I love loaf cakes! They are so easy to bake and even easier to cut and share and enjoy! And my gorgeous coffee and walnut loaf cake is light and fluffy and so delicious! It is packed with rich coffee flavour and plenty of walnuts through the cake. Topped with a not-too-sweet coffee buttercream, it is then finished with a generous sprinkle of walnuts for added crunch. Yum!
Is coffee and walnut cake British?
There is not a definite answer to this question. However, the earliest references to coffee and walnut loaf dates back to a 1934 ad for self raising flour by McDougall’s (a British flour producing company).
Is British coffee cake the same as American coffee cake?
Yes, I know this sounds daft, but they actually have different meanings! Here in the UK, coffee cake refers to the flavour of the cake, so you know the cake will always be flavoured with coffee somehow. In the States however, a coffee cake is actually more a cake you would have with a coffee. So it can be any flavour! Some say American coffee cake should be topped with a streusel topping or have spices and even sometimes dried fruit and nuts. But overall, everyone agrees Stateside that “coffee cake” is quite simply “cake to be enjoyed with some coffee”.
What makes this coffee and walnut loaf cake so good?
- Simple to make. The cake comes together in just a few steps before baking. And the icing is a simple buttercream with the addition of coffee and a topping of chopped walnuts. So simple and so good!
- Widely available ingredients. It uses no unusual or hard to get hold of ingredients, making it brilliantly easy to make at any time!
- Perfect results always. Bake up a moist, fluffy and perfect coffee cake loaf each and every time.
- Easily adaptable. Use this recipe to create a loaf cake, as is. Or divide between cupcake cases to make twelve cupcakes. You can also bake this as a round cake using a 6″ circle pan to make a single layer cake. Simples!
What is in the coffee and walnut loaf cake recipe?
- Unsalted butter: I like to use unsalted butter so I can control how much salt is in the bake. For best results, use butter at room temperature.
- Brown sugar: for sweetness in the loaf cake. You can use a white sugar too, but brown sugar works so well with the coffee flavour.
- Flour: I use plain/all purpose flour to make this coffee cake loaf.
- Baking powder/bicarbonate of soda (baking soda): for a little bit of help with rising for this coffee cake.
- Salt: enhances the flavours in the loaf cake. You will not taste it, I promise!
- Eggs: helps with the structure and texture of the cake.
- Yogurt: keeps the loaf moist and tender.
- Coffee: one half of the flavour profile of this delicious cake.
- Walnuts: essential for making this irresistible coffee and walnut loaf.
- Icing/powdered sugar: used to make the buttercream. Dissolves more easily than caster or granulated sugar, so ensuring the buttercream is not grainy.
- Vanilla: for delicious flavour in the best coffee walnut loaf recipe ever!
Do I need special equipment to make a loaf cake?
- Loaf tin*: to bake the coffee walnut loaf in.
- Loaf tin liners*: for lining the tin to make this loaf cake. You can use parchment paper too, if you wish, both options work well.
- Digital kitchen scales*: I provide all my measurements in cups too, however I would encourage all bakers to weigh out ingredients using weighing scales when baking. A set of digital kitchen scales is so useful and totally an essential baking tool for me.
- Measuring spoons*: a set of measuring spoons is essential for any baker. This is because these are more accurate than using everyday teaspoons and tablespoons, which can vary greatly in size.
- Mixing bowl*: used to mix the coffee buttercream in before decorating the loaf cake.
- Sieve*: to remove lumps from the dry ingredients, ensuring everything mixes together evenly.
- Stand mixer*/electric hand mixer*: I would highly recommend investing in a good electric mixer, whether stand mixer or hand held electric mixer, to help with your baking. This recipe can, of course, be done entirely by hand, but your bicep will get quite the workout for it! Having these tools makes it much easier, not to mention quicker, to do any baking.
- Jug*: to mix together the wet ingredients before combining with the dry.
- Spatula*: ensures you get every last bit of that heavenly coffee walnut loaf mixture into the tin to bake! Plus useful to spoon out and spread the icing over the top of the cake.
- Offset spatula*: to help spread the icing over the cake smoothly and evenly, as well as spreading the caramelised white chocolate for the shards.
How to make coffee and walnut loaf cake
This loaf cake is actually really quite easy to bring together, there are just a few steps along the way. First, we need to make the loaf itself, then the buttercream before bringing it all together into a beautiful cake!
For the coffee walnut cake
Step 1: Line the loaf tin with a loaf liner or parchment paper and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F whilst making the cake batter.
Step 2: In a large bowl or a stand mixer, beat the butter until softened. Add in the sugar and beat until paler and fluffy. Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and beat again until the mixture resembles damp sand.
Step 3: Separately, in a jug, tip in the yogurt, eggs and coffee. Mix well until smooth and completely combined.
Step 4: Pour half the wet mixture into the flour mixture and mix on low to combine. Add in the remaining wet mixture, scrape the bowl down and mix once more to completely combine. Scrap the bowl down once more and beat on high for about 30 seconds until the batter is really light and silky. Finally, tip in the broken chunks of walnuts and fold into the cake batter.
Step 5: Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin, then bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes until springy to touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
For the coffee frosting
Step 1: To make the buttercream, first beat the butter for 4-5 minutes until really soft, spreadable and paler in colour. This is really important as it gives you a really light buttercream that is soft and fluffy. Do not skip this step!
Step 2: Add in half the icing sugar and mix in until completely combined. Tip in the coffee mixture and vanilla and mix to combine in smoothly, scraping down the bowl as needed. Now add in the remaining sugar and slowly mix it in. Scrape the bowl down again, then beat, on high, for about 30 seconds for the final fluffing of the coffee buttercream.
Step 3: Using a spatula, mix and press the buttercream around the mixing bowl for about a minute or so. This smooths out the buttercream, pushing out air bubbles, resulting in a really silky buttercream to work with for the final step.
Step 4: Once the loaf is cool, spread the coffee buttercream over the top of the loaf, using an offset spatula or knife to create any patterns you wish on top. Finish decorating by sprinkling on some additional walnuts and whole coffee beans, if desired. Enjoy!
How do I know when my coffee cake is baked?
You can tell when the loaf is baked as it will be well risen and domed in the middle. You can also use a toothpick or wooden skewer, poked into the middle of the loaf: you should have nothing come out sticking to this if the cake is baked.
How long will a coffee and walnut cake last?
This coffee and walnut loaf cake should be stored in an airtight container and will be fine kept at room temperature for 2-3 days.
How do you store a coffee and walnut cake?
Store the coffee walnut loaf cake in an airtight container. It does not need to be kept in the refrigerator, just place the container in a cool spot away from direct sunlight.
Can coffee and walnut cake be frozen?
Absolutely! Most loaf cakes will freeze well for up to three months.
How to freeze this coffee and walnut loaf cake
I would recommend freezing this loaf cake without the buttercream and decoration on top. Once baked, leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once it is cool, wrap it tightly with two layers of cling film (plastic wrap), leaving the parchment the loaf was baked in around the cake. Then wrap snugly in a layer of foil and freeze.
How to thaw a loaf cake
This cake will thaw fairly quickly. Depending on the temperature of the room, it can normally be completely thawed in 4-5 hours at most. To thaw the loaf cakes, remove the foil and both layers of cling film and place on a cooling rack, brushing off any ice crystals as you do. Once the cake has thawed, remove the lining paper and decorate according to the rest of the recipe. Store in an airtight container as before.
Additional tips for making this coffee and walnut loaf cake recipe
- Preparation is key! Get all ingredients and tools ready, including lining the loaf pan and turning the oven on before you start mixing.
- Get some loaf tin liners! They are so easy to use, it makes prep for making any loaf cake a breeze!
- Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. This small step helps ensure all the ingredients blend together much more smoothly, resulting in a better bake.
- Remember to beat the butter plenty when making buttercream. Trust me, this step is totally worth the extra few minutes spent for the best buttercream you will ever make!
- Ensure the loaf is completely cool before decorating with buttercream, otherwise you could end up with a melted liquid mess for buttercream and soggy cake. No one wants that!
- I would definitely add extra walnuts to the top of the iced loaf. The coffee beans are a totally optional extra, I just love how they look on the cake!
If you have any questions about this coffee walnut loaf cake, please comment below and I will do my best to help. And do remember: if you enjoy this coffee and walnut loaf, please leave a rating and review below. You could even post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world. You already know I would love to see!
More recipes from my blog for you to enjoy
Coffee walnut cookies: Calling all coffee fans! These coffee walnut cookies are especially for you! Beautiful chewy coffee infused cookies packed with wonderfully earthy walnuts. If you are a fan of the British classic coffee and walnut cake, this cookie will be right up your street!
Carrot cake tray bake: This is a delicious moist and fluffy cake packed with grated carrots, walnut chunks and my delicious spice mix, then spread generously with a tangy cream cheese icing and even more walnut pieces. Not only is this a super easy bake, but it’s always a crowd pleaser!
Victoria sponge cake: This British classic has to be a staple in every baker’s library! Two delicious vanilla flavoured sponge cakes are filled with softly whipped cream and jam and a simple dusting of icing sugar to finish. The Victoria sponge cake has to be one of the most simple but elegant cakes out there, making it a British classic loved the world over. Perfect for afternoon tea or any celebration!
Thanks for joining me today, my friends. Hope you enjoy this beautiful coffee and walnut loaf recipe as much as my family does, and happy baking! x
|Loaf tin||Loaf tin liners|
|Digital kitchen scales||Measuring spoons|
|Stand mixer/electric hand mixer||Jug|