Double Espresso Brazil Nut Cake


IMG_20140801_215741[2] 03/08/2014

Back to the sweet stuff! Coffee and walnut cake is probably one of my favourite cakes. I love coffee. I often say that I think I’d be severely dehydrated if I didn’t drink it as I love it so much, it’s about all I drink. So combining coffee with cake? No brainer! Here I used brazil nuts instead of walnuts. Feel free to leave nuts out all together or experiment with your own. Toasted hazelnuts might be nice? 

The use of coffee grains in this cake gives a very intense coffee flavour that goes nicely with the buttery brazil nuts. I chopped some of the brazil nuts coarsley and some quite finely for a nice chunky mouthful every so often. 


  • 100ml milk
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground roasted coffee beans
  • 175g unsalted butter or baking margarine, softened
  • 100g light soft brown sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 75g brazil nuts, chopped


  1. Line and grease two 20cm Victoria sponge tins with discs of non-stick baking paper and pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Combine the milk, instant coffee and ground coffee in a saucepan and bring to the boil then remove from the heat and leave until warm.
  3. Beat the butter, brown sugar and caster sugar together until light and fluffy then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the coffee mixture until evenly combined. Stir the two flours and baking powder then beat this through together with the chopped brazil nuts.
  4. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a few moist crumbs stuck to it.
  5. Leave to cool before removing from the tins and peeling off the paper. Allow to cool completely on wire racks before applying the coffee water icing (recipe to follow).

Coffee Water Icing:

  • 225g icing sugar
  • 25ml cold water, more if needed
  • 25g glucose, optional but it helps the icing to set and stay glossy
  • 3 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional for a cleaner flavour)


  1. Dissolve the coffee granules in the water.
  2. Spoon the icing sugar into a bowl and add the coffee water and glucose (if using) a little at a time and stir together. If more water is needed to get the desired consistency, add it cautiously and gradually.
  3. Add lemon zest if you like (I skipped this part)
  4. Divide the icing between the two cakes, smooth it out and sandwich them together. Top with extra brazil nuts for decoration.

This really is a lovely cake. it is very simple to make and I think it improves slightly the next day. This recipe was taken from Dan Lepard’s ‘Short & Sweet’.


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