The ultimate coffee and walnut cake

If you’re not keen on Christmas cake and mince pies, why not try this classic recipe
for coffee and walnut cake? It’s easy to make, and miniature versions of the cake
make great presents, either by themselves or as part of a hamper. For the best
results, use strong espresso coffee made from freshly-ground coffee beans.


You’ll need:

225g butter or margarine


225g soft brown sugar


4 eggs, beaten


225g self-raising flour


75g walnuts, broken into pieces


50ml strong coffee


For the topping


125g butter


200g icing sugar


50m strong coffee


walnut halves


edible glitter, or edible Christmas baubles (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F, and prepare two 20cm sandwich cake tins by


1. greasing them thoroughly.


2.  Beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture looks pale and fluffy, then add the eggs a Iittle at a time. Stir in the coffee.


3. Tip half the flour in and beat the mixture thoroughly, then add the rest of the flour and the walnut pieces. Beat thoroughly until combined.


4. Spoon half the mixture into each tin, and level off the mixture with the back of a spoon. Tap each tin to release any air bubbles in the batter, then put them in the oven for around 30 minutes, or until the cakes are uniformly brown and well-risen. Leave the cakes in the tin for a few minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and leave until completely cool.


To make the topping, beat the butter and sugar together until well-combined.


Add the coffee and beat it in. Spoon half the mixture onto one cake, and place the other cake on top like a sandwich. Spread the remaining topping over the top of the cake, then use a fork to make fancy swirls. Decorate with walnut halves and edible Christmas decorations or edible glitter, if using.


Serve with a cup of coffee made with freshly-ground coffee beans.


6. To make individual cakes, divide all the ingredients by four and use an individual 10cm cake tin. Don’t forget to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Once baked and decorated, put the finished cake in an open-topped box and cover the box in coloured cellophane.