The ultimate makeover: Coffee walnut cake

The ultimate makeover: Coffee walnut cake

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(14 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 40 mins

More effort

Cuts into 12 slices
A delicious but lighter version of teatime favourite, coffee and walnut cake

Nutrition and extra info

  • Unfilled cake can be frozen


  • kcal336
  • fat15g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs45g
  • sugars30g
  • fibre1g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.43g
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  • 1 tbsp coffee granules, plus 1 tsp
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 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…

  • 50g ground almonds


    arr-mund or al-mund

    Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

  • 85g light muscovado sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 25g chopped walnuts



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

  • 2 eggs, beaten



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

  • 250g natural yogurt
  • 75ml walnut oil

For the filling

  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp coffee granules
  • 140g light mascarpone
  • 100g quark



    This is a soft, smooth curd cheese with a refreshingly light acidity. It ranges from low-fat…

  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

For the icing

  • 140g fondant icing sugar
  • 1 tsp coffee granules
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped walnuts



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


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil and bottom-line a 20cm round (6cm deep) loose-bottom tin. For the cake, mix the coffee with 2 tsp warm water and set aside. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the baking powder, ground almonds, both sugars (use fingers to rub out any lumps from the muscovado) and walnuts, then make a dip in the centre. Put the eggs, yogurt, oil and coffee mix into the dip and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon so everything is evenly mixed. Spoon the mixture into the tin, smooth the top to level it, then bake for 40-45 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the tin briefly, then turn it out and peel off the lining paper. Leave to cool completely while you make the filling and icing.

  2. Make the syrup for the filling: put the caster sugar and coffee into a small, heavy-based saucepan, then pour in 3 tbsp water. Heat gently, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Once dissolved, raise the heat, then boil at a fast rolling boil for about 2½-3 mins until thickened and syrupy. Pour into a small heatproof bowl and set aside to cool. When cold it should be the consistency of treacle.

  3. Meanwhile, finish off the filling and make the icing. Beat the mascarpone, quark, icing sugar and vanilla together until smooth, then stir in the cold coffee syrup. Set aside. For the icing, sift the fondant icing sugar into a bowl. Mix the coffee with 1 tbsp warm water, stir this into the fondant icing sugar with about 1 more tsp water to give a smooth, thick but spreadable icing. Split the cake into 3, then sandwich back together with the filling. Spread the icing over the top, scatter over the chopped walnuts and leave to set. Store in the fridge.

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Comments, questions and tips

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19th Jan, 2018
Oh my goodness this is absolutely delicious! I decided before I started that I'd only make half the filling and only cut the cake into two - I'm glad of this as I wouldn't have been able to get 3 out of it. It did rise but not nearly enough for 3 layers. The two I have, however, are light and fluffy and moist as anything. The filling is nice, could maybe do with one more spoonful of icing sugar but I'm happy enough with it and the topping is lovely too. I'll make this again without hesitation and I think I'll take this recipe and tweak it a little for a carrot cake next weekend. Really wonderful!
8th Jun, 2017
I just baked this and mine came out badly too. The sponge was ok but the filling was way too cheesy tasting. Not sweet at all and the coffee and sugar part was hard to get right because you are trying to smell burning over the coffee. I wont be making this ever again, stick to a tradional coffee and walnut cake and stay clear!
2nd Apr, 2017
This cake came out horrible, I tested the cake with a skewer before taking it out of the oven and it came out clean so I assumed the cake was cooked through. But after I had iced the cake and cut into it to try it, it was completely rubbery and uncooked. I wasted lots of time and money on ingredients for this! Very annoyed!
19th Mar, 2017
Just made this and it was so so delicious ! I halved the recipe as I'm the only one in the house who likes coffee cake. I used light brown sugar instead of the muscavado sugar in addition to the caster sugar. I didn't have walnut oil so just used sunflower oil but didn't use the full amount and instead added an extra bit of yogurt. For me this rose really well, so for those having problems with it rising, maybe make sure your baking powder is relatively fresh (I've only recently bought mine, but know from past exp. that when its old it doesn't really work). This is definitely a keeper !!
16th Feb, 2015
A bit disappointing compared to a traditional version: the texture of the sponge was slightly rubbery, the filling tasted too much like cheese, really, and the walnut oil was overpowering. The Hubby (who doesn't like the taste of coffee) enjoyed it though. I'll try again but with a filling with mascarpone only (no cream cheese) & a bit more icing sugar (never mind...)
16th Jul, 2014
Baked it today. It came out great! Soft and moist. Very proud of myself. Thanks for this wonderful low calorie recipe. I didn't follow the icing recipe. Cake was just great.
26th May, 2014
Found that the cake was rather chewy and rubbery when I baked it!
31st May, 2013
The cake itself was delicious but the filling was not to my taste - sorry. I will make the cake again but with a butter filling next time.
28th Nov, 2012
Very easy to make. I wanted to cut down even more on the calories & fat so I made a traybake, cut it in half when cooked & put half in the freezer. I did however put the full amount of coffee icing on the one half as it just didn't seem enough to cover both & it is my favourite icing of all. The end result is awsome, very light very tasty & very moorish. It just leaves you wanting more.
8th Oct, 2012
Delicious!! Made this into cupcakes and baked for 30min. They came out perfectly


6th Feb, 2015
I had my very first coffee cake a few minutes ago & am now looking for a nice recipe. This one looks perfect, but Quark does not exist in France, where I live. Could you please tell me what I can use to replace it? Thanks a lot.
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Feb, 2015
Hi Idupuy, thanks for getting in touch. We haven't tested this recipe using a substitute for the quark but we would suggest you try having a go at this with cream cheese or fromage frais, even mascarpone if that's available. Let us know how you get on. 
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
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