coffee and walnut cake

by Sharon Santoni


coffee and walnut cake


My grandmother made the most delicious cakes.  We baked a lot together, and of all her recipes, her coffee and walnut cake was my favourite.

cracking open walnuts

I cannot pretend that this is in any way a French recipe, but I’m sharing it with you anyway, and maybe you’ll find a moment to invite friends for tea

To make an 8″ cake you will need two round, shallow baking tins, preferable loose-based.  An oven pre-heated to 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4, and the following ingredients:

8 oz /225gram/1 cup butter

8 oz /225gram/1 cup sugar

8 oz /225gram/1 cup self raising flour

4 eggs

1 tsp of baking powder

pinch of salt

1 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in a little hot water

120g/4oz/ half a cup of chopped walnuts

For the filling and topping make a butter cream with

120g/4oz/ half a cup of butter

8 oz /225gram/1 cup icing sugar

3 tsp instant coffee dissolved in a little milk

Half walnuts to decorate


coffee and walnut cake

To make the cake, simply pop the butter and sugar into a mixer and whizz until they are blended soft and fluffy.  Now add the eggs one by one, beating gently as you go.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt and fold in gently, pour in the dissolved coffee and finally add the chopped nuts.

Divide the mixture between your two baking tins, and bake for about 25 minutes until a knife comes out of the mixture clean.   Remove from the oven, take out of the moulds and let the cakes cool completely on a baking rack.

While the baking is going on, you can make the cream filling by beating the butter until pale and soft then slowly adding the icing sugar, and finally the dissolved coffee.

When the cake sponges are cooled, gently spread the butter cream on top of each cake and assemble by placing the prettiest one of top of the other.  Decorate with a few halved walnuts.

Now all you need to do, is light a fire, make the tea and open the door to your friends who you are about to make very happy.


cracking open walnuts


photos 1 and 3 from google images


stacey snacks January 15, 2015 - 3:46 pm

Please make this for me! I love it!
I am lousy at baking layer cakes………..:)

Caroline Longstaffe January 15, 2015 - 3:48 pm

My favourite cake too and one my mother aways use to make for us. Looks delicious would love to be joining you inFrance by a crackling fire!!

Karena January 15, 2015 - 4:04 pm

My mother always made the best coffee cakes and what is better served warm with coffee or tea!? Your recipe sounds absolutely delicious Sharon!

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La Contessa January 15, 2015 - 4:22 pm


franki January 15, 2015 - 4:41 pm

Sounds IDEAL for a snowy day like ours!! Bon Appetit!! franki

Peggy Braswell January 15, 2015 - 4:44 pm

wow + Grandmother are the best + wonderful recipe

Colleen Taylor January 15, 2015 - 4:55 pm

Thank you for this delicious looking recipe Sharon! Now you’ve gone & made me very hungry. Sweets are my weakness. XO

Miss Diane January 15, 2015 - 5:21 pm

I made a copy of that recipe because the cake looks so delicious for me. Though I am presently on a light diet (I want to lose a few pounds..!!!), I will make that cake as soon as I feel it is the right time! Thank you!

Sheila Murphy January 15, 2015 - 5:41 pm

We have been in a cold snap for the past week here in Connecticut. This cake, tea and friends sounds like the perfect antidote to offset the cold!!

Maria January 15, 2015 - 6:56 pm

Looks divine! Need to make it! Thank you for the recipe

Nat January 15, 2015 - 9:32 pm

This recipe sounds divine and is very similar to my grandmother’s one : she was born in the old Austria Hungria at the beginning of the years 1900 and came to France with this recipe which was her mother’s one. It is my favourite and for Christmas I cook it as a french “buche de Noël” : I cook the cake as a thin sponge on the baking tray, spread the butter cream on the top of it, and then roll it into a “buche” and decorate it as a Christmas “buche”.
Thanks to you, I discover that this recipe is a european one, from east to west! How interesting!

Lorrie January 16, 2015 - 2:48 am

It looks delicious, Sharon, and so comforting for a bleak January day.

Emilie P. January 16, 2015 - 4:51 pm

I so enjoy your posts. Please tell me how to print a recipe from your pages. They are so fantastic looking, I’d love to try my hand at baking them. The Walnut Coffee cake looks “to die for” !

hopflower January 16, 2015 - 11:28 pm

My gran used to make what is called Seedy cake; a regional one that a lot of people have not really experienced. I have the recipe as well. I guess no one makes cakes as well as our grandmothers did.

It is great to be able to go back in time and taste the old fashioned cakes again. I had forgotten about Coffee and Walnut, to tell the truth. Thank you.

JulieAnn Spruce January 17, 2015 - 10:56 am

I love coffee cake, and this recipe looks delicious. Your pear and caramel tarte tatin was a great success at our New Year party, thank you for that as well. I think it’s time you wrote a recipe book please!

Annie Maurer January 19, 2015 - 9:36 pm

Yum! My mouth is watering just looking at your lovely photos! I will save this one up for a few months as I am on a very restrictive diet. I am trying to lose a few kilos so that I can enjoy lots of yummy French baguettes and pastries when we visit in May. Annie M

Vicky from Athens January 19, 2015 - 10:09 pm

OMG! My mouth is watering! I’ve tried several of your recipes and they were all delicious! Thanks for another one!

gardening planning over tea | partygreen celebrations January 19, 2015 - 11:39 pm

[…] so I always get excited about beginnings and future possibilities. Also I made this cake from this blog post. I really did need to use the self rising flour, but the family loved it anyway. Happy garden […]

Patti Stanfield January 20, 2015 - 2:27 pm

Dear Sharon,

This sounded so wonderful I dropped everything to make it last night. And it is indeed, wonderful—a very elegant cake! The comment from our home—this is the best! Thank you for sharing.


Sharon January 22, 2015 - 1:59 pm

Coffee and walnut is one of our favourites, particularly as we have a very productive walnut tree in the garden. I find that the buttercream filling/icing can be a bit sweet so mix mascarpone and and a strong espresso together for a more ‘adult’ topping.

Mary/Indiana November 20, 2020 - 11:52 pm

YUM-O! Can’t wait to make it (after Thanksgiving)

Donna D January 30, 2021 - 4:27 am

Merci for this delicious looking recipe…

emma July 21, 2023 - 7:49 pm

It looks more than fantastic! Thanks a lot!

Mikel Arteta Jr July 21, 2023 - 7:52 pm

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