Gentlemen’s Challenge: Coffee Walnut Cake

This year our talented gentlemen bakers are challenged to produce a coffee walnut cake.


For the cake:
  • 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 200g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 50g walnut pieces
For the coffee icing:
  • 125g butter, room temperature
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1tbsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
To decorate:
  • 12 walnut halves


  1. Preheat the oven to Gas 6, 200C or fan 180C. Lightly grease and line base of two 17.5cm/7in sandwich tins.
  2. Whisk eggs and sugar together till light and fluffy and pale yellow. Add the eggs and whisk thoroughly with butter and sugar till creamy. Add the cold coffee flavouring and whisk to amalgamate.
  3. Sift the flour and gently fold into mixture, in two or three parts. Stir in the walnut pieces and divide batter into the two cake tins. Level the top and bake for 25 minutes. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes will come out clean when they are done.
  4. Run a knife round the edges of the tins and gently tip out the cakes onto a cooling rack. Peel off the greaseproof paper and leave cakes to cool.
  5. Meanwhile make the icing. Cream the butter with the icing sugar and when stiff but still spreadable, stir in the cold coffee flavouring.
  6. When the cakes are completely cold, cover one half with approx. one third of the icing. Sandwich cakes together and use the rest of the icing to cover the top and sides.
  7. To finish, place the 12 walnut halves round the top of the cake.