Coffee and walnut cake

Some recipes should be kept simple and pure, no need to mess around with them, like this classic coffee and walnut cake. It‘s for the purist.

The cake has a light sponge with a little crunch from the walnuts, and the fluffiest buttercream frosting with a good hit of coffee. And it's super easy too. The recipe uses just two bowls and literally no culinary skills are involved or needed.

I haven‘t tested it yet with gluten-free flour, but I see no reason it wouldn‘t work with your favourite 1:1 blend.



Wet ingredients

2 cups oat milk or alternative

1 cup groundnut or melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 tbs apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

2 heaped tbs granulated coffee mixed with 3tbs hot water

Dry ingredients

4 cups plain flour

1 ½ tbs baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 cup caster sugar

120g lighted toasted walnuts roughly chopped

Good pinch of salt

For the frosting

500g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp vanilla bean paste or half the seeds from a pod

140g soft plant based butter

2 tbs coffee granules mixed with 2 tbs hot water.

½ cup toasted walnuts roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Grease two 20cm cake tins and line the bottom with a round of parchment.
  3. In a medium bowl combine all the wet ingredients and stir to combine, set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine all the dry except the walnuts and stir to combine.
  5. Fold the wet into the dry until just combined, do not beat or over work the batter, a few lumps are fine. Finally fold in the chopped walnuts.
  6. Pour the batter into the two prepared tins as equally as you can. Place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. After which time test with a skewer if it comes out clean, they are ready if not give them another few minutes and test again 35 minutes should do it.
  7. Whilst the cakes are baking you can whip up the frosting. Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a free-standing mixing and using the whisk attachment, whip up until light and fluffy. Do not over whisk as it could split.
  8. When the cakes are ready remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before removing from the tins and onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  9. When you‘re ready to ice, place one cake upside down on your desired plate and spread on half the icing. Place the remaining cake the right way up on top and spread with the remaining frosting.
  10. Finish but sprinkling the walnuts around the edge or as you wish.

Best eaten in the first 24 hours, but will keep in a cake tin or covered for 2-3 days.

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