My mum’s classic 1970s coffee and walnut cake

My mum’s classic 1970s coffee and walnut cake

By
From
Recipes From a Normal Mum
Serves
10-12
Photographer
David Loftus

My mum has a theory that she’s not a great cake baker. I beg to differ as her coffee and walnut is the stuff of dreams; pillowy soft sponge with just the right amount of bitter coffee and almost buttery walnuts. A huge slice and a cup of strong black coffee is my pick-me-up heaven.

For the cake:

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
170g butter, softened
170g caster sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
2 tablespoons strong black coffee, cooled
200g self-raising flour
60g walnuts, chopped

For the icing and decoration:

Quantity Ingredient
170g salted butter, softened
450g icing sugar
1 tablespoon strong black coffee
110g walnuts halves, or less if you prefer

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line two 20 cm round, non-stick cake tins with baking paper. Cream together the margarine or butter and the caster sugar until light and fluffy. This will take about 4 minutes using a mixer or about 7–8 minutes using a wooden spoon and some elbow grease.
  2. Slowly add the eggs a little at a time and beat well after each addition – this does take a little time but is worth it for a superior texture. If it curdles, just add a tablespoon of flour to rebind the mixture and carry on mixing as before. Beat in the coffee.
  3. Sift the flour and fold into the mixture using a large metal spoon in a smooth slicing motion, being gentle so that the air is not beaten out. Fold in the walnuts. Split the batter equally between the tins and level with a knife. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 35 minutes but do check after 25 if your oven is over zealous. The cake is ready when the edges have slightly shrunk away from the sides and a toothpick comes out of the centre of the cake clean. Leave to cool a little in the tin, then remove and let cool on a wire rack.
  4. Meanwhile, make the icing. Cream the butter until pale and fluffy using a mixer or a wooden spoon. Add the icing sugar a tablespoonful at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the coffee and beat well. For a mousse-like icing flecked with air I beat at the highest setting for 7 minutes in my stand mixer. Sandwich the cakes together using half of the buttercream, then spread the rest over the top and decorate with walnuts.
Tags:
Great British Bake Off
Holly
Bell
Mum
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