I got a bit of a workout making this cake as my Mum doesn't own a stand mixer and is also without an electric hand whisk at the moment (it's still in France) so I had to wield a wooden spoon. As I own both a stand mixer and an electric whisk it's been a long time since I made a cake by hand and I had forgotten how much hard work it was! Fortunately I made sure the butter was very soft before I started.
When I posted photos of this cake on Instagram on Dad's birthday, I had lots of comments about how big the cake was. I'm not going to lie, you do get a very generous portion when cutting into this cake but when it's for a birthday you want a bit of greedy indulgence. Dad certainly didn't complain and wolfed his piece down quickly.
Ingredients - serves 8 generously
For the cake:
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g golden caster sugar
225g self raising flour
75g finely chopped walnuts
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 rounded tsp instant barista style coffee dissolved in 1.5 tbsp hot water
1-2 tbsp milk
For the buttercream:
125g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar
4 tsp very strong coffee made with 2 rounded tsp instant barista style coffee and 1.5 tbsp hot water
8 walnut halves for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and flour the cake tins, you need 5 x 6 inch cake time to make a layer cake or 2 x 8 inch rims to make a sandwich cake.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy then beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the coffee and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour and chopped walnuts making sure all the flour is incorporated then divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean, turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
- While the cakes are cooling make the buttercream. Beat the butter until it is soft and fluffy then add the icing sugar and 2 tsp of coffee. Beat together until the icing sugar is incorporated then add the remaining coffee and beat until smooth.
- When the cakes are cold spread a layer of buttercream on the cake you want to use for the bottom layer and stack the next cake on top. Continue layering the buttercream and cakes and finish the top layer with a thick coating of the buttercream then decorate with the walnut halves.
I impressed myself at how light the sponge was considering I had to do all the hard work with my arms instead of a mixer. Maybe I should ditch the mixer more often and give myself mini workouts when I bake, makes eating the cake more rewarding :)