Coffee and walnut cupcakes

  • makes 12
  • Easy

Coffee and walnut cake is a teatime favourite. With this recipe, we've given it a modern makeover by giving it the cupcake treatment. Pipe the icing sky-high for maximum cake drama.



  • walnuts 100g
  • golden caster sugar 140g
  • milk 3 tbsp, heated
  • instant coffee granules 2 tsp 
  • salted butter 100g, softened
  • walnut oil 2 tbsp
  • eggs 2
  • self-raising flour 75g
  • plain wholemeal flour 75g
  • bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp
  • unsalted butter 350g, softened
  • icing sugar 400g
  • cocoa powder 2 tbsp
  • instant coffee granules 2 tbsp (mixed with 4 tbsp boiling water to dissolve)
  • vanilla extract 1 tsp


  • Step 1

    Step 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases. Put the walnuts in a food processor with about half the sugar and whizz until very finely chopped (like ground almonds).

  • Step 2

    Step 2

    Mix the milk and coffee to dissolve the coffee (if it needs some help, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds).

  • Step 3

    Step 3

    Tip the walnut-sugar mix, remaining sugar, milky coffee, soft butter, oil, eggs, flours and bicarb into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth. Divide between the cases then bake for 18 minutes, or until golden and risen, and a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then lift the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Step 4

    Step 4

    For the icing, put the butter in a big mixing bowl and beat for about 5 minutes until very pale and creamy. Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa then add the coffee and vanilla and beat for another 3-5 minutes until very fluffy.

  • Step 5

    Step 5

    To decorate, put the icing into a large piping bag fitted with a star nozzle – for our ruffle icing, we used a Wilton 2D nozzle (from lakeland.co.uk). Pipe swirls of icing on top of each cake, then leave to set for 20 minutes before eating.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 598
  • Carbs 55.2g
  • Protein 4.7g
  • Fat 39.4g
  • Salt 0.4g
  • Saturates 20.5g
  • Fibre 1.7g