walnut coffee cake

I have a confession to make, I've never had a slice of walnut coffee cake before, mainly because I do not like the flavour of coffee. However when I saw a photo of Benjamina Ebuehi's walnut coffee cake from her new book, I'll Bring Dessert, it looked so nice I decided to give it a go.  

Rather than a single cake, I decided to make a layer cake which was sandwiched and topped with my new favourite fluffy cream cheese icing.

Here's the recipe for you, adapted from 
here which makes a 17cm layer cake
. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. If you'd like to make a larger cake, refer to the original recipe.

Walnut Coffee Cake 
75g walnuts
2 eggs
150g light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
125ml (110g) vegetable oil 
60ml brewed coffee, coooled
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch fine sea salt
45g plain yoghurt

Coffee Cream Cheese Icing
1 tsp espresso powder, dissolved in 2 tsp boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g cream cheese, softened
125g unsalted butter, softened
40g dried milk powder
Pinch salt
125g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional (160°C fan). Grease and flour two 17cm round cake pans and line the bases with baking paper.

Add the walnuts to a baking tray and cook for 7-8 minutes until toasty. Let the walnuts cool and set a few aside, 
about 25g, to top the cake. Add the rest (50g) to a food processor and blitz until you have a coarse texture. You don’t want a fine powder here.

Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil to a bowl and whisk briefly to combine. Stir in the coffee. Add the flour and walnuts, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and fold gently to combine.

Stir in the yoghurt and pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes until the cakes are deeply golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cut around the edges of the cakes and let the cakes cool completely before removing from the tins. While the cakes cool, make the icing.

Coffee Cream Cheese Icing
Place the espresso, vanilla, cream cheese, butter, milk powder and salt in the bowl of electric stand mixer. Sift the icing sugar over the top. Beat with the paddle attachment for 10 minutes on speed 4 (below low) until pale, and fluffy. You can use the icing straight away but otherwise it can be stored covered in the fridge until needed. If refrigerated, rewarm in the microwave in 20-second bursts until softened before using.

To finish
Trim the tops of the cakes if peaked. Place one cake on a serving dish and spoon just over 1/3 icing over the first layer. Top with the second layer and spoon the rest of the icing over the top of the cake using the back of a spoon to smooth it out. J
ust before serving, top with the leftover walnuts.

Make ahead
The cake can be made up to 2 days in advance but ice the cake on the day you want to serve.

Despite my concerns, the cake tasted more walnut than coffee and as expected, the mildly coffee flavoured fluffy cream cheese icing was a triumph.

I took the cake into work and shared it with my workmakes, who declared it was some of my best work. High praise indeed.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



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