Whole Coffee and Walnut Cake viewed from the side with buttercream filling, icing and walnuts on teh top of the cake.

Coffee and Walnut Cake

This Coffee and Walnut Cake is soft and moist with delightful coffee and walnut flavours and a creamy coffee buttercream icing. It is quite an easy cake to make and is very popular in the tea rooms, along with some of my other cake recipes – Classic Carrot Cake, Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Sponge Cake.

Camp Coffee in Coffee and Walnut Cake

I always use Camp Coffee in my recipe for Coffee and Walnut Cake. Camp Coffee is a chicory and coffee flavoured syrup and was the earliest form of instant coffee. It has rich coffee flavour that adds depth and complexity to the cake. As it comes in a liquid form I find it is very convenient to use in baking. It also provides a consistent flavour giving the cake a reliable and predictable coffee taste, unlike brewed coffee, which can vary in strength and flavour depending on the brand, brewing method, or bean type.

If you are unable to get hold of Camp Coffee substitute one tablespoon of instant coffee dissolved in one tablespoon of hot water for two tablespoons of Camp Coffee. Do try to get some though – even if it is just so you can try some of the Camp Coffee inspired recipes at The Camp Coffee Club.

Coffee and Walnut cake on a cake stand with a slice of Coffee and Walnut Cake, cup of coffe, Camp Coffee bottle and a small plate of walnuts.

Ingredients you will need to make this Coffee and Walnut Cake

For the Cake

  • 10 ounces / 285 grams / 1 ¼ cups softened butter
  • 10 ounces / 285 grams / 1 ¼ cups caster sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 10 ounces / 285 grams / 1 ¼ cups self-raising flour
  • 3 ounces / 85 grams / ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons Camp Coffee

For the Butter Icing

  • 4 ounces / 110 grams / ½ cup softened butter
  • 8 ounces / 225 grams / 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Camp Coffee
  • 1 tablespoon hot water

For the Glacé Icing

  • ½ tablespoon Camp Coffee
  • 8 ounces / 225 grams / 1 cup icing sugar
  • Approx 2 ½ tablespoons hot water

To finish

  • Walnut halves

Directions

For the cake

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Grease and base line two 9 inch / 23 cm sandwich tins.
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar until very light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one by one beating well between each addition.
  5. Fold in the flour, chopped walnuts and Camp Coffee.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins.
  7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch.
  8. Cool on a wire cooling rack.
  9. While the two cakes are cooling make the butter icing and the glacé icing.

For the Butter Icing

  1. Beat the butter and icing sugar together until thoroughly incorporated.
  2. Add the Camp Coffee and hot water and continue beating until light and fluffy.

For the Glacé Icing

  1. Stir the Camp Coffee and hot water into the icing sugar.
  2. Add the water gradually until you have a spreading consistency.
  3. If your icing is too runny add a little more icing sugar. If the icing is too stiff add a little more hot water.

Assemble the cake

  1. When the cakes are completely cold place one on a serving plate.
  2. Spread the butter cream evenly over this layer and top with the second cake.
  3. Spread the glacé icing over the top of the second cake and decorate with walnut halves.
  4. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week.

History of Camp Coffee

Photograph of a three storey tenement building in Edinburgh, Scotland covered in eleven large poster advertisements. The posters cover one entire side of the building and are for a variety of different products. On the right there is a washing line with some laundry hanging from it. Some of the posters are simply text eg. Edinburgh Empire, while others include images eg. Camp Coffee.
A Camp Coffee poster among other advertisements on a tenement building in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photograph taken in 1929. Original link – https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlscotland/4617888255/

I can remember drinking Camp Coffee as a child – a teaspoon of ‘Camp’ stirred into hot milk was my first experience of coffee – so I was very interested in finding out a little bit about its history.

Camp Coffee was first developed by Paterson & Sons of Glasgow in 1876 but has since been superceded as a drink by instant coffee powders and granules. It is now generally found in the baking section in the supermarket.

It is believed that it was originally developed by Campbell Paterson for domestic use and for the army on field campaigns in India. It provided a simpler less expensive coffee for people to make at home and for a military field kitchen it was much easier than having to grind and brew coffee beans.

Coffee and Walnut Cake

Recipe by Scones + MoreCourse: Cakes, DessertsCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy
Servings

10

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

35

minutes

Ingredients

  • Cake
  • 10 ounces / 285 grams / 1 ¼ cups softened butter

  • 10 ounces / 285 grams / 1 ¼ cups caster sugar

  • 5 large eggs

  • 10 ounces / 285 grams / 1 ¼ cups self-raising flour

  • 3 ounces / 85 grams / ⅓ cup chopped walnuts

  • 2 tablespoons Camp Coffee

  • Butter Icing
  • 4 ounces / 110 grams / ½ cup softened butter

  • 8 ounces / 225 grams / 1 cup icing sugar

  • 1 tablespoon Camp Coffee

  • 1 tablespoon hot water

  • Glace Icing
  • ½ tablespoon Camp Coffee

  • 8 ounces / 225 grams / 1 cup icing sugar

  • Approx 2 ½ tablespoons hot water

  • To finish
  • Walnut halves

Directions

  • Cake
  • Pre-heat your oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
  • Grease and base line two 9 inch / 23 cm sandwich tins.
  • Cream the butter with the sugar until very light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one by one beating well between each addition.
  • Fold in the flour, chopped walnuts and Camp Coffee.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch.
  • Cool on a wire cooling rack.
  • While the two cakes are cooling make the butter icing and the glacé icing.
  • Butter Icing
  • Beat the butter and icing sugar together until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Add the Camp Coffee and hot water and continue beating until light and fluffy.
  • Glacé Icing
  • Stir the Camp Coffee and hot water into the icing sugar.
  • Add the water gradually until you have a spreading consistency.
  • If your icing is too runny add a little more icing sugar. If the icing is too stiff add a little more hot water.
  • Assemble the cake
  • When the cakes are completely cold place one on a serving plate.
  • Spread the butter cream evenly over this layer and top with the second cake.
  • Spread the glacé icing over the top of the second cake and decorate with walnut halves.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week.

Coffee and Walnut Cake serving suggestions

Slice of Coffee and Walnut Cake on a plate with a fork

Coffee and Walnut Cake is of course delicious on its own but you could also try a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side for extra indulgence.

For an interesting contrast pair Coffee and Walnut Cake with fresh berries or fruit compote and of course don’t forget to serve it with freshly brewed coffee or loose leaf tea if you can.

Until next time

‘Happy Baking!’

Tanya

2 Comments

  1. shirley scotland

    Hi Tanya. A couple of years ago I visited your lovely tea room and had the best lemon cake I’ve ever eaten. Any chance you could post your recipe for that?
    Best wishes Shirley

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