Old fashioned coffee and walnut cake is a fabulous centerpiece for afternoon tea or a birthday party.  A tall slice of this moist sponge cake layered with coffee buttercream is a dessert you won’t soon forget.

Prep Time: 40 minutes
holding a plate of coffee and walnut cake with a fork
Cakes, Dessert

Old Fashioned Coffee and Walnut Cake

Few things are better than having a showstopping cake that’s simple to make.  This coffee and walnut cake contains lots of rich nuttiness from the walnuts, and a good dose of chicory and coffee extract for an old-fashioned flavor.  (Just substitute with instant coffee if you don’t have the essence.)  It’s the perfect cake for birthdays, tea parties, or any special occasion!

holding a coffee and walnut cake

What is chicory and coffee essence?

Chicory and coffee essence is a dark, coffee-flavored syrup commonly mixed with warm milk to make a quick coffee drink.  Since it has such a strong flavor, this essence is perfect for adding to cake batters and icings to give them a rich, bittersweet coffee flavor.  It supposedly was introduced as a fast way of making coffee for the military.

What is the all in one method?

The all in one method in baking refers to a way of mixing up a cake batter.  All the ingredients are mixed together at the same time instead of creaming the butter and sugar and then adding the eggs and flour.  It saves time and is so much easier–and this cake turns out just as good.

holding a slice of coffee and walnut cake on a plate with a fork

How to Make Coffee and Walnut Cake

Measure out all the cake ingredients, making sure the butter and eggs are at room temperature.

coffee and walnut cake batter ingredients

Put all the cake ingredients except the milk in a mixing bowl.

coffee and walnut cake batter ingredients in a bowl

Beat with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer until well blended.  If the batter is too stiff, add the milk a little at a time. Then, divide the batter between two pans and bake.

coffee and walnut cake batter in a bowl

Make the coffee buttercream by beating the butter until smooth.

butter for coffee and walnut cake icing

Sift the icing sugar so no lumps remain.

sifting icing sugar for coffee and walnut cake icing

Gradually beat in the icing sugar a spoonful at a time until it’s all added.

butter and sugar for coffee and walnut cake icing

Add the chicory and coffee essence and milk to give it a spreadable consistency, then beat until fluffy.

coffee buttercream icing for coffee and walnut cake

Once the cakes have cooled, peel off the parchment and sandwich them with half of the icing.  Spread the rest of the icing on top.

undecorated coffee and walnut cake

Decorate the cake with walnut halves (and a cocoa powder stencil if you’re feeling fancy).

decorated coffee and walnut cake

Hopefully, you’re as much in love with this cake as I am.  It’s one of my favorite cakes of all time with it’s simple yet delightful flavors and elegant decoration.  You’ll be glad you made it!

slice of coffee and walnut cake on a plate with forks

Pro Tips

  • It’s really best to use the chicory and coffee essence to get the best flavor.  If you must substitute, dissolve 4 teaspoons of instant coffee in 1 tablespoon of hot water.  Brewed coffee just isn’t strong enough to impart a good flavor to the cake and icing.
  • Be careful not to overbake the cakes, or they will be dry.
  • Whip the buttercream with a whisk to help it get really fluffy.
  • Store the leftover cake in an airtight container so it won’t dry out.

Looking for more tasty and easy cakes?  These ones won’t disappoint.

hummingbird cake on a plate slice of sour cream pound cake on a white plate with fork slice of carrot cake on a white plate with fork

Did you make this coffee and walnut cake?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Print
holding a plate of coffee and walnut cake with a fork

Old Fashioned Coffee and Walnut Cake


  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 16 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: British

Description

Old fashioned coffee and walnut cake is a fabulous centerpiece for afternoon tea or a birthday party.  A tall slice of this moist sponge cake layered with coffee buttercream is a dessert you won’t soon forget.


Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (225g)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (225g)
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons caster sugar (225g)
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (100g)
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons chicory and coffee essence
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk

For the Icing & Decoration

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (115g)
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted (350g)
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chicory and coffee essence
  • 10-16 walnut halves, one for each slice
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, for stencil (optional)

Instructions

Making the Cake (25 minutes + 20 minutes baking + cooling)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Lightly butter two 9-inch springform pans and line their bases with parchment paper.
  2. Crack the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer, then add the flour, butter, sugar, walnuts, and coffee essence.  Blend on medium-low speed until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed.  The batter should hesitantly fall from a spoon when shaken.  If it doesn’t, gradually add the tablespoon of milk until it reaches the right consistency.
  3. Evenly divide the batter between the two pans and spread it into all the corners.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes, then take them out of the pans and let them cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour.

Making the Coffee Buttercream (10 minutes)

  1. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth.  Meanwhile, sift the icing sugar to remove any lumps.
  2. Turn the mixer on medium and add the icing sugar a spoonful at a time.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the coffee essence and 2 teaspoons of milk.  Add additional milk as needed to give the icing a spreadable consistency.  Taste and adjust the amount of coffee essence as you desire.
  4. Turn the mixer onto medium high speed and beat for 1-2 minutes until the buttercream is fluffy and smooth.

Decorating the Cake (5 minutes)

  1. Peel the parchment paper off the cakes, then set aside the cake with the nicest top.
  2. Place the other cake top side up on the serving plate and spread half of the icing on top.
  3. Put the other cake on top to create a sandwich, then spread the remaining icing on top.
  4. If desired, place a clean stencil on top of the cake and dust with cocoa powder to create a picture or pattern.
  5. Place the walnut halves around the edge of the cake.  Slice and serve.

Notes

  • If you don’t have coffee and chicory essence, substitute with espresso powder or 4 teaspoons of instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon of hot water.
  • Store leftover cake in an airtight cake carrier at room temperature for up to 2 days.  (The high amount of sugar in the buttercream should keep it from spoiling.)  Freeze the cake in an airtight container for long-term storage.

Keywords: sponge, layer, classic

2 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Coffee and Walnut Cake

  1. Hi Emma and Brooke,
    This old fashioned coffee and walnut cake looks absolutely delicious. Keep up the excellent work on your blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *