February 8, 2012


When it was time for our Children in Need cake stall last year one of our regular “customers” requested a coffee and walnut cake so I volunteered to make it and chose a recipe which used coffee essence rather than granules so I went out and bought a bottle of Camp coffee.

coffee cake1a

I hadn’t had Camp coffee for decades.  It was the coffee we always drank at home when I was a little girl.  I was curious to remind myself how it tasted so I decided to make myself a cup.

The taste took me right back to my childhood.  We would have coffee made with a mixture of hot milk and water, with sugar.  And only on a Saturday or Sunday morning and it would be accompanied by a home-made bun, a chocolate biscuit or, if I was very lucky, a custard tart from the village shop .

coffee cake1 coffee cake2 coffee cake3 coffee cake4

The cake was easy to make.  I used a recipe from the Hairy Bikers “Mums Still Know Best” as the basis but it’s basically an ordinary sponge cake with coffee flavouring. 

The mixture had that characteristic yellowy colour when the coffee essence was added.  It baked beautifully and once the butter icing was on it looked like a proper home-made cake, if you know what I mean.

coffee cake5

It was one of the best sellers and I will certainly make one  again for this year’s cake stall.   It sold out completely so I didn’t get to taste a slice for myself.  But I have gradually been drinking my way through the bottle of Camp coffee and really enjoying it.

coffee cake6 

Some of my cakes at the cake stall, clockwise from the left: fruit cake in a nutshell, coffee and walnut cake, moist coconut sponge, victoria sponge, hummingbird cake. 

(I was not responsible for the scones in the foreground as I am hopeless at baking scones for some reason.)


For the cake

225g softened butter

225g caster sugar

4 medium eggs

225g SR flour

1tsp baking powder

2tblsp coffee essence

65g walnut halves (or ready chopped walnuts)

For the icing *

150g softened butter

300g sifted icing sugar

4tsp coffee essence

* This makes a lot of buttercream!  You probably could use 100g butter, 200g icing sugar and 3 tsp coffee essence and it would still be enough!

To decorate

8 walnut halves


Preheat the oven to 190°C/180°fan.  Grease and line the bottoms of two 20cm sandwich tins with baking paper.

Chop the walnut halves small or blitz them in a food processor.  Put on one side.

Put all the remaining cake ingredients into the processor or electric mixer and combine until creamy.  Add the chopped walnuts and combine briefly.

Divide the mixture between the two tins and smooth the tops.  Bake for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes.  Then remove the cakes from the tins, remove the baking paper and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Whilst the sponges are cooling, make the icing.  Put the icing sugar, butter and coffee essence in a food processor or electric mixer and combine until smooth and creamy.

When the cakes are completely cold, turn one upside down and spread its bottom with half of the icing.  Put the other cake on top and spread the other half of icing on that.  Swirl some kind of pattern in the icing and arrange the walnut halves on the top.

Serves 8-12, depending on how big you like your slices of cake !!


  1. I'm glad this is back from holidays, as I went out and bought a bottle of coffee essence especially :-)

  2. Hi Susan, all the recipes will be back soon. It's a really good cake, I hope you enjoy it.

  3. As I said before, Jean, I'll swap you some of my scones for that gorgeous coffee cake as I'm not the world's best cake-maker. But I bet all your recipes are infallible, so I'll have a go - after Lent!

  4. I remembered your advice from this post so when I had a load of cakes to bake recently, I included a coffee and walnut one and you were right it was the most popular cake there - well that and the matcha cupcakes!

    Was sure I'd left a comment here first time around :-S

    1. Choclette, you did leave a comment, then I deleted the post temporarily in the Dan Lepard fiasco. I brought the post back but the original comments were lost.

  5. Coffee and walnut is my favourite cake, ever! Your cake looks lovely, and your icing looks perfect ! x