Big Cakes: Coffee and Hazelnut Cake


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


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Bake and Decorate

Bake and Decorate

By Fiona Cairns

Published 2011

  • About

You can use filter, espresso or instant coffee... whatever you prefer and have in the cupboard. And you can choose which nuts you would like; you may want the more classic combination of coffee with walnut or pecan, or try almonds or even macadamias.


For the Cake

  • 225 g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin
  • 60 g hazelnuts, skinned
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 225 g light muscovado sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 25 ml very strong coffee


    Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 170°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

    Lightly butter 2 × 20cm diameter, 4.5cm deep, sandwich tins, then line the bases with baking parchment.

    Scatter the nuts for both the cake and the buttercream on to a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 5 minutes, shaking once and watching carefully to make sure they don’t bum, then remove from the oven and chop. Measure out and separate the amounts for both the cake and buttercream and set aside.

    Sift together the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside.

    In an electric mixer, or in a large bowl with an electric whisk, cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs very slowly, with the mixer or whisk running, adding 1 tbsp of the flour during the process to prevent curdling. Finally, using a large spoon or spatula, fold in the remaining flour, the nuts, milk and coffee until well blended.

    Divide the batter between the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until the cakes spring back to the touch, or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven, leave them in their tins to cool slightly, then turn out on to a wire rack.

    Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Cream the butter and sugar together for at least 5 minutes until really light and airy, then add the coffee. Mix well, then fold in some of the hazelnuts, keeping most back to decorate. Spread half the coffee buttercream on to the base of one cake, lay the other cake on top (flat bases together) and finish with the remaining buttercream. Scatter over the reserved hazelnuts.

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