Pinterest Hidden Image

This easy vegan coffee and walnut cake is surprisingly easy to make and incredibly flavorsome. I recommend frosting it with homemade vegan coffee Swiss meringue buttercream that's light, airy, and not overly sweet.

Pin
Jump to:

📖 Recipe Overview

  • Fluffy & Light Consistency - The cake layers are incredibly airy although packed with nuts. This is thanks to a combination of olive oil, vegan buttermilk, and leaveners which work together to create a light and moist crumb.
  • Easy & Simple Ingredients - Most ingredients will likely already sit in your pantry, you don't need any fancy hard-to-pronounce vegan baking alternatives!
  • Incredible Flavor - Between the intense espresso, toasty walnuts, and brown sugar this cake has a wonderful caramelized nutty coffee flavor, which is complemented by the light and airy frosting.

🧾 Ingredients Needed

Along with the vegan coffee buttercream, you just need 10 simple ingredients to make this easy cake. Here's what to grab:

Pin

Ingredient Notes

  • Walnuts - These are added to the batter and also candied for a delicious toasted crunchy topping and filling for the cake.
  • Olive Oil - This is my go-to oil for vegan baking, but feel free to use a neutral oil such as sunflower or rapeseed if you prefer the subtle flavor.
  • Vegan Buttermilk - A mixture of soy milk and apple cider vinegar. It is a must for the fluffiest eggless cakes. You can use oat milk or almond milk as well.
  • Espresso - Freshly brewed espresso is best for this recipe, but you can also use very strong coffee.
  • Soft Brown Sugar - I use light muscovado sugar which contains molasses unlike white sugar, and it adds a delicious caramelized flavor and moisture to the cake.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda - These are leavening agents that will help the cake to rise. When combined with the acidic vegan buttermilk, they will activate during baking and create a light and fluffy cake.
Pin

🥣 How To Make Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake

This easy walnut cake comes together in just a few steps. You can adjust the volume of ingredients to make either 6-inch or 8-inch cakes. Here's a visual of how it's done:

Pin

Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (flour, brown sugar, chopped walnuts, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt).

Pin

Step 2: In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (coffee, oil, non-dairy buttermilk, and vanilla).

Pin

Step 3: Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and whisk until there are no visible pockets of flour.

Pin

Step 4: Pour the mixture into greased cake pans and bake in your preheated oven.

Pin

Step 5: Add walnuts, sugar, and butter or oil to a pan on gently cook for 5-7 minutes, tossing constantly. Once the sugar has melted and the walnuts are fragrant, remove from the heat. Transfer to a sheet of parchment to cool. Reserve 16 walnut halves for the topping, and chop the rest.

Pin

Step 6: Once baked, allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 15-20 minutes. Then carefully turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool further.

Pin

Step 7: To assemble, smooth around ⅓ of the frosting on top of the first cake layer, Follow this with half of the chopped candied walnuts. Top with the next cake layer and coat the sides and top of the cake with another ⅓ of the frosting.

Pin

Step 8: Lastly, pipe the remaining ⅓ of frosting on top of the cake. Top with the candied walnut halves. Sprinkle the remaining chopped walnuts on top of the cake.

☕ Variations

I love this walnut coffee cake as written, but here are some ways you can switch up the ingredients and decorations:

  • Coffee Beans- A sparse amount of coffee beans on top of the cake will add a little crunch as well as a beautiful garnish. I emphasize *sparse* here as you probably don't want yourself or your guests to break out in a sweat from the extra caffeine they give to the cake!
  • Chocolate Shavings - If you're a fan of all things mocha a few dark chocolate shavings or chocolate curls would be amazing on top of this cake.
  • Walnut Coating - You can double the amount of candied walnuts, chop and stick them to the sides of the cake for extra nuttiness!
  • Coffee And Pecan Cake - If you don't particularly enjoy walnuts or have an allergy, feel free to swap in pecans instead.
  • Decaf Coffee Cake - Swap your regular espresso for decaf if you're watching your caffeine intake.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting - If you want to pair back the coffee flavor a little and add some tang may I suggest this easy cream cheese buttercream.

💬 FAQs

Does coffee cake have coffee in it?

Coffee and walnut cake is a classic British cake consisting of two layers of coffee-flavored sponge filled and topped with coffee buttercream.

Unlike American coffee cake, which does not contain coffee. Essentially, if you're a coffee lover (ahem, like me) then chances are that you'll love this cake. No surprises, it goes exceptionally well with a nice hot cup of coffee.

Can you use instant coffee for coffee walnut cake?

You can use instant coffee granules to flavor this cake, just make sure the quality is good. The coffee should taste good enough for you to want to drink it on its own!

How to store coffee walnut cake? Can you freeze it?

This cake tastes best when served fresh. I recommend storing it in the fridge and taking it out at room temperature for an hour before serving.

You can freeze any leftover cake in an airtight container to serve another time. 

Can it be made gluten-free?

I've only tested this vegan walnut cake with all-purpose flour, so I can't stand over the results of any other flour. A lot of readers report good results using a measure for measure GF all-purpose flour when making my cake recipes. I would suggest using a blend that contains xantham gum if you do want to give it a try!

Can I make this recipe into a 6-inch or 8-inch layer cake?

Yes, the printable recipe card at the end of this post includes quantities for either version, so you can scale it according to how many servings you would like.

For a 9-inch single-tier cake, use the quantities stated for a double-layer 6-inch. Or for a 2-layer 9-inch, follow the quantities for a double-layer 8-inch cake, and reduce the baking time by 10 minutes. Then continue to bake it for another 5 minutes if needed.

Pin

🎂 More Vegan Cakes

Stay in touch with me through social media @ InstagramPinterestTikTok, and Facebook. And subscribe via email to get all our new recipes!

Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake

4.97 from 52 votes
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 45 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 16
PRINT RECIPE PIN RECIPE

Description

Delicious fluffy vegan coffee walnut cake with eggless espresso brown sugar Swiss meringue buttercream and crunchy candied walnuts. Perfect for birthdays, other special occasions, or simply served with a cup of coffee.

Ingredients

Two x 6-inch Cakes (Serves 12)

Two x 8-Inch Cakes (Serves 16)

Toppings & Fillings

  • 200 g (2 cups) walnut halves, for candied walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar or granulated sugar, for candied walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter, or olive oil, for candied walnuts
  • 1 batch vegan coffee buttercream

Instructions

  • For accuracy, I highly recommend measuring your ingredients in grams using a digital kitchen scale.
  • Prepare: Preheat your oven to 160°C/320°F fan (180°C/356°F conventional). Line the base of two cake tins with a circle of parchment paper and liberally grease the sides with oil or vegan butter.
  • Mix dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the finely chopped walnuts, flour, soft brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
  • Mix wet ingredients: In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the espresso, vegan buttermilk, olive oil, and vanilla extract.
  • Make the batter: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until there are no visible pockets of flour. Be careful not to over-mix.
  • Bake: Divide the batter between the prepared cake tins and bake for 35-45 mins. Check the cakes are done by inserting a knife or toothpick into it, which should come out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes before carefully transferring them out onto a cooling rack. Allow them to fully cool before transferring them to the fridge in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • Candied Walnuts: Add walnuts, sugar, and butter or oil to a pan on gently cook for 5-7 minutes, tossing constantly. Once the sugar has melted and the walnuts are fragrant, remove from the heat and transfer to a sheet of parchment to cool. Reserve 16 walnut halves for the topping, and chop the rest for the filling and topping.
  • Assembly: With an offset spatula, smooth around ⅓ of the frosting on top of the first cake layer, followed by half of the chopped candied walnuts. Top with the next cake layer and coat the sides and top of the cake with another ⅓ of the frosting.
  • Lastly, pipe the remaining ⅓ of the frosting on top of the cake and top with the candied walnut halves. Sprinkle the remaining chopped walnuts on top of the cake.
  • Storage: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Remove from the fridge about an hour before serving to allow the cake and frosting to soften a little. This cake tastes best when served fresh. You can however freeze any leftover cake in an airtight container to serve another time. 

Notes

  1. Soft Brown Sugar: I use light muscovado.
  2. Espresso: Swap your regular espresso for decaf if preferred. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 603kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 553mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 38IU | Vitamin C: 595mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe? Tag me TodayBe sure to leave a rating and a review in the section below, and mention @addictedtodates or tag #addictedtodates

© addictedtodates.com. All content and images are protected by copyright. If you want to share this recipe, please do so using the share buttons provided. Do not screenshot or republish the recipe or content in full. instead, include a link to this post for the recipe.

*This recipe was originally published in September 2021. The recipe has since been improved and updated to simplify the instructions and include various pan sizes.

LEAVE A REVIEW:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




31 Comments

  1. 2 stars
    I'd regard myself as an experienced baker but this cake turned out really heavy and tasted very strange, doesn't look anything like the cake in the picture that's for sure! I'm wondering if I should've used coconut oil instead...

    1. Hi Anna,

      Oh that is very strange! Which oil did you use, and did you make any adjustments to the other ingredients? I've just made another few batches myself and made some slight adjustments to use fresh coffee, but the cakes always came out really fluffy, so I would love to try and figure out where it could have gone wrong for you.

  2. 5 stars
    These are absolutely delicious. My friends and family had no idea they were vegan. I used chopped pecans instead of finely ground walnuts and they had a nice crunch. The first time i made this recipe they didnt seem to rise very well. I doubled the baking powder on my second attempt and they came out perfectly!

    1. Hi Linda,

      That's so great to hear that everyone loved the recipe, and pecans sound like a lovely addition! A note on the baking powder: make sure that its fresh, sometimes baking powder tends to lose its affectiveness if its been opened for a bit. I'm glad you were able to trouble shoot the second time and get it to work!

  3. Hi, looks amazing! If I wanted to turn this to an ice cream cake, could I replace buttercream with a vegan ice cream layer instead?

    1. Thank you so much!

      Honestly, I have yet to try that style of ice cream cake so I can't say for certain the process. But I reckon you could try that way.

    1. Hi Wayne,

      So happy to hear that it worked well with GF flour, thanks so much for the feedback!

  4. because the frosting didn't come out, they come out like little drops of water with coffee when I'm frosting the cake it separates and makes a butter and little drops of coffee, I beat it again it joins again, but when I spread it again it does it again So, it really takes a lot of effort to coat it, I made the recipe to the letter, I would appreciate it if you would answer me, please, thanks for the flavor, it is delicious, but I would love for you to help me with this problem, thank you.

    1. Hi Hortensia,

      It sounds like the water content was too high, which brand of vegan butter did you use? It can also be down to humidity/climate. To compensate, I would just add slightly more vegan butter next time.

      1. sabes que le puse margarina en barra de sams , tal vez ahi estuvo mi error , lo que pasa que las mantequillas veganas aca estan caras , pero tal vez ahi estuvo mi error , lo voy a volver hacer pero con una mantequilla vegana , esta la marca aca earth balance y la country crock.
        muchisimas gracias . por contestar.lindo dia para ti!!!!!

    2. Ah I see, margarine will not work as it has a much higher water content than vegan butter. Do let me know how it goes with vegan butter next time.

      1. porsupuesto que si yo te platico cuando lo haga . muchsimas Gracias !!!!1

    3. It sounds like ur buttercream split a bit. I would only add a couple of spoons of liquid directly on the sugar and beat until incorporated then add a few more otherwise the butter cream with split. A few others had just suggested heat the mix (on the side of the bowl with a hair dryer) then beat on high to force it to come together again.

  5. This recipe looks delicious! If I were to bake in 9 inch tins, would you suggest baking the cakes for less time?

    1. Hi Jasmine,

      Thank you! Yes good shout, as the batter will be in a thinner layer I would check the cakes with a toothpick after the first 30-35 minutes and continue to bake if needed.

    2. I think 25 mins is enough in 9" tins.i set my timer for the 40 mins and then I checked at 30 mins.very much done.hope it's not going to be too dry!!!

      1. Hi Virginia,

        Thanks so much for sharing this, I hope it turned out ok!

  6. Hi Christina, I tried to make your cake twice but the batter is very wet. All liquid ingredients together sum up to 472 ml. Are you sure the recipe is correct in metric measurements? Or should I better use the US one? Many thanks for your answer!

    1. Hi Christine,

      Yes the measurements are correct (I use grams myself when measuring). It makes quite a wet batter, as you'll be able to see from the step-by-step images. Have you tried baking it yet?

  7. 5 stars
    Just made this cake as a “test run” for a birthday later this week, IT’S DELICIOUS! Moist & not at all heavy. A nice straightforward recipe with no odd ingredients, thank you ☺️

    1. Hi Mel,

      That's so great to hear, I'm happy you loved the recipe. Thanks so much for your feedback 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        & the official birthday one went down very well too! (& got the seal of approval from all the non vegan folk too)

      2. Sweet! So happy to hear that, thanks for letting me know Mel. Hope you're having a lovely weekend

    1. I measured it on the scales with the other ingredients, but you can measure in ml in you find that easier

  8. 5 stars
    Wow Christina! This cake was amazing. It worked beautifully with gluten free-flour by the way. The cake was moist. The flavors so yummy!! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    Wow Christina! This cake was amazing. It worked beautifully with gluten free flour by the way. The cake was moist. The flavors so yummy!! Thank you so much for this recipe!

    1. Awh that's so great to hear Sandra! I saw your post on Instagram and your cake looked absolutely beautiful, great that it worked with gluten-free flour too. Hope you have an amazing weekend x