Little Coffee and Walnut Cakes

In the colder months of the year a little indulgence is allowed, don’t you agree? And coffee flavoured buttercream is most definitely that; a luxurious indulgence.


This cake is apparently British in origin, and when I was young my Mum used to make it using Camp coffee essence… not sure if that is still readily available, but my recipe uses a good dose of instant (decaffeinated) coffee granules and is just as good.

I decided to use my mini sponge cake tin instead of two normal 20cm sponge tins. This meant I could easily freeze half, without the buttercream, for another day. 🙂

Little Coffee and Walnut Cakes


You will need either two 20cm sponge cake tins, greased and floured, or a mini sponge cake tin – mine makes six which are then sliced through the middle horizontally. You could of course make cupcakes in a muffin pan too, but you’ll need less buttercream then I think.

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 175g (1 and 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 125g (2/3 cup) sugar
  • 50g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsps instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 tbsps hot water
  • 175g (1 and 2/5 cups) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 75g (a good 1/2 cup) chopped walnuts
  • 2 – 3 tbsps milk

Ingredients for the buttercream filling/topping:

  • 110g (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 220g (1 and 3/4 cups) icing sugar
  • 3 tsps instant coffee granules dissolved in 3 tsps hot water
  • a few walnuts for decoration

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.

For the cake, dissolve the coffee first, so it can cool. Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the coffee and then gently fold in the flour with a metal spoon. Finally stir in the chopped walnuts. Now you need to have a soft mixture that will just about drop off a spoon – add the milk to reach the right consistency. Divide between your cake tins and then bake for about 25 minutes. Check the middle is done with a cocktail stick or something similar, as it may need a few more minutes. When cooked, leave in the tins for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

For the buttercream, prepare your coffee first again, so it can cool. Then just beat the butter and icing sugar together until creamy, and then mix in the coffee. (I only made half the amount for three mini cakes as I wasn’t sure if you can freeze buttercream. Has anyone tried that?)

When the cakes are completely cool, spread the buttercream over the base and place the other half on top. Then use the remaining buttercream for decoration on the top, adding a few walnut halves/quarters too.

These are just as delicious with a cup of tea as they are with coffee!



What foods do you like to indulge in during the winter months?