National Baking Week – Coffee and Walnut Cake

It’s National Baking Week!

So, to kick-off the week, here’s my Coffee and Walnut cake.

The secret to this recipe is Delia Smith’s cheeky coffee syrup, which just gives it an extra kick and keeps the cake so, so moist.


Tip – if you’re running a bake sale in aid of Great Ormand Street Hospital, this recipe also works brilliantly for cupcakes, which can be sold for 50p each!  More information available here


For the Sponge
  • 180g unsalted butter softened
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 180g self-raising sugar
  • 60g walnut pieces
  • 2tsp instant coffee granules, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
  • Walnut halves or pieces to decorate
Delia’s Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder
  • 50g Demerara sugar
  • 55ml boiling water
  • 1tsp instant coffee powder or granules
  • 1tsp cocoa powder
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar

2 cake tins, 20cm diameter – greased and lined

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/Gas 4
  2. Mix together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Sift the flour into the butter mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Fold in the walnut pieces and coffee.
  6. Divide the cake mixture between the two tins and level the surface.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden and the sponge springs back when gently pressed and/or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. While the cakes are baking, make the syrup and icing.
  9. For the syrup, place the coffee and sugar in a heatproof jug, measure the boiling water into it and stir briskly until the coffee and sugar have dissolved, which will take about 1 minute.
  10. For the icing, blend together the coffee and cocoa powder with enough boiling water to make a stiff paste.  Beat the mixture into the butter and icing sugar.
  11. After you have taken the cakes out of the oven, leave them in their tins and prick them all over with a skewer, whilst still hot.  Now, spoon the syrup as evenly as possible over each layer and leave them to soak up the liquid as they cool in their tins.
  12. When they are absolutely cold, turn them out very carefully and peel off the base papers, ideally turning one out onto your serving plate.
  13. Sandwich the two cakes together using just under half of the icing.  Spread the remaining icing on top and decorate as you wish, using the walnut halves/pieces.
  14. Store in an airtight container and it should last easily for a week, if you can help yourself!

2 thoughts on “National Baking Week – Coffee and Walnut Cake

    • Hi Katie. It really is yummy. And the swirls are super easy. You just need a 1M nozzle (cheap on ebay) and starting in the centre, circle around until you create a rose shaped swirl. So simple but so pretty.

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