I have very fond memories of growing up in Zimbabwe enjoying this cake. My Mum always had something in the cake or biscuit tin and this was one of my favourites. I remember the enjoyment of it with a cup of afternoon tea (or three!) with my family out in the garden, sitting on the grass, sun shining … those were the days!
How to make walnut cake in step by step instructions
First prepare the tin
Line with it with parchment.
Mix the cake
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg a little at a time mixing well before the next bit of egg. Fold in the flour and finally the walnuts.
Bake the cake
Put the mixture into the prepared baking tin and bake at 150C for about an hour or until the skewer comes out clean.
Make the icing
Heat all the icing ingredients except the icing sugar in a small saucepan until the butter is just melted. Sieve the icing sugar into the melted mixture and mix to a smooth paste. Allow to cool and thicken to a spreadable consistency. This could be anything from 15-30 minutes.
Decorate the cake
Ice the cake and decorate with chopped toasted walnuts.
If you don’t like coffee icing you can always change it to a chocolate one of your choice. I personally find the icing very sweet and prefer my cake without any icing at all!
Hints & Tips
Larger round cake
For a larger cake, I have simply doubled the quantity of the cake mixture (you don’t need to double the icing as I think you will have sufficient for the larger cake) and used a 20cm round cake tin baked at 160C for approximately 2 hours.
Icing the cake
Don’t let the icing get too cold otherwise it will be difficult to ice the cake. If you find it gets too hard, you can reheat it a little or dip your palette knife into boiling water from the kettle and this will help to smooth the icing.
If you don’t like coffee you can simply choose a different flavoured icing to the coffee one, such as chocolate, or not ice it at all!
The cake will freeze perfectly with or without the frosting.
- 15cm square, loose bottom, tin
- 170 g butter
- 170 g caster sugar
- 150 g egg
- 230 g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 115 g chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons milk
Coffee Fudge Icing
- 85 g butter
- 340 g icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1½ tablespoons very strong coffee
- 70 g chopped walnuts, toasted
- First line a 15cm (6 inch) square loose bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.
- Preheat the oven to 150C.
- Sieve the flour and baking powder a couple of times to ensure the baking powder is evenly mixed with the flour.
- Take about a tablespoon of the flour and mix it in with the walnuts (this helps prevent them sinking). Set aside.
- Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs a little at a time beating well before adding the next inclusion.
- Fold in the flour and baking powder adding the milk in two inclusions.
- Finally fold in the nuts.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin.
- Bake at 150C for approximately 1- 1¼ hours until golden and a skewer comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, place on a cooling rack and demould the cake from the tin. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
- Now make the coffee fudge icing. Heat the milk, butter and coffee until the butter is just melted. Do not boil.
- Sieve the icing sugar into the melted ingredients. Add a little extra milk if required to make it a thick, smooth paste.
- Beat until smooth and leave to cool and set a little before icing the cake.
- Ice all sides of the cake. If you find it gets a little hard, wet your palette knife with a little boiling water from the kettle and this will help to smooth the icing.
- Decorate with the toasted walnut pieces.