All the delicious flavours of coffee and walnut cake in traybake form! This Easy Coffee and Walnut Traybake Cake is very simple to make, the decoration needs no fancy skills, it’s super easy to slice and, of course, it tastes amazing!
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Easy Coffee and Walnut Traybake Cake
Don’t you just love traybake cakes? They are quick and simple to make, easy to slice and just perfect for parties, bake sales and any kind of gathering where you need to feed a group of people. They are also really easy to store and transport, and the neat little slices fit really nicely into lunchboxes!
I’ve been slowly working through my favourite cakes, turning them into traybakes… and this time it’s the turn of one of my all-time favourites – Coffee and Walnut Cake!
You really can’t go wrong with this classic combination. All I’ve done is tweaked the recipe slightly to turn this delicious cake into a traybake.
Easy peasy decoration for coffee and walnut cake
I am the first to admit, I am not the best cake decorator in the world – I have neither the artistic flair nor, quite frankly, the patience. But I do still like my cakes to look pretty.
So, whenever I make a cake, I am always looking for easy peasy ways to decorate it – simple techniques that can be done by anyone and without fancy equipment or ingredients!
With this Easy Coffee and Walnut Traybake Cake the decoration could not be simpler. Just mix together some easy butter icing – from butter, icing sugar and coffee – slather it over the cake, and sprinkle with chopped up walnuts. It’s virtually foolproof but looks super attractive.
What type of coffee is best for coffee and walnut cake?
Instant coffee is by far the best type of coffee to use for coffee and walnut cake. I have tried using espresso machine coffee, but you just can’t get coffee strong enough.
If you use espresso coffee, you end up with one of two problems: either the finished cake doesn’t taste of coffee (even with super strong espresso!) OR you end up putting so much liquid into the cake, which negatively affects the cake’s texture.
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 a delicious coffee flavoured cake.
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 into the cake?
The best way to put coffee into a cake is to mix instant coffee granules with boiling water: 1 tablespoon of boiling water for every 1 teaspoon of instant coffee granules.
How long does coffee and walnut cake keep?
If you store the coffee and walnut cake in an airtight container it will keep for up to 1 week. However, it tastes at its best in the first 3 days.
Can you freeze coffee and walnut cake?
Yes, you can! Coffee and walnut cake freezes very well. Simply place in an airtight container and put it in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 3 months. Make sure you freeze the cake BEFORE you add the icing and decoration. (The icing will not freeze so well.)
Defrost at room temperature overnight (or for about 8 hours). Ice and decorate the cake when it is completely defrosted.
Equipment I use to make this coffee and walnut traybake
I use really basic equipment to make this cake (and all my cakes!) – just a couple of bowls, a wooden spoon (well actually it’s a silicone spoon!) and a 33 by 23cm (13 by 9ins) cake pan. However, I just wanted quickly share with you my super cool traybake cake pan* – it’s just like a regular cake pan, except it also comes with a lid, making it easy to transport your traybake to bakesales and parties etc. as well as keeping the cake super fresh!
I just cook and cool my cake as normal, leaving the cake on the baking paper while it’s cooling. Then, when it’s completely cool, I use the baking paper to lift the cake back into the cake pan and pop the lid on.
Even better, when you’ve finished, you can turn over the lid so it stacks and stores easily!
How to line your cake pan the easy peasy way!
I have a super easy way to quickly and easily line cake pans. Simply cut a piece of baking paper the width of your cake pan and quite a lot longer than the length. Then cut a piece of baking paper the length of your cake pan and quite a lot longer than the width.
Next, grease the base and sides of your cake pan with butter (I use an offcut of the baking paper to spread the butter). Then place one of your pre-cut pieces of baking paper across the base of your pan and up two of the sides (you should cut it long enough so it covers the base and two sides and sticks up above the sides a bit).
Grease the base of your pan again (it help the paper stick), then place the other piece of baking paper the opposite way so that it covers the base and the other two sides and sticks up above sides a bit too.
Finally grease the base and sides again, just for good measure (in theory, cake shouldn’t stick to baking paper – in practice, an extra layer of butter really does help the cake come off the paper better!)
Not only is the cake pan now beautifully lined (without any complicated maths or measuring!), but the overhanging baking paper will serve as sort of ‘handles’ to help you lift the cake out of the tin and onto the cooling rack – so no more tipping the cake up-side down and back again!
If you like this recipe…
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Easy Coffee and Walnut Traybake Cake
Coffee and Walnut Traybake Cake
- 350 g butter (or margarine, if you prefer), softened
- 350 g caster sugar
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 350 g self-raising flour (self-rising flour)
- 100 g walnuts roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons strong black coffee (made from 4 teaspoons instant coffee granules, dissolved in 4 tablespoons boiling water – see Note 1)
Icing and Decoration
- 100 g butter (or margarine, if you prefer), softened
- 200 g icing sugar (confectioner's sugar) ,sieved (this is really important – don’t ever consider not sieving icing sugar!)
- 2 tablespoons strong black coffee (made from 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules, dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water – see Note 1)
- 100 g walnuts finely chopped
Coffee and Walnut Traybake Cake
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C fan/ gas mark 4 / 350F. Grease and line a traybake pan (33 by 23cm / 13 by 9ins).
- 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 roughly chopped walnuts and the 4 tablespoons of strong black coffee and stir just enough to ensure the walnuts are evenly distributed.
- Tip the mixture into the lined traybake pan. Smooth over the surface with the back of your wooden spoon.
- Put the traybake into your preheated oven for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove from the oven and check to see if it’s done using a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean, it is cooked. If the skewer is covered in batter, return to the oven for a further 3 minutes and test again. Repeat if necessary, until the skewer comes out clean. (See Note 2)
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack (See Note 3) and allow to cool completely. This should take approximately 1 hour.
Icing and Decoration
- Don’t try and ice the traybake until it is completely cold!
- Put the softened butter and sieved icing sugar in a bowl and beat together until smooth. Add in the 2 tablespoons of strong black coffee and beat again until evenly coloured.
- Using a knife, smooth the icing over the top of the cake as evenly as possible. (It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect!) Finally, scatter over the finely chopped walnuts.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
- You really must use instant coffee for this recipe, espresso machine coffee is not strong enough.
- If you don’t own a skewer, you can use the handle of a teaspoon, a chopstick or a toothpick instead!
- If you don’t own a cooling rack, you can use the rack from your grill instead – or anything that allows air to flow under the cake.
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*This blog post contains affiliate links, this means if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more – thanks in advance!