Rich Espresso & Walnut Traybake


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in



By Lorraine Pascale

Published 2017

  • About

I don’t often drink coffee, having turned to matcha green tea for my daily buzz. However, one of the ways that I do readily enjoy our caffeine friend is in the form of a cake. The flavours bring back memories of my childhood – of being at a friend’s house, chatting to the parents and all the while eyeing up the cake sitting on the table next to the Bovril sandwiches and jar of sandwich spread!


  • 180 g butter, softened
  • 50 g crème fraiche
  • 180 g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 180 g wholemeal or regular self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Camp coffee essence (or 2 tsp instant coffee mixed with 2 tsp hot water, cooled)
  • 80 g shelled walnuts, chopped, plus 40 g extra to decorate

For the coffee buttercream

  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • ½ tsp Camp coffee essence (or 1 tsp instant coffee mixed with 1 tsp hot water, cooled)


  • 20cm square cake tin
  • stand mixer or handheld electric whisk (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/gas 4) and line the baking tin with baking parchment. I make sure there is extra baking parchment hanging over the edges – this makes it easier to pull out the cake when it is baked.

Put the butter and crème fraiche into a bowl and add the sugar, then cream this together until light and fluffy. The easiest way to do this is in a stand mixer or with a hand-held electric whisk, but a wooden spoon will also work.

When the mixture is fluffy, add two of the eggs, half of the flour and the baking powder and mix together. Then add the other egg with the rest of the flour along with the coffee essence or cooled coffee. Beat the mixture until just combined and then use a spatula to fold in the walnuts.

Tip the cake mixture into the lined tin and smooth the top down with the back of the spoon. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool completely in the tin.

Once the cake is cool, make the coffee buttercream. Put the butter in a bowl and add the icing sugar, then beat it well together until light and fluffy using either a wooden spoon, hand-held electric whisk or a stand mixer. Mix in the coffee essence or cooled coffee and beat again until smooth.

Using a palette knife, spread the buttercream all over the top of the traybake. Cut the cake into eight equal-sized pieces, then place the walnuts on top and serve.