Coffee and Walnut Spelt Cake with Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting






This recipe for coffee and walnut spelt cake originally appeared on my first blog, The Culinary Jumble, in May 2016. It has been updated to include spelt flour (please see instructions below regarding using normal flour).

I love cake. I mean really love cake. But coffee cake has to be my all-time favourite. Soft, coffee-enhanced sponge, topped (and filled) with rich frosting. 

Is there actually coffee in the recipe?

My UK readers may think this is an odd question, but it appears that not every coffee cake contains coffee. In North America, the umbrella term of coffee cake includes cake that tastes great with coffee. I have to say this confused me because is there a cake that isn’t good served with coffee?

Although I have seen beauties in all shapes and sizes referred to as coffee cake, it seems that a square, sheet pan kind of cake is most common, often including cinnamon and streusel toppings

In the UK, when we say coffee cake, we mean coffee cake, and there is most definitely some kind of coffee in the actual cake. However, it is also very likely that we will be having a cup of coffee to accompany it. Confusing, right

Why is coffee so good in cakes?

Coffee is so good in chocolate cakes. I use it in most of my brownies and kladdkakor recipes. It totally adds a new dimension, resulting in a deeper, more intense chocolate flavour. The bitterness of coffee also helps balance out sweet chocolate cakes, making them less sickly. So, adding coffee to your cake will mean you can eat more. Result. And no, you can’t taste it at all. So even if you are not a coffee drinker, you won’t notice its addition to your chocolate cakes. 



Can I use plain (all purpose) in place of the spelt flour?

Yes, you can use plain (all purpose) flour interchangeably for this recipe.

I’ve made this cake so many times and it never disappoints. When I started The Spelt Kitchen, this coffee and walnut spelt cake was the first recipes I wanted to re-invent using spelt flour. The plain (all-purpose) flour was swapped out for spelt flour in a straight 1:1 ratio. No other changes were needed. The texture changed very little. Perhaps it was slightly more dense, but not so you would ever notice. I also found that the spelt flour provided a nuttier taste that went so amazingly well with walnuts. So, if you do have access to spelt flour, I highly recommend you trying it for this coffee and walnut cake. 

This is a rather large cake. If you fancy the idea of coffee flavoring a cake, but want a simple (smaller cake), why not try my Airfryer coffee cake?


Coffee and Walnut Spelt Cake (with Coffee Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting)

This coffee and walnut spelt cake recipe is made with spelt flour. Simple to make, it is smothered in rich, irresistible coffee cream cheese frosting.
Course Cake
Cuisine British
Keyword Coffee and Walnut Spelt Cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes



  • 50g (⅓ cup) walnuts (extra for decorating)
  • 225g (½ lb) butter (softened)
  • 225g (1 cup + 2 tbs) sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 200g (1⅔ cups) spelt flour (see note 1)
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk


  • 80g (⅓ cup) butter
  • 90g (¾ cup) cream cheese
  • 250-350g (1½ - 2¼ cups) icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • walnuts (decoration - optional)



  • Crush your walnuts. Do this by either placing your nuts in a bag, and bashing with a rolling pin. Or, blitz them in a food processor. Put them to one side for a short while.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 175ºC (350°F).
  • Grease and line 2 x 6" (18cm) cake tins (you can use two 8" pans but the layers will be thinner).
  • In a food processor, or by hand, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time. 
  • Combine the walnuts, flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Fold into the wet ingredients.
  • Mix the coffee and milk together then mix into the batter. A fairly soft dropping consistency should be achieved (add a little more milk if needed).
  • Divide the mixture equally between the two pans and then bake for around 30-35 minutes (if baking 8" cakes, bake for 20-25 minutes).
  • The cakes are ready when they bounce back after being gently pushed down (or an inserted skewer comes out almost clean).
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool for about ten minutes.
  • If using spring-form pans, remove the sides until the cakes are fairly cool and then turn out onto a wire rack (top side down) until they are completely cold.


  • Beat the butter and cream cheese together until nice and smooth.
  • Add the coffee to the water and stir in.
  • Finally, add the icing sugar just until a thick, spreadable consistency is achieved.
  • Spread half of the frosting on the flat side of one of the cakes.
  • Place the other cake on top and then slather the remaining frosting all over the top of it.
  • Decorate with pretty walnuts (I used some whole and some crushed).
  • This is a big cake, tall cake so you only need thin slices. Enjoy!


  1. You can use spelt or regular flour for this recipe (just use the same amount).
I have converted grams to cups/ounces/tablespoons using online converters. Although I have no reason to believe they are inaccurate, please be aware that I have not made the recipe with imperial measurements.
In addition, many ingredients are different in Europe compared to North America (and the rest of the world). I do all I can to offer possible alternatives and to ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone. However, results cannot always be guaranteed if you have not used the same ingredients, measurements or methods as me.
Lastly, I do everything I can to ensure that my recipes (and instructions) are accurate and easy to follow. However, I am human, and don't always get it right. If you notice anything strange, a mistake, or even a typo, please let me know in the comments. 

This recipe has been adapted from Nigella Lawson’s

Coffee and Walnut Spelt Cake with Coffee Cream Cheese FrostingCoffee and Walnut Spelt Cake with Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting

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