I'm not a huge fan of drinking coffee. I'll drink it occasionally if we have some made up or if we're in a coffee shop, but generally I'd make a green tea if I'm having a hot drink. To be honest it's probably because of my laziness as I find green tea the easiest and quickest to make. But I do love a good coffee cake, especially the coffee flavoured buttercream icing.
I had a craving for that coffee icing and so after I rummaged through the cupboards I decided to get baking. A quick google search landed me with Nigella's Coffee and Walnut Layer Cake recipe that I used as a base. I made some amendments to Nigella's recipe based on the ingredients I had (eg replaced butter with coconut oil) and also chose to make cupcakes, simply because I find them easier to make and to eat (plus they are faster to bake ;)).
The sponge was delicious and the icing was just what I was looking for - great flavours with a good amount of coffee. I froze half of them and took some out of the freezer to defrost a few weeks later and they were just as good, the nuts still crunchy and the sponge still moist.
Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes (makes 18):
- 50g walnut pieces
- 225g caster sugar
- 225g coconut oil
- 200g plain flour
- 4tsp instant espresso powder (I used Illy Classic Roast Ground Coffee)
- 2.5tsp baking powder
- 0.5tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4 large eggs
- 1-2tbsp milk
- 230g icing sugar
- 115g soft unsalted butter
- 1.5tsp instant espresso powder (dissolved in 2/3tbsp boiling water)
- walnut pieces to decorate
- Preheat oven to 170°C and line a cupcake tray with 18 cupcake cases. I had to bake these in two batches as I only have one tray.
- In a food processor blitz together the walnut pieces and sugar to a powder.
- Add the butter, flour, espresso powder, baking powder, bicarb and eggs and process to a smooth batter.
- Add the milk and combine to loosen the cake mixture. It should be a soft dropping consistency, so add more milk if needed. (If you are making this by hand, bash the nuts to a powder with a rolling pin and mix with the dry ingredients; then cream the butter and sugar together, and beat in some dry ingredients and eggs alternately and, finally, the milk.)
- Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for around 18 minutes, or until the sponge has risen and feels springy.
- Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack, and once cool you can make the buttercream.
- In a food processor (or by hand using a wooden spoon), mix the icing sugar with the butter to make a smooth icing.
- Dissolve the instant expresso powder in the boiling water and add it to the processor and blend.
- Spread the icing on top of the cupcakes and top with the walnut pieces.
Hope you're having a great weekend!