Coffee and Walnut Cake

This delicious recipe is from Julie, Tea Cook at Abbeyfield House, Wendover.

Serves: 18

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 45-50 minutes


  • 250g pack softened butter, plus extra for the tins
  • 100ml strong black coffee (made with 2 tbsp coffee granules), cooled
  • 280g self-raising flour
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g walnut, 2 tbsp roughly chopped, the rest finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 140g mascarpone
  • 100g quark
  • 140g fondant icing sugar


  • 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.

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.

For the filling and 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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