All the flavours of a coffee and walnut cake in cupcake form! These easy peasy Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes are quick and easy to make, super simple to decorate (even if you have no cake decoration skills!) and taste amazing.
Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes
What’s your favourite kind of cake? I find that quite a hard question to answer… but coffee and walnut would have to be in my top 5, for sure! There is something almost magical about the combination of strong dark coffee, sweet cake and earthy walnuts.
Coffee and walnut is usually made as a large cake, but it translates brilliantly into cupcake form… and, as a bonus, coffee and walnut cupcakes are much quicker and easier to make than a large coffee and walnut cake!
A super simple coffee and walnut cupcake recipe!
These coffee and walnut cupcakes are so easy to make. Simply beat together butter and caster sugar, mix in the eggs, then stir in self-raising flour, strong coffee and chopped walnuts. Bake for 15 minutes, leave to cool, then decorate!
A really easy cupcake decoration
If you struggle making cupcakes look good, or if you have just not got the patience for faffy, complicated cake decoration, you are going to love this easy peasy cupcake decoration! All you need to do is mix up a simple coffee buttercream, spread it on the cupcakes with an ordinary table knife (no need for fancy equipment!) and pop a walnut on the top. Visually attractive, but oh so easy 😀
Important walnut tip!
Make sure you pick out 24 nice walnuts for decoration FIRST, before chopping up the rest to use in the cupcakes. Otherwise you might find you have used all the good ones in your cupcakes and are left with all the yucky broken ones to decorate the cupcakes.
(I find this is an excellent job to give my kids. I tell them to pick out the 24 most beautiful walnuts, plus a couple of spares, and it keeps them absorbed for ages – and they are much more perfectionist about it than me!)
What type of coffee is best for coffee and walnut cupcakes?
Instant coffee is BY FAR the best type of coffee to use for coffee and walnut cupcakes. I have tried using espresso machine coffee, but you just can’t get the coffee strong enough.
If you use espresso coffee, you end up with one of two problems: either the finished cupcakes don’t taste of coffee (even with super strong espresso!) OR you end up putting too much liquid into the cake batter, which negatively affects the texture of the cupcakes.
So, much as I prefer to drink ‘proper’ coffee, for coffee and walnut cake, you really need to use instant coffee.
However, it really doesn’t matter whether you use caffeinated or decaff instant coffee – both will result in delicious coffee-flavoured cupcakes.
You *could* use coffee essence, of course, but I am not a fan of essences – they usually taste artificial and can be expensive. And why bother in this recipe, when most of us already have a jar of instant coffee in our cupboards?
How do you put the coffee in coffee and walnut cupcakes?
The best way to put coffee into coffee and walnut cupcakes is to mix instant coffee granules with boiling water: 1 tablespoon of boiling water for every 1 teaspoon of instant coffee granules.
For this recipe I use 2 teaspoons instant coffee (dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water) in the cake batter and 2 teaspoons instant coffee (dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water) in the buttercream.
How to store coffee and walnut cupcakes?
To keep them fresh, store Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes in an airtight cake tin or an airtight plastic box.
How long will coffee and walnut cupcakes keep?
Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes will keep for up to a week if kept in an airtight container. (Though they taste best in the first 2-3 days.)
Can you freeze coffee and walnut cupcakes ?
Surprisingly, cupcakes freeze really well! However, you should freeze the cupcakes BEFORE decorating them. Place the cooked and cooled cupcakes in an airtight container in the freezer, where they will keep for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight at room temperature and decorate when fully defrosted.
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Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes
- 225 g butter (or margarine, if you prefer), softened
- 225 g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 225 g self raising flour
- 50 g walnuts chopped finely (See Note 1)
- 2 tablespoons of strong black coffee (See Note 2)
Icing and Decoration
- 100 g butter (or margarine, if you prefer), softened
- 200 g icing sugar sieved
- 2 tablespoons strong black coffee (See Note 2)
- 24 nice looking walnuts roughly 30g (1oz), I just used the rest of a 100g packet (See Note 1)
- Pick out 24 really nice walnuts from your packet and set aside for decorating the cupcakes later. Weigh out 50g (1¾oz) of the remaining walnuts and chop finely, or just break them into small pieces with your fingers.
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas mark 4 / 350F. Put 24 cupcake cases in the holes of a cupcake tin. (See Note 3.)
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar thoroughly, until the mixture starts to look a little bit paler.
- Add in one egg at a time and stir until each egg is completely mixed in before adding the next one.
- Add in half the flour and stir gently until just combined. Add in the remaining flour and, again, stir gently until the flour is just combined.
- Add in the finely chopped walnuts and the strong black coffee and stir just enough to ensure the walnuts are evenly distributed.
- Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases. (I find 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture per cupcake case is about right.)
- Put the cupcakes in your preheated oven for 13 minutes. After 13 minutes, get them out and check for doneness by pressing the tops. If they make a little crunchy sound, pop them in for two more minutes. If they don’t make a sound when you press the top, they are done. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the cupcake tray.
Icing and Decoration
- Don’t try and ice the cupcakes until they are completely cold! (They take about 1 hour to cool.)
- Put the softened butter and sieved icing sugar in a bowl and beat together until smooth. Add in the coffee and beat again until evenly mixed in.
- Using a regular table knife, smooth a little of the icing onto the top of each cupcake and top with a walnut.
- Make sure you pick out 24 nice walnuts for decoration FIRST, before chopping up the rest to use in the cupcakes. Otherwise you might find you have used all the good ones in your cupcakes and are left with all the yucky broken ones to decorate the cupcakes.
- The best way to put coffee into coffee and walnut cupcakes is to mix instant coffee granules with boiling water: 1 tablespoon of boiling water for every 1 teaspoon of instant coffee granules. For this recipe I use 2 teaspoons instant coffee (dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water) in the cake batter and 2 teaspoons instant coffee (dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water) in the buttercream.
- Use small cupcake cases which are 4.5cm (1¾inches) across the base and 3cm (1¼inches) deep
- Suitable for freezing. (Undecorated only)
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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