Coffee & walnut layer cake


There’s something very retro about a triple layer cake. Not only do you get more of the good stuff– the creamy icing – but it looks impressive, too. Just don’t skimp on the espresso. We use our house blend from Bethnal Green’s Square Mile Coffee Roasters as we feel it elevates the cake to greatness.


  • 225 g soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 4 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 3 tbsp espresso coffee
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75 g walnuts, finely chopped, plus an extra 25 g chopped walnuts, to decorate

For the icing

  • 1 quantity Cream Cheese Icing
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbsp espresso coffee


Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Grease 3 × 23 cm springform cake tins and line the bases with nonstick baking paper.

Place the butter in a bowl and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat again until even paler. Add a quarter of the beaten egg and beat at full speed, then add the rest gradually, beating well after each addition. If it curdles, add 2 tablespoons of the flour and beat again.

Add the espresso and mix well. Sift in the flour and baking powder, add the chopped walnuts and fold together thoroughly.

Divide the mixture equally between the three prepared tins, place them on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 12–15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and peel off the paper. Leave until completely cold.

Meanwhile, make the icing, but stir in the vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste and the espresso at the same time as the cream cheese. Spread it equally on the 3 sponges and sandwich them together. Decorate the top with the chopped walnuts.