Coffee Walnut Cake

8 comments All Recipes, Cake Recipes, Light Bites
Every bite into this coffee-flavoured butter cake filled with generous amounts of chopped walnuts is addictive! This cake is sponge-soft and moist, and full of crunch!

Seriously, who doesn’t love butter cakes? For all the right (and wrong) and more often than not, less understood reasons, butter has had more than its fair share of negative publicity in our increasingly health-conscious society. Yet, can you imagine what we would be missing out on in our culinary world if we didn’t have butter (or its close cousin, margarine)?

No warm delicious scones, tea cakes or shortbread, decadent slices or rich pastries. Certainly, there wouldn’t be soft butter rolls, breads and croissants to enjoy, baked fresh out of the oven to our table. And undoubtedly, without butter, we probably would have less than savoury pastas, pies and quiches. Gosh! I couldn’t possibly imagine my life without this wonderful ingredient! That’s not to say that I don’t try to eat more on the healthier end of things, but I do occasionally (okay, I admit, very frequently!) give in to my ever present and constant sugar cravings. And on top of that very, very long list of my favourite snacks and treats are butter cakes in all their simplicity, sophistication, grandeur and variety!

So to honour good ole butter, I’m starting a series of posts on all sorts of buttery desserts, snacks and treats.  To kick things off, have a look here at what I recently baked – coffee walnut cake. Now, if you’ve looked at my previous post on a walnut cake and are wondering “hmm…did she use the same recipe and just tweaked it with coffee flavours?”….oh no, that would be just too plain lazy! I’d like to think that I’m much better than that! But I’ve always made clear my limitations – I am not a recipe creator (gosh! I only wish I were that talented!), and like most recipes I post in this blog, I sourced this from one of my many favourite cookbooks. And I promise you, this one makes a really good cake!


This recipe made a pretty good number of servings, so I had a friend take more than half the cake (10 servings) for her office colleagues. Apprehensively, I asked her if she had any feedback (after specifically requesting that she not ask for it!) and by the end of the day, I was grinning from ear to ear and feeling rather pleased with myself. Everyone, she said, loved it! “So moist! So soft!” – was the final word, thumbs up! Aaah, music to my ears! Feeling ever so slightly unsure of my baking skills at times, I asked my friend if her colleagues were just being diplomatically polite, or just so darn hungry that they would chow down anything in the office that was reasonably edible, she looked at me quizzically and said in a matter-of-fact way, “Now, why would they do that? If it wasn’t nice, they would have just eaten it and said nothing!” So that was that. Anyway, I hope you’ll try it and share with me what you think! Perhaps, it could do with a generous dose of rum or brandy??

Coffee Walnut Cake

Coffee Walnut Cake

Yield: 1 round cake (25-cm/10-inch)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This is a quick and easy recipe for Coffee Walnut Cake. Have a slice of this lovely moist yet light butter cake with your favourite cup of black tea or coffee for breakfast or tea. The key here is to use instant coffee that yields an intense, deep flavour. Source: The Best of Singapore Cooking by author, Mrs Leong Yee Soo.


  • 255 g flour
  • 1 tsp double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 170 g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 225 g butter, softened at room temperature, cubed
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


  • 2 - 3 tbsp instant coffee powder, mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
  • 3 tbsp evaporated milk, mixed with 3 tbsp water


  1. Pre-heat oven to 165 deg C (325 deg F).
  2. Grease the base and sides of a 23-cm cake tin and dust lightly with flour. Shake off the excess flour.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the chopped walnuts. Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer, at medium speed (between speed 3 to 4 on my Kitchen Aid mixer) cream butter and sugar till light and creamy. This process may take 8 to 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  5. Mix (A) in a cup.
  6. Divide flour mixture into 3 portions and fold each portion one at a time into the creamed butter mixture. Lastly, add (A) and the vanilla essence. Fold lightly till well incorporated.
  7. Pour batter into cake tin and bake in slow oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake is done. Leave cake in tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool down completely.


  • Helpful Tip Something I learnt from baking school - butter should be at an ideal temperature of 19 deg C for creaming. If you do not have a food thermometer, you can do a finger press test. At the ideal temperature range between 19 to 21 deg C, butter yields a little (but doesn't give way) when pressed firmly with your finger.
  • If butter is too soft as a result of having been left at room temperature for too long, it is more difficult to trap as much air bubbles during the creaming process. Hence, the cake batter may suffer loss of volume and the cake may be flatter and denser in texture.


  1. Hi! Yes, you can bake this in a bundt pan.

  2. hi can this be made as a bundt cake? the photo shows perhaps you have..

  3. Hi Sheryn, so glad to have you back! Most store-bought baking powder is double-acting, depending on where you live. But just in case you’re not sure if your BP is single or double-acting, you can make your own at home.

    To make 1 TEASPOON double-acting, combine 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp ceeam of tartar + 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch. Just be sure that your baking soda and cream of tartar is still fresh.

    I usually use instant coffee as the flavour is more pronounced. The only other coffee substitute I can think of as a good substitute is strong espresso in equivalent amount. Because the liquid ratio is important, 1 tbsp of regular coffee might not offer enough coffee flavour.

  4. Hi Celia!

    I’m a returning reader after trying many of your recipes with much success! However, this recipe calls for double acting baking powder. I can’t seem to find them in my local supermarket. Is there a substitute for that?

    And if i use real coffee, how much do you suggest I add?

    Cheers, thanks in advance!

  5. Hi Amy! Thank you so much for trying this recipe! I’m so glad this worked out well for you, and many thanks for rating it 5 stars! Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Celia, thank you for sharing this wonderful coffee walnut cake recipe. Your recipe is by far the best! My cake smelled aromatic! Tasted flavorful moist and nutty. Yumz..

  7. Hi Yan, thanks for writing in. I can’t be sure as I haven’t done this substitution, but I reckon it should be alright. I would use 6 tablespoons milk, and omit water entirely. Hope it works out for you!

  8. Was just wondering, can I substitute evaporated milk with normal full cream milk? Will that affect the consistency?

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