Bite-size coffee and walnut cakes

I grew up in a household where coffee and walnut was the cake of choice and where a bottle of Irel coffee was always to be found, sat next to baking powder.

Bite size coffee and walnut cakes

It probably seems like an odd flavoured cake for small children to be served, let alone enjoy and is most probably where my caffeine addiction now stems from.

I do think though, things can be over analysed and one could be frowned upon these days, if seen giving a child a drop of coffee – in any shape or form.

But home-baked cakes were such a treat. The colourful array on display in bakeries today, wasn’t as readily available when I was growing up, so anything slightly different to the cream and jam sponge was a luxury.

coffee and walnut cakes

I’d long forgotten that, until I recently made a coffee and walnut cake and was instantly transported back to my childhood, by the look on my small one’s face upon taking his first bite… a look of delight… a look that asks for more… a look of secret pleasure.

I was also quite surprised at how many of us remember this cake from our childhood, upon flicking through my cookbooks and reading similar stories told from bakers I admire and aspire to.

So in case you haven’t tasted this cake, or even forgotten, I’ve made bite-sized versions of the old-time favourite and I would love to hear what the signature cake was in your family.

Coffee and walnut cakes

Bite-size coffee and walnut cakes

Makes 20 • Baking time: 25-30 minutes

100g castor sugar
75g dark brown sugar
175g soft butter
3 medium eggs beaten
1 tablespoon Irel coffee
175g self-raising flour sieved

Buttercream icing
60g soft butter
140g icing sugar
1 teaspoon Irish whiskey
1 tablespoon Irel coffee

60g crushed walnuts

To make the sponge
1. Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas 4/160c (fan). Grease and line a 20cm (8”) square baking tin.
2. Cream the sugars and butter together until light and fluffy.
3. Slowly add the eggs with a little flour at each addition to stop curdling. Stir in the Irel coffee and fold in the flour.
4. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until firm to the touch.
5. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out on to a wire tray.

To make the buttercream
1. Beat together the butter and icing sugar in a bowl until white and fluffy. Mix in the Irel coffee and Irish whiskey.

To assemble
1. Slice the edges off the cake and cut into 20 pieces, then cut each cake in half again.
2. Spread the middle and top of each cake with the buttercream icing and sprinkle with the crushed walnuts.

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If you enjoyed these you might also like…
Irish Fancies
Lemon and poppy seed cakes
Rainbow tier cake


7 thoughts on “Bite-size coffee and walnut cakes

  1. My Mam used to make a coffee cake every week for my Dad and I hated it! I was never tempted to take a slice then but I definitely would be now. Your mini versions look great.

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