Coffee and walnut cupcakes recipe

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serves: 12
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 20 min
Cooking: 20 min
plus cooling
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  • Nothing goes better with an afternoon cup of coffee than a matching cupcake, and these coffee and walnut versions are just the ticket. They’re a delicious combination of light and fluffy sponge, generously studded with nuts, and thick, sweet frosting that you’ll be eating straight from the spoon. Whip up a batch for a coffee morning, a family gathering, or simply for a teatime treat. They’ll take you less than an hour and instantly transform you into everyone’s favourite baker! Don’t discount these cakes if you’re feeding someone with a nut allergy – you can easily replace the walnuts with chocolate chips.


    • For the cake:
    • 25ml espresso strength instant coffee
    • 125g unsalted butter
    • 125g caster sugar
    • 2 medium eggs
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    • 150g self raising flour
    • 1tsp baking powder
    • 75g walnuts, finely chopped
    • For the frosting:
    • 100g unsalted butter
    • 300g icing sugar
    • 10ml espresso strength instant coffee
    • 12 whole walnuts


    • To make this cupcake recipe, pre-heat oven to 170⁰C/325⁰F/Fan 160⁰C/Gas Mark 3.

    • Make up the instant coffee according to packet instructions, and leave to cool.

    • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamed and fluffy.

    • Beat the eggs with the vanilla and pour them bit by bit into the butter and sugar, mixing thoroughly until everything is combined.

    • Stir through the cooled coffee – the mixture will now be quite wet, but don’t panic!

    • Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, and then fold in to form a sturdy batter.

    • Spoon the mixture equally into cupcake cases and bake in the center of the oven for around 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    • Make the frosting whilst the cakes are cooling.

    • Beat the butter with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Slowly add the remaining coffee with the mixer on low, and then gradually sift in the icing sugar until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.

    • When the frosting is complete, spoon or pipe it onto the surface of each cake and top with a whole walnut for decoration.

    Top tip for making Coffee and walnut cupcakes

    Replace 40g of flour with cocoa and sprinkle grated chocolate over the frosting to transform these coffee cupcakes into mocha cupcakes!

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