Tuesday, 16 April 2019

My Mum's Coffee Walnut Cake, or is it a Slice?

The flavours of coffee and walnuts are meant for each other, and I have always loved this cake. I found the recipe the other day when I was searching through my Mum's hand written recipe books, and it made me quite nostalgic. Perhaps with Easter just around the corner, it is time to be a touch sentimental and remember some precious moments in our lives. Whenever I was visiting my Mum on a work trip, or with my family after I married, she had a cooking repertoire of recipes that she knew we enjoyed and this cake was always the main cake on offer because she knew that I loved it, however the biscuit tins were always full and the refrigerator stacked with food as well. There was probably also a fruit cake hiding in a nearby cake tin, just in case. This original recipe is from pre-metric days, with the ingredient measures all being written in Imperial. Some of you will remember that. I have converted these for you and they can be rounded off, but in the true spirit of the recipe when I am cooking it now, I set my scales to Imperial and off I go.

This recipe is a cinch to make, uncomplicated with simple ingredients,  and although it has the consistency and texture of a cake, it is served as a slice, having been cooked in a lamington baking tin. A little preparation the night before helps but isn't essential, which only involves taking the butter and eggs out of the refrigerator so that the eggs are at room temperature and the butter softened, and the walnuts can be chopped as well. I keep my walnuts in a container in the freezer now, as it is one of those nuts which can taste stale if left at room temperature in a glass jar for too long, and that spoils the finished product. All the ingredients are then beaten together in the electric mixer for 3 minutes, placed in the greased and lined lamington tin and cooked for 25 minutes and voila it is ready. Sometimes I think we just need to be able to bake a simple and delicious cake without too much fuss.

Another reason I chose to bake this easy cake is that I have a foot injury. I sprained my little toe last Friday in the kitchen, caught it on the edge of the cupboard early in the morning when it was still dark, and if you have ever had this happen to you my friends  you will know how much it hurts. Ouch doesn't even begin to describe the pain involved.  So it is slowly healing, and I have a loose fitting sandal on today for the first time since it happened. Thankfully the weather is very balmy at present, not needing closed in shoes. It is also my turn to host our Mahjong "tournament"today and an easy cake like this one will be perfect, as I am still hobbling around.

I love to ice it with a coffee flavoured icing, the old fashioned way using dissolved instant Nescafe coffee, and decorated with chopped nuts. It's difficult to give you an exact recipe for the icing I use, as I make this icing as I go really. However I start with about 4 cups of finely sifted pure icing sugar, add a small dab of softened butter, two teaspoons of warm milk, and then add dessertspoonfuls of a coffee solution made by dissolving 3 teaspoons of instant coffee powder in a teacup of boiling water. Keep  mixing the icing until all of  liquid is integrated and then add more liquid to get the right consistency. You may need to add more sifted icing sugar as well if the icing is too moist. I'm sure Mr. HRK would be very happy to give me some of our homemade espresso coffee if I didn't have any of the instant stuff on hand. Using the instant takes me down memory lane, as it tastes just like Mum used to make.


Turn on your oven to a moderate setting, 350 deg. F. (175 deg. C)

6 oz  (175 g) S.R. Flour
2 eggs
4 ozs (114 g) soft butter
5 ozs (142 g) sugar
1 tablsp. powdered coffee
3 tablsp. milk
1/2 teasp. Baking Powder
1/2 teasp salt
2 oz (60 g)walnuts (chopped)

Let's cook:
  1. Sift the flour
  2. Put all ingredients in the bowl and beat until well mixed, on speed 8 for 3 minutes
  3. Put into well greased lamington bar tin and cook at 350 deg. F or 175 deg. C for 25 minutes.

Ice with coffee icing and top with crushed walnuts or crushed mixed nuts

Thanks for dropping by.

Best wishes,


An original recipe with Pauline McNee


  1. Pauline, I remember making that cake years ago. It is a very nice one too. I do hope your toe gets better quickly as I know how much it must hurt. Thankfully it didn't happen in the middle of winter when you would have had to wear closed in shoes.

    1. Thanks Chel. I am so thankful I can go without shoes or just a very loose sandal. I hobbled to the supermarket today so that's progress:) I have no idea where that recipe came from originally, so I'd love to know if you know. Hope all is well. Happy Easter.

    2. No I don't know unfortunately. Happy Easter to you too, Pauline.

  2. this looks so good and sounds so delicious!! many thanks for sharing the recipe!!

    i enjoyed your "welcome story"!!

  3. Great recipe.

  4. A lovely looking cake. We can't do nuts (wife is allergic) but your cake reminds me of a walnut cake I use to love to dig into when I was young. Thanks for the memory.

  5. Thanks Ron, it's a timeless classic, still tastes great.


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