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. Like this one.
Getting off on a tangent a little, coffee is so good in chocolate cakes. You can’t taste it at all, but it totally enhances the chocolatey flavour. I use it in most of my brownies and kladdkakor recipes.
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)
- 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)
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1½ 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!
- You can use spelt or regular flour for this recipe (just use the same amount).
This recipe has been adapted from Nigella Lawson’s