Easy Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake Recipe

Last updated on April 23, 2024

Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 25 Mins Total Time: 45 Mins

The Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake is a classic and delicious cake that blends the strong taste of coffee with the sweet, crunchy taste of walnuts. It’s perfect for any event, big or small, and it’s sure to make everyone happy.

This cake can feed between 6 to 8 people and takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to make from start to finish.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through each step to make this wonderful cake, along with some helpful tips and variations to try.

What is Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake?

The Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake is a classic British cake that combines the aromatic flavor of coffee with the crunchy texture of walnuts, all brought together in a moist and tender sponge cake. It’s frosted with a coffee-infused buttercream, making every bite a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

Easy Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake Recipe

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Rich Flavor: The combination of coffee and walnuts offers a deep, rich taste that’s not overwhelmingly sweet.
  • Perfect Texture: Moist sponge cake with crunchy walnuts and smooth frosting provides a delightful sensory experience.
  • Versatile: Ideal for various occasions, from casual get-togethers to elegant parties.
  • Easy to Make: Despite its sophisticated appearance, this cake is surprisingly straightforward to bake, even for beginners.

Ingredients Needed for Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake

For Cake Batter:

  • 225g (0.5 lb) self-raising flour
  • 225g (0.5 lb) unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g (0.5 lb) caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee powder, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 100g (3.5 oz) walnuts, chopped, plus extra for decoration

For Coffee Buttercream:

  • 150g (0.33 lb) unsalted butter, softened
  • 300g (0.66 lb) icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water

For Decoration:

  • Whole walnuts
  • A sprinkle of icing sugar

Useful Equipment

  • Two 8-inch (20 cm) round cake tins
  • Baking parchment
  • Electric mixer (or a wooden spoon)
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Serrated knife (for leveling the cakes)

Instructions to Make Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake

Step 1: Preparation

  • Preheat the Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 170°C (338°F). Grease and line your cake tins with baking parchment to ensure the cakes come out cleanly.
  • Mix the Cake Batter: Using your electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, ensuring each is well incorporated before adding the next. Fold in the self-raising flour gently, then stir in the dissolved coffee and chopped walnuts.
  • Divide and Bake: Equally divide the cake batter between the prepared tins, smoothing the tops with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. The cakes should be golden and spring back when gently pressed.
  • Cool the Cakes: After baking, let the cakes cool in their tins for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. This step is crucial for a smooth frosting application later.

Step 2: Making the Coffee Buttercream

  • Prepare the Buttercream: While the cakes are cooling, prepare the coffee buttercream. Beat the softened butter until creamy, gradually adding the icing sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then, mix in the dissolved coffee to taste.
  • Assemble the Cake: If your cakes are domed on top, level them with a serrated knife. Place the first layer on your serving plate and spread about one-third of the buttercream over it. Place the second cake layer on top and use the remaining buttercream to cover the top and sides of the cake smoothly.

Step 3: Decorate

Garnish with whole walnuts and a dusting of icing sugar for an elegant finish.

Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake
Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake?

Finding the perfect accompaniment to the Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake can transform your dessert into a full sensory experience.

Here are some delightful pairings:

  • Light Whipped Cream: Adds a soft, creamy texture that contrasts beautifully with the cake.
  • Warm Custard: Pouring warm custard over a slice brings a comforting, homely feel.
  • Ice Cream: A scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side offers a cool, creamy balance.
  • Fresh Berries: Scatter fresh berries around the cake for a splash of color and a tangy flavor kick.
  • Coffee or Tea: A hot cup of coffee or tea enhances the cake’s deep flavors, making it a perfect match.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake

Ensuring your Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake turns out perfectly each time requires a few expert tips:

  • Measure Ingredients Precisely: Accurate measurements are key to the perfect cake texture.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Use ingredients at room temperature for a smoother batter.
  • Fold Gently: When combining flour, fold gently to keep the cake light and airy.
  • Test for Doneness: Use a skewer or toothpick to test if the cake is done, ensuring a moist center.
  • Cool Completely: Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting to prevent the buttercream from melting.

Variations of Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake

The beauty of the Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake lies in its versatility.

Here are some creative twists:

  • Chocolate Chips: Stir in chocolate chips for a decadent touch.
  • Caramel Drizzle: Finish with a caramel drizzle for added sweetness.
  • Orange Zest: Add orange zest to the batter for a refreshing flavor contrast.
  • Espresso Buttercream: Use espresso instead of regular coffee in the buttercream for a stronger coffee flavor.
  • Gluten-Free Flour: Substitute with a gluten-free flour blend for those with dietary restrictions.

How Do I Store Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake Leftovers?

  • In the Fridge: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Wrap individual slices in cling film and freeze for up to a month. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

How Do I Reheat Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake Leftovers?

  • Room Temperature: Simply allow the cake to come to room temperature for the best flavor and texture.
  • Microwave: For a warm treat, microwave a slice for 10-15 seconds.

Nutrition Value (per serving, based on 8 servings):

  • Calories: Approximately 450 kcal
  • Protein: 6g
  • Fat: 27g (Saturated Fat: 12g)
  • Carbohydrates: 49g (Sugars: 37g)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sodium: 200mg


Can I use regular coffee instead of instant coffee on the cake?

Yes, you can use freshly brewed coffee as a substitute for instant coffee in this recipe. Make sure the coffee is strong and cooled to room temperature before adding it to the batter. The amount should be equivalent to the coffee flavor you’d get from the instant coffee dissolved in water, typically about 1 to 2 tablespoons of brewed coffee.

How long does it take to make Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake?

The total time to make Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake, including preparation and baking, is approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. This time frame allows for mixing the batter, baking the cake, and assembling it with the frosting. Additional cooling time may be required before applying the frosting to ensure it sets properly on the cake.

What’s the best way to store leftover coffee and walnut cake?

Leftover Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake should be stored in an airtight container to keep it moist. It can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days. If refrigerated, let the cake come to room temperature before serving to enjoy its best flavor and texture.

Can the coffee and walnut cake be frozen for later use?

Yes, the Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake can be frozen, either frosted or unfrosted. To freeze, wrap the cake tightly in cling film and then in foil. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving for the best taste and texture.

Final Words

The Delia Smith Coffee and Walnut Cake is more than just a dessert; it’s a celebration of flavors and textures that come together in perfect harmony. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, this cake is sure to impress. Enjoy the process, savor each bite, and take pride in creating something truly special for your loved ones. Happy baking!

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