A Housewarming Cake

So, I’ve finally become an adult.

Hahaha, who am I kidding?

I have however moved into my first non-student flat ever, as well as sadly bidding farewell to rent-free days chez parents. Despite tearing my hair out in stress over all the admin associated with moving house, I seem to still be in one piece in a new place.

First impressions? Mixed, but it always takes me a while to settle comfortably into a new place, so not too worried about that.

Of course, whenever I move anywhere new, the oven’s gotta work. Ours is pretty old, runs off gas (all my recipes are in centigrades, noooo) but I’ll get used to it.


So I baked this – a coffee and walnut cake. It isn’t the prettiest of bakes but it’s just so tasty. The buttercream is luxuriantly rich, silky smooth and not too sweet. The perfect foil to a soft, slightly squidgy sponge cake. Apologies for phone snap, I didn’t have my camera handy (ahem, forgetful packing).

Now that there’s only two around, I think it’s probably time to get out my smaller cake tins again. I’ve not made a 15cm cake for a while, and it looked absolutely weeny, but it certainly ekked out plenty of portions (as well as using up a hefty block of butter!).

Coffee and Walnut Cake

Adapted from Poires au Chocolat

For the cake:

  • 110g unsalted butter, softened
  • 110g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 110g self-raising flour
  • milk

For the buttercream:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 60g granulated sugar
  • 60ml water
  • 150g lightly salted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
  • toasted walnut halves, chopped into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease and line a 15cm cake tin. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one by one, followed by the espresso powder. Then fold in the flour and add just enough milk to loosen to dropping consistency. Scrape the cake batter into the prepared tin then bake for around 20 minutes, then drop the oven temperature to 170˚C and bake a further 15-20 minutes until the top is springy and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool, then unmould and slice into two halves.

In a mixing bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks until broken up. Heat the sugar and water in a small pan over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Boil until it reaches the soft ball stage, then slowly pour the syrup onto the egg yolks, whisking all along until completely combined and creamy in colour. Whisk until room temperature, then slowly add in the softened butter, bit by bit, whisking as you add each batch until thoroughly combined. Finally whisk in the dissolved espresso powder.

Sandwich the cakes with half the buttercream, and spread the remainder on top.


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