Mocha walnut loaf cake

My rich chocolate loaf cake with a kick of coffee and the crunch of fabulous walnuts: a combination that makes what I think is a perfect tea-time treat!

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This is a cake I have been making since I was a boy and whenever I make it, it is like greeting an old friend!

Any cake involving coffee, walnuts and chocolate piques my interest immediately and I love making this cake: it is easy, the mixture takes moments to put together and it tastes great.

To top or not to top!

The cake doesn’t need to have a topping, but I often like to add a coffee buttercream and a few adornments for added indulgence!

For this cake I used a standard coffee buttercream and finished with some walnuts that I dipped in white choclate (I love the sweetness of white chocolate against the bitterness of the walnuts) and sprinkled with a little crushed coffee beans.

One of my go-to buttercream recipes, that would work a treat here, can be found in my Battenberg recipe here.

Recipe: mocha walnut loaf cake – makes one large loaf

  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar (or even a mixture of caster and soft brown sugar)
  • 3 medium eggs, at room temperature, beaten well
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder
  • a generous pinch of fine sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 80ml full-fat milk
  • 120g walnuts
  • 60g plain chocolate (up to 70% cocoa solids), chopped roughly

you will also need one 2 lb loaf tin, either buttered and lined with non-stick baking parchment or with a paper loaf liner.

(1) Preheat the oven to 140C (fan).

(2) Take 80g of the walnuts and crush them in a pestle and mortar until finely ground: alternatively, use a chopping board and the flat surface of a large knife. Chop the remaining walnuts fairly coarsely.

(3) In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar for several minutes with a wooden spoon until pale and very soft. You can use an electric hand whisk or food mixer if you prefer.

(4) Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into the bowl and add the eggs, the milk, the dissolved coffee, the salt and the finely crushed walnuts. Beat gently to incorporate, just until you have a smooth mixture.

(5) Stir in the chopped chocolate and the remaining walnuts and spoon into the loaf tin, levelling it out.

(6) Bake for 60-70 minutes, covering the top with foil after about 50 minutes: the cake will have risen well, with a crack down the centre. If you insert a cocktail stick it should come out clean, but do this a few times as you might have poked it into a chunk of chocolate!

(7) Leave the cake to cool fully in the tin. You can leave it as it is or spread over buttercream, melted chocolate, walnuts (dipped in chocolate or left as they are)………………..

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Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking & eating.

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