Amazing Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes

Amazing Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes

 

These little cakes are an adaptation of ones made on the Great British Bake-off. Coffee cupcakes with chopped walnuts have a coffee buttercream filling, chopped walnuts round the sides and a swirl of buttercream on the top. They really are delicious and, although each step takes a bit of time, they are not difficult and well worth the effort.

 

Amazing Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes
Prepares: 16 cupcakes
 
  • Preparation time: 50 minutes
  • Cooking time: 18 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the cakes
  • 170g (6 oz) butter, softened (¾ cup, or 1½ sticks)
  • 170g (6 oz) light muscovado sugar/light brown sugar (¾ cup + 1½ tbsp)
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 170g (6 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted (1cup + 3 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp coffee extract
  • 85g (3 oz) chopped walnuts (⅔ cup)

  • For the icing and decoration
  • 565g (1¼ lb) icing/powdered sugar (5 cups)
  • 200g (7 oz) butter, softened (¾ cup + 2 tbsp, or 1¾ sticks)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1½ tbsp coffee extract
  • 170g (6 oz) walnuts, finely chopped (1⅓ cups)

  • Equipment
  • 2 × 12 hole bun/muffin trays
  • a piping bag fitted with a 2D star nozzle (the size used to swirl icing on the top of cupcakes)


  1. Method
  2. For the cakes
  3. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)

  4. Grease 16 of the bun/muffin holes. Base line them with parchment paper or just cut out the bottom of cupcake liners which is easier. (Don’t use the whole cupcake liner as you want the sides of the cakes to remain flat and quite firm.)

  5. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the flour with each egg. Next mix in the coffee extract. Now fold in the remaining flour and baking powder. Alternatively add all the ingredients together in a food mixer and beat until well combined.

  6. Finally gently fold in the nuts.

  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the 16 prepared bun/muffin holes and then pop in the oven for about 18 minutes until the top of the sponge springs back when lightly pressed with the tip of the forefinger.

  8. Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes for the cakes to become cool enough to handle. Take a small palette knife and run round the outside of the cakes to make sure they are free from the sides of the bun/muffin holes. Then carefully lift them out, peeling off the liners, and leave on a cooling rack to become cold.

  9. For the icing and decoration
  10. While the cakes are cooling the icing can be prepared.

  11. Put the butter into a large bowl and then mix in half the sifted icing/powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until creamy. Then beat in the remaining icing/powdered sugar. Add in the milk and coffee extract and beat until smooth and creamy.

  12. Once the sponges have become cold, cut them in half horizontally. Do this very carefully as the sponges will be very light in texture. Using a little less than a quarter of the buttercream, spread a layer over the bottom half of each cake and then sandwich them back together again.

  13. Now spread a very thin layer of the buttercream around the sides of each cake. Again this needs to be done very gently, being careful not to put pressure on the top and bottom of the cakes as you do it, or they become squashed.

  14. Now roll the sides of each cake in the chopped nuts until thickly coated.

  15. Finally, fill the icing bag, fitted with the star nozzle, with the remaining buttercream and swirl the icing over the top of each cake.

 

Classic Victoria Sponge Sandwich

Classic Victoria Sponge Sandwich

 

The Victoria sponge was named after Queen Victoria who was partial to a slice of cake with her afternoon tea. Below you will find the basic recipe and some variations, including the classic version which is filled with raspberry jam and vanilla cream, and dusted with icing sugar.

 

Classic Victoria Sponge Sandwich
Prepares: Approximately 10 slices
 
  • Preparation time: 22 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30–35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For cake
  • 170g (6 oz) self-raising flour/self rising flour (1 cup + 3 tbsp)
  • 170g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened (¾ cup/1½ sticks)
  • 170g (6 oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 3 large eggs (U.K.)/extra large eggs (N.A.)

  • For filling and decorating
  • 85g (3 oz) unsalted butter, softened (⅜ cup/¾ stick)
  • 170g (6 oz) icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar, sifted (1½ cups)
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam
  • icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar, for sifting

  • Equipment
  • 2 x 18cm (7 inch) sandwich tins, base-lined and greased


  1. Method
  2. For cake
  3. Preheat the oven to 160C° (325°F) (gas mark 3)

  4. Using a free standing mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until they are creamy and pale yellow in colour.

  5. Next beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with a tablespoon of flour. (Adding the flour prevents any curdling)

  6. Finally, carefully fold in the rest of the flour until just combined. You want to keep as much air as possible in the mixture.

  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans and level the tops. Bake towards the top of the oven on the same shelf for 30–35 minutes until firm to the touch. (When pressing a finger gently on top of the cake in the middle it shouldn’t leave a depression)

  8. Leave in the tins for 2 minutes then carefully remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

  9. Using an all-in-one method in a free standing mixer
  10. The ingredients can be mixed at the same time using a free standing mixer. To make sure you get a good rise, add 1½ teaspoons baking powder.

  11. Sift the flour and baking powder together into the mixing bowl. Then add the remaining ingredients and beat for 1 minute.

  12. For the filling and decoration
  13. Beat the butter, then gradually beat in the icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar until light and creamy. (A free standing mixer does this in no time.)

  14. Beat in the vanilla and hot water until smooth.

  15. Once the sponge is cool, invert one of the sponges and place on a plate. Spread the buttercream evenly over the sponge and then cover evenly with the jam. Top with the remaining sponge.

  16. Then press a piece of kitchen paper over the top of the cake to absorb any excess moisture and, using a small sieve, thickly dust with icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar.

  17. For more tips on cake baking, click on my ‘Tips’ section.

Updated: March 10, 2017