, the one and only, Mary Berry. After the ever so popular Mary Berry's Moist Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe and Victoria Sandwich Cake, I fell in love with her simple, but awesome cakes that scream perfection.
I say simple because they are so easy to make, you really don't need any baking experience. But trust me, when it comes to taste, they are anything but simple. Pure heaven, that's more like it.
As much as I love to drink English tea, I love the taste of coffee in desserts. And its bitterness certainly balances well the sweetness of the icing.
Walnuts are absolutely fantastic in cakes, they taste great and add some nice crunch to the texture. It might sound complicated, but, trust me, it's one of the easiest cakes to bake. Let's see how to make a scrumptious coffee and walnut cake!
Ingredients needed to make coffee and walnut cake
For the sponge
- butter - soften, unsalted butter works best
- sugar - I used granulated sugar, but caster sugar also ok
- self-raising flour - it helps the sponge rise nicely
- baking powder - still use it even if you add self-raising flour, as it helps with the fluffy texture
- eggs - at room temperature
- instant coffee - just add it as it is
- walnuts - chop the up for a more even sponge
For the coffee buttercream icing
- icing sugar - or confectioner's sugar, sifted
- butter - soften, unsalted works best
- instant coffee
- milk - full fat works best
Step-by-step photos and instructions
Depending on the size of your cake tin, you can either bake it as one cake, and cut it in half horizontally, or bake it in two batches or 2 separate cake tins of the same size.
If your cake tin is smaller, it's best to bake 2 separate cakes, otherwise the middle of the cake may not bake properly, while the edges turn brown if left to bake for too long.
For the sponge
- beat the soften butter with the sugar, add the eggs one by one, and beat well until you get a smooth paste
If you have a kitchen aid, that's great, otherwise a good old hand mixer will do. Just make sure the butter is soft, but not melted, so that it can be beaten well.
- add the flour, instant coffee, baking powder and chopped walnuts
- grease and flour 2 round baking tins (mine have a diameter of 20 cm, 8 inches)
- transfer the batter evenly between the cake tins, and level it with the back of a spoon or a spatula
- bake at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for about 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean
- leave to cool down completely, then spread half of the icing over the first sponge, top with the second sponge, spread the remaining buttercream, and decorate with walnut walnuts
For the icing
This coffee icing really is lush. It's smooth, silky, and tastes amazing. And it's just a matter of mixing all the ingredients together. A few points here:
- sift the icing sugar before adding it to the butter
As fine as the icing sugar is, sometimes it becomes lumpy in the packaging. And a lumpy icing sugar makes a lumpy icing. Not very nice, so always a good idea to sift it.
- either use a mixer or a kitchen aid to ensure a smooth icing
A spatula can't really beat the icing as well, and you are likely to have have butter bits left in the icing. The smoother, the better. Use half of the icing to spread over the first sponge, and the remaining one to top the cake.
Always use the ingredients at room temperature - cold ingredients will result in a cold batter, than it will take longer to rise in the oven, and its texture might not be the desired one.
Make sure the butter for both the sponge and icing is soft, rather than cold. The buttercream will split if the butter is not the right consistency.
Adding milk in the buttercream helps loosening it up a bit, for an easier spread, otherwise it will be too hard to spread nicely.
Once the cake is assembled, it is best to leave to cake in a cool room. If it's too warm, the icing will be too soft. I once tried refrigerating the cake, but the texture changes, as the icing and sponge harden in the fridge, so not my first choice.
However, if you want to make the cake in advance, I would recommend baking the sponge first, that keeps well at room temperature for at least 3-4 days. You can then make the icing just before serving.
Using plain flour without any raising agents will result in a dense sponge that doesn't rise much. I always go for the combo self-raising flour + baking powder. Also, overmixing the sponge can also result in a dense sponge.
Other desserts from Mary Berry
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Mary Berry's Coffee and Walnut Cake
- Mixer or Kitchen Aid
- 200 g self-raising flour
- 200 g unsalted butter, soften
- 4 eggs
- 200 g sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoon expresso coffee ( or any instant coffee, preferably fine rather than granules)
For the icing
- 400 g icing sugar
- 200 g unsalted butter, soften
- 2 teaspoon expresso coffee (or any other instant coffee, preferably fine rather than granules).
- 4 teaspoon milk
- walnut halves to decorate the top
- Start by making the sponge.
- In a bowl, add the butter and sugar and cream until smooth.
- Add the eggs one by one, mixing well to incorporate.
- Add the sifted flour, instant coffee, baking powder and chopped walnuts, and mix well.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit).
- Grease and flour 2 round cake tins with detachable walls (mine have a diameter of 20 cm /8 inches).
- Pour the batter in, and level it with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
- Transfer to a cooling wrack and leave to cool completely.
- To make the icing, sift the icing sugar, add the soften butter, expresso coffee and milk to a food processor, and blitz until smooth.
- Spread half of the icing over the first sponge, top with the second sponge, and ice the top with the remaining buttercream.
- Decorate with walnut halves.
- Click on the US Customary link to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
- The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.
- Always use the ingredients at room temperature - cold ingredients will result in a cold batter, than it will take longer to rise in the oven, and its texture might not be the desired one.
- Make sure the butter for both the sponge and icing is soft, rather than cold. The buttercream will split if the butter is not the right consistency.
- Adding milk in the buttercream helps loosening it up a bit, for an easier spread, otherwise it will be too hard to spread nicely.