The ultimate Afternoon Tea classic of a luxurious Walnut Coffee Cake is always good to have in your repertoire and is one of my all-time favourite cakes.

In this recipe, I use Irel Coffee (or Camp Coffee) essence which can be found in all good supermarkets and works better than real coffee. I like to use mascarpone cream instead of butter-cream, especially in the summer as it leaves a lighter, fresher and more modern twist on a age-old classic.

Shopping List:

– 225g Soft unsalted butter
– 225g Caster Sugar
– 4 Free Range Eggs (at room temperature)
– 100g Walnuts (roughly chopped)
– 225g Plain white flour (sieved)
– 1 Tsp Baking Powder
– 3 Tbsp Irel (or Camp) coffee essence

Coffee Icing & Filling

– 450g Mascarpone Cream
– 50g Caster Sugar
– 6 Tsp Irel or Camp coffee essence

To Decorate:

– 8 Whole walnut halves


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1. Preheat the oven to 180C / gas mark 4. Line the base of two 8 inch sandwich tins with greaseproof paper and lightly dust the edges with flour.

2. Cream the butter well with a wooden spoon, add the sugar in stages until pale and light in texture. Add in an egg one-by-one to the mixture, adding a tablespoon of flour to each addition to prevent the mixture from curdling and gently fold in the coffee extract.

3. Add the chopped walnuts, flour and baking powder and fold into the cake mixture. The mixture should be a light dropping consistency, add 1-2 tbsp of buttermilk to loosen the mixture if needed. Weigh the mixture and divide it in two into the cake tins. Bake for 30 minutes.

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4. The cake is cooked when a skewar is inserted in the centre and comes out clean. Leave to rest in the tins for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Leave the cakes to cool on the wire rack completely before adding the filling.

5. To make the filling and icing; whisk the mascapone cream and sugar well before adding in the coffee essence.

6. Divide the coffee cream mixture evenly and using a palette knife sandwich the two layers together evenly and coat the top with the remaining mixture. Decorate with 8 whole walnuts.

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