Coffee & walnut cake

Coffee & walnut cake

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(82 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus cooling


Cuts into 10 slices

The classic combo is made extra sumptuous with mascarpone frosting - a traditional sponge for cake sales and parties

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze unfilled sponges

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal620
  • fat41g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs55g
  • sugars36g
  • fibre2g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.8g
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  • 250g pack softened butter, plus extra for the tins



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 100ml strong black coffee (made with 2 tbsp coffee granules), cooled
  • 280g self-raising flour
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 4 eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g walnut, 2 tbsp roughly chopped, the rest finely chopped



    Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're…

For the filling

  • 100g icing sugar, sifted, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 150ml double cream
  • 100g mascarpone, at room temperature


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter 2 x 20cm round cake tins and line with baking parchment. Set aside 1 tbsp of the coffee for the filling.

  2. Beat the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and half the remaining coffee in a large bowl with an electric whisk until lump-free. Fold in the finely chopped walnuts, then divide between the tins and roughly spread. Scatter the roughly chopped walnuts over one of the cakes. Bake the cakes for 25-30 mins until golden and risen, and a skewer poked in comes out clean. Drizzle the plain cake with the remaining coffee. Cool the cakes in the tins.

  3. Meanwhile, make the filling: beat together the icing sugar, cream and mascarpone, then fold in the reserved 2 tbsp coffee. Spread over the plain cake, then cover with the walnut-topped cake and dust with a little icing sugar.

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Comments, questions and tips

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29th Jul, 2020
Turned out beautifully. Has just been requested again. I used standard butter cream filling as I wanted it to last a few days.
Bethany Lawson's picture
Bethany Lawson
11th Jul, 2020
I made this for my dad for fathers day, and it was a huge hit! The coffee flavour wasnt too strong, the cake was lovely and moist, the filling was dreamy! I would definitely recommend this recipe. Very easy to follow, especially as this is the first time in years I've made a cake... even the kids liked it!
Sophie Magpie
22nd May, 2020
*Regarding the coffee qty, which is very confusing in the written recipe:* If you watch the video it says mix 2 tbsp instant coffee with 100ml boiling water to make a strong liquid coffee. Leave to cool. When you make the cake sponge you mix in ONE THIRD of the strong liquid coffee you have just made. Once the sponges are baked, you drizzle HALF OF THE REMAINING COFFEE (another one third of the total you had to start with) over the top of the bottom sponge. Then the rest of the coffee liquid (the last third) is folded into the filling, once you have whisked the mascarpone, butter and icing sugar together. I'm glad I read the comments first and checked this!
10th May, 2020
Mixed views on this one - the cake recipe was good, but like others using mascarpone instead of a proper buttercream meant it split despite our best efforts - so we made a new butter cream which worked well - we beefed up the coffee taste with some arabic bean paste (2 teaspoons) in some liquid coffee and also the filling. Would never use mascaropone again.
Maria Papuha's picture
Maria Papuha
7th May, 2020
BBC goodfood is my usual go to for a recipe. I have to say I thought the above recipe was badly written plus it had a typo with 1 tbs of coffee being set aside in instruction 1 but it then mentions 2 tbs in instruction 3. I didn't like the way the use of the coffee was explained.
16th May, 2019
Fantastic recipe! Cake looked fantastic, found the filling to be a bit runny so maybe add more icing sugar??
Amy Bonner's picture
Amy Bonner
3rd Jan, 2020
I thought that too but you just need to keep the electric whisk going for a bit longer! :)
25th Jan, 2019
The icing was really nice but the cake itself was a bit dry and heavy. I usually use a Nigel Slater recipe for coffee and walnut cake which is based on a traditional sponge (equal butter, sugar, flour and eggs) and it's much nicer.
27th Dec, 2018
I’ve made many coffee walnut cakes but this is the best I’ve ever made. Didn’t change anything from the recipe
6th Oct, 2018
Try using extra thick double cream in the filling works wonders !!


30th Oct, 2019
Any idea how long this will keep for? How far in advance of eating can I make it? Does it need to be kept in the fridge after the filling is in?
goodfoodteam's picture
2nd Nov, 2019
Thanks for your question. If you're making this a few days in advance, we'd suggest freezing the sponges. This will be best if filled before serving. If you have some left, refrigerate for up to two days.
5th Oct, 2018
Can I just exclude the walnuts to make a coffee cake or will it be too dry? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Oct, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can exclude the walnuts and it'll still be delicious and moist!
Jayne FP
17th Aug, 2018
Cake tastes delicious and was easy to make but I was confused by the filling. Tried 2 different ways. Followed the recipe and it curdled. Tried one of the other commenters instructions and tried whipping cream first. This looks really nice a glossy but quite thin and I fear may just spill off the cake. I've put it in the fridge to see if it firms and will only fill cake just prior to serving. What am I doing wrong?
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Aug, 2018
Sorry to hear you've been having problems with the filling. It sounds like you might have needed to beat the filling a little longer. Also make sure the coffee is cool before you fold it in. We hope that helps.
Luke Richardson's picture
Luke Richardson
8th Jul, 2020
The instructions aren't the most clear. For the coffee half (50ml) goes in the cake mix, with the remaining being equally split (25ml) between the sponge and the icing. I'd read the filling split for some, I'd whisk the cream, mascarpone and icing sugar together till stiff and the whisk leaves slight divots in the mixture when removed. When mixing in the remaining coffee stick with it, I found it took a minute or two to fully incorporate.
23rd Jan, 2020
I followed the instructions except for the filling. For that, I followed a youtube video's instructions and it came out great. Whip the cream first, add the icing sugar just before it's fully whipped. Continue to beat until whipped, then beat in the mascarpone and coffee, just until incorporated. I was unsure if it'd go runny, so added the coffee in a tsp at a time and it was fine.
Amy Bonner's picture
Amy Bonner
3rd Jan, 2020
Really yummy cake, but two things to help that aren't so clear... Make a little bit extra coffee (maybe 120ml) so you have the extra two tablespoons at the end for icing and secondly, whisk the icing with an electric whisk for about 4/5 mins until it gets thicker
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