Pecan and coffee tea cake


In my opinion, this is one of those perfect afternoon tea cakes—it’s not too rich but has lots of lovely spicy pecan flavours rippled through the centre of the cake. Serve it in thick slices, still warm from the oven, or when it’s a couple of days old, lightly buttered ... that’s if it lasts that long.


Pecan Topping

  • 30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) pecans
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 55 g (2 oz/¼ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 60 g ( oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 150 g ( oz/ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 130 g ( oz/½ cup) Greek-style yoghurt
  • 150 g ( oz/1 cup) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 10 g (¼ oz) butter, extra, melted


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Lightly grease a 9 x 20 cm (3½ x 8 inch) loaf (bar) tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.

To make the pecan topping, put the pecans in a small food processor and process to a fine crumb. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.

Put the instant coffee in a small bowl and pour in the boiling water. Stir until dissolved.

To make the cake batter, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and egg in a small bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in the coffee and yoghurt, then gently fold in the sifted flour.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle three-quarters of the pecan mixture over the top. Dollop the remaining batter over the pecan mixture and carefully smooth the top as well as you can.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out, top side up, onto a wire rack. Brush the top with the melted butter, then sprinkle with the remaining pecan topping. Slice and serve warm with a little butter.