Lisa Fabry Nutrition & Yoga Therapy coffee and walnut cake

Coffee and Walnut Cake

Make as a big layer cake, a slice big enough for a crowd, or cute cupcakes. Great flavour combination, quick and easy. Gluten-free option.



  • 2 tablespoons (40 ml) espresso coffee, or coffee substitute such as Nature’s Cuppa or Barleycup, cooled
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup rice bran or sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups wholemeal or gluten-free flour 
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped, plus 8 walnut halves to decorate

Coffee icing

  • ½ cup dairy-free spread
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons (40 ml) espresso coffee, or coffee substitute as above, cooled

Oven 170 °C / 325 °F / Gas 3. Grease and line the base of two 20 cm (8”) round cake tins, or a 20 cm x 30 cm (8” x 12”) rectangular tin, or a 12 hole cupcake tin.


  1. First, brew a cup of double-strength coffee or coffee substitute and leave to cool. In a small bowl or jug, whisk together the soy milk and cider vinegar and leave for a few minutes before whisking in the oil, vanilla extract and coffee. 
  2. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Add sugar to the flour mixture. 
  3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and beat until smooth. If mixture is too dry, add a little more soy milk until the mixture drops easily off a spoon. 
  4. Stir in the chopped walnuts. 
  5. Fill the tins you are using evenly. Bake 20–30 minutes (depending on the size of your tin) until the sponge comes away slightly from the side of the tin. 
  6. Leave the cakes in the tins for five minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack. When cool, frost with coffee icing.
  7. For the icing, beat the spread, salt and half a cup of icing sugar in a mixer or food processor until light and fluffy. 
  8. Add the remaining sugar, half a cup at a time, blending well after each addition. When all the sugar is incorporated, add the vanilla and a tablespoon of the coffee and blend well. The icing should be light, creamy and fluffy. 
  9. If it seems too runny, don’t add any more coffee, and sift in a little more icing sugar. If it is too firm, add the other tablespoon of coffee, or a little soy milk.
  10. Ice the cake according to your fancy, and decorate with walnut halves.


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