Walnut and Espresso Cake with Coffee Buttercream Recipe

Prep Time Cook Time Serves
20m 25m 1 9-inch cake

I first discovered this kind of walnut and coffee cake when I was living in England. It is totally different to the coffee cake that we are used to in North America (read: no thick streusel layer on top). Needless to say, it was a bit of a disappointment the first time I had a slice. But like most cakes, it didn’t take me long to fall in love with this cake’s particular attributes. The strongest of which has to be the addition of coffee.

I have upped the game and slathered on a layer of coffee buttercream. It may not be a nice thick layer of streusel but I have to tell you, it does the job. I mean, can you ever go wrong by adding coffee buttercream? NO.


For the cake:
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 espresso shot (approximately 1 1/2 ounces), room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
For the coffee buttercream:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened, plus more for greasing
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 ounce espresso, room temperature
  • walnut pieces for decorating


Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, yogurt, eggs and espresso. Once evenly combined, stir in the flour, sugar, baking powder and chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, make the buttercream frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly add in the espresso until it is completely incorporated.

Frost the top of the cake and decorate with walnut pieces as you like.

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