Coffee Walnut Cupcakes

If you’re looking for an alternative to chocolate (sometimes this happens, honestly…sometimes…) then this is a lovely option. And the candied walnuts sprinkled on top are such a sweet addition – well worth doing if you’re already going all out for a frosted cupcake! They’re really easy, but epically tempting to eat before they’ve got to the cakes!

Coffee Walnut Cupcakes

Makes 12



175g baking spread or butter
150g light brown sugar
3 eggs
175g self raising flour
3 tsps instant coffee mixed with 1 tbsp of hot water
75g chopped walnuts

Candied walnuts

80g walnuts, chopped into pieces
30g caster sugar
20g unsalted butter


150g unsalted butter at room temperature
3 tsps instant coffee mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
350g icing sugar



  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Mix your coffee and hot water first and set to one side to cool.
  3. Pop cupcake cases into a muffin or cupcake tray – they can be paper or silicone, but they need to be the deeper ones, rather than shallow fairy cake cases. We want nice fat cakes to support the gorgeous frosting!
  4. Beat the butter and sugar together using an electric hand or stand mixer until the mix is pale and smooth.
  5. Add the eggs and flour and continue to mix – carefully to avoid those flour clouds!
  6. Add your cooled coffee and mix until its combined.
  7. Add the chopped walnuts and stir them into the mix.
  8. Use an ice cream scoop to evenly portion your mix into your 12 cupcake cases, then pop them in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Whilst your cakes are baking, get to work on the candied walnuts.
  10. Spread a piece of baking paper on a chopping board, ready for the nuts once they’re done.
  11. Pop all the ingredients into a small pan or frying pan on a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring regularly.
  12. Once the butter and sugar starts to melt, keep an eye on the nuts, stirring to keep the mixture moving.
  13. The nuts should be darkening and looking lovely and sticky, it should take no longer than 5 minutes in total.
  14. Tip out the walnuts onto your baking paper and immediately separate them quickly with forks, spoons, spatulas, whatever you have to hand, otherwise they’ll glue themselves into a big, sticky mess!
  15. Try not to eat them now. They will be hot. But delicious. It’s a mild torture.
  16. Once the cakes are done, pop them onto baking rack to cool completely before you frost them.
  1. Mix your instant coffee and water and put to one side to cool.
  2. Beat your butter with an electric hand or stand mixer for a couple of minutes until it’s pale and smooth.
  3. Add the icing sugar carefully in three parts, continuing to beat, but at a low speed until it’s mixed together. You may need to scrape down the sides of your bowl with a spatula a couple of times to make sure it’s combined nicely. Turn up that speed for about 3 minutes to beat that buttercream till it’s light.
  4. Add the coffee and give it another 5 minutes beating at a high speed.
  5. Grab a piping bag and your favourite nozzle and get decorating!
  6. Pipe swirls onto your cooled cakes and sprinkle those candied walnuts on top. Stick some of the shards in whole and crumble some onto the coffee frosting.

Ooh these are epic! And perfect for a party. Or cake sale. Or Friday. Or any day, actually… Enjoy!


Recipe adapted from Jane’s Patisserie.