Baileys Coffee And Walnut Cake


Baileys Coffee And Walnut Cake is the ultimate combination of flavours and textures combined in an exquisite and easy to make sponge cake. There is nothing low key about this cake, except how easy it is to make. Bailey’s Irish Cream is in both the sponge and mascarpone frosting and it is delicious. So delicious in fact, this is the cake you need to make if you, or someone you love are true coffee lovers.

Baileys coffee cake covered in mascarpone frosting and decorated with walnuts.

For the past few years I have baked a  Coffee and Walnut Cake for my Father in law’s birthday. Since that is his favourite cake. While I have created some cakes such as Coffee Pecan Glazed Bundt Cake and Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake, a traditional Coffee and Walnut Cake has always been his favourite.

Sadly, this year my wonderful and much loved Father in law passed away. So, in remembrance of him, on what would have been his birthday, I wanted to bake one more cake that I hope he would have enjoyed. This delicious Baileys Coffee And Walnut Cake.

A Twist On A Classic Coffee Cake

Rather than baking my classic coffee and walnut cake, I decided to switch things up. I enjoy the challenge of creating new recipes and as we love Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur as a family, using it in a coffee cake recipe ticked all the right boxes! And my intuition proved right. Since the unmistakable flavour of Baileys comes through in both the sponge and frosting of this cake.

A slice of Baileys coffee cake on a pretty plate.

A deliciously flavoured coffee and Baileys light sponge cake, covered in whipped, Baileys mascarpone frosting and decorated with walnuts. While this cake is beautiful it is also easy to make. Especially as I have included step by step photos for every stage of the recipe. So, let’s get baking!

Recipe: Baileys Coffee And Walnut Cake – serves 8-10 (generously!)

For The Cake:

2 x 20cm (8inch) sandwich cake tins

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon 

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

4 Large Free Range Eggs

75ml/5tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur

1/2tsp Instant Coffee – dissolved in 2tsp hot water

225g/8oz Plain Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

For The Frosting And Decoration:

500g/1lb 2oz Mascarpone Cheese

50g/2oz Icing Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – alternatively use vanilla extract

60ml/4tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur

16 Walnut Halves

150g/5oz Chopped Walnuts

To Make The Baileys Coffee Cake Sponges:

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F, gas mark 4
  • First of all grease both cake tins and line the base with baking parchment.
  • Add the butter, sugar and salt to a large bowl. Whisk together until light and creamy.
  • Next, add the eggs, coffee and Bailey’s to the bowl.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl.
  • Slowly whisk all of the ingredients together until the batter mix is smooth. Take care not to over mix as this can cause the cake to become dense and heavy.

The stages of mixing up a cake batter.

  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tins, dividing evenly between the two.
  • Smooth the surface of the cake batter using the back of a spoon.
  • Place the tins in the centre of a preheated oven.
  • Leave to bake for 35-40 minutes, the cakes are baked when they are golden and when lightly pressed in the centre spring back.
  • As soon as the cakes are baked remove from the oven.
  • Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes before turning them out and placing on a cooling rack.

Before and after baking a coffee sponge.

Making The Baileys Mascarpone Frosting:

  • Into a large bowl add the mascarpone cheese, sifted icing sugar, vanilla paste and Bailey’s.
  • Whisk together until the mixture is smooth and free from lumps.

Frosting The Cake:

  • Place the base sponge flat side up onto a plate or cake board.
  • Spoon some of the mascarpone frosting onto the cake. Don’t overdo it, you can always add more!
  • Use a pallet knife to smooth the frosting evenly over the sponge, taking it almost to the edge. Otherwise, too much frosting will ooze out when the top sponge is added.

Showing how to fill and cover a cake in mascarpone frosting.

  • Place the top sponge, flat side down, evenly on to the base.
  • Spoon a generous amount of mascarpone frosting on to the top of the cake.
  • Use a pallet knife to roughly cover the cake top with frosting while also pushing the frosting over the side of the cake. See the images below for guidance.
  • Work around the cake gently easing the frosting to cover the side of the cake.
  • Once the side of the cake is roughly covered scrape the pallet knife on the top of the frosting bowl and wipe clean. I use a clean tea towel.
  • Smooth the top of the cake so that it’s smooth and even.
  • Clean the pallet knife as before and place it flat, against the side of the cake.
  • Rotate the cake plate, keeping the knife in place, so the frosting forms an even layer that completely covers the side of the cake.
  • Repeat the last step (as many times as needed), adding frosting where needed, until the side of the cake is evenly covered all the way round.

Creating a smooth finish ready to decorate with walnuts.

Decorating The Cake With Walnuts:

  • First of all place the weighed walnuts, (setting the 16 walnut halves to one side) on to a board a chop roughly so that they are about the same size. See the picture below for guidance. Set to one side.
  • Take a small handful of chopped walnuts and press them to the side of the cake. Don’t worry about nuts that fall on to the plate or small gaps, since we will use them in a bit.
  • Continue placing nuts on to the side of the cake until it is covered.
  • Place a large sharp knife under the fallen nuts. Turn the knife vertically to press the nuts into the frosting. See the image above.
  • Continue this last step, working around the cake until all of the nuts are pressed on to the cake.
  • Finally, if there are any chopped nuts left use them to plug any large gaps.
  • Place the 16 walnut halves evenly on the cake top.
  • Refrigerate the cake for at least one hour before serving. As this allows the frosting to set.

The finished baileys coffee and walnut cake.

Is this a cake or gateaux? One thing’s for sure, it is utterly delicious.

Reading back through recipe posts on this blog is almost like reading a diary. Whether I mention family events, special occasions, or the weather, it always brings back memories. And because I am quite a sentimental person, each recipe is special to me. Likewise when someone makes a recipe of mine it always brings me joy. So thank you to everyone who reads, cooks and bakes using this blog.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie x

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.



Image for Pinterest with descriptive graphics.




Classic Coffee Walnut Cake


There are many classic flavour combinations; strawberries and cream, rhubarb and custard, apple and cinnamon. And they don’t need tinkering with because they work so well together. Rather like this delicious Classic Coffee And Walnut Cake.

FF Classic Coffee Walnut Cake

However, recently a few people have asked if I have a Classic Coffee Walnut Cake recipe and while it’s a cake that I’ve baked many times over the years, I realised it wasn’t on here. So, in a attempt to rectify that and make my Father in law’s favourite cake, here it is.

FF Classic Coffee Walnut Cake
Classic Coffee Walnut Cake a real treat.

Baking Cakes To Share

While I tried to make this cake relatively small as it will be shared between two people, in reality I failed! Although this cake was baked in my small 7 inch sandwich tins, I have packed so many walnuts into the centre, this Classic Coffee Walnut Cake will easily feed 8 people!

Alternatively, if you would prefer a slightly smaller cake (don’t laught at me) I suggest cutting down on the walnuts, not the cake!

FF Classic Coffee Walnut Cake
Classic Coffee Walnut Cake a delicious thank you gift.

Baking; A Form Of Therapy

Hubby is, as I write this, undergoing a hospital procedure and as a way of distracting myself and thanking my wonderful in laws for taking him, I made this cake. Also I’m trying to distract myself by writing this post. Although, I’ll have to see how much editing is needed at the end to know how well I managed.

As I mentioned I have made lots of coffee and walnut cakes over the years and I do usually add chopped walnuts to the cake batter. Yet, in this instance, especially as the cake sponges are quite small, I decided to pack chopped walnuts into the centre of the sandwich cake. Because this cake was made to be given away, now I’ve made it I really fancy a slice! Expect another coffee cake recipe on here soon.

FF Classic Coffee Walnut Cake
Classic Coffee Walnut Cake plenty of delicious, toasted, chopped walnuts fill the centre of this cake.

The Beauty Of Buttercream Icing

Also, I made a mistake whilst decorating this cake. After piping the 8 swirls around the edge, I piped a monstrously hideous circle in the centre. While I photographed the cake I became more and more disheartened by this huge swirl of buttercream spoiling the look of the cake. Fortunately, this is where buttercream is a dream to work with, using a small palette knife it lifted right off the cake. And I then dusted the cake with icing sugar and replaced a single walnut half, with a dob of buttercream in the centre.

Sometimes less is more (never with glitter) and that was definitely the case with this Classic Coffee Walnut Cake.

I have shown you a photograph of the centre of the cake as this could easily be the top. However, if you aren’t confident piping buttercream just use half in the middle and spread half on top of the cake. There are plenty of walnuts in the recipe, enough for you to chop and cover both the middle and top layers and your cake will still look delicious and inviting.

Recipe: Makes one Classic Coffee Walnut Cake – serves 8

For the cake sponges:

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

3 Large Free Range Eggs

2tsp Instant Coffee dissolved in 2tbsp/30ml boiling water

1tsp Vanilla Extract I use NIELSEN-MASSEY

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

150g/5oz Plain Flour – self raising can be substituted DO NOT add extra baking powder

1tsp Baking Powder

For the buttercream:

2tsp Instant Coffee liquid – leftover from sponge recipe (or 1tsp vanilla extract)

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter

300g/11oz Icing Sugar Sifted plus 2 teaspoonful for dusting the cake

125g/4.5oz Walnut Halves

Method: preheat oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3, 325F

Making And Baking The Coffee Cake Sponges

  • First of all butter 2 x 7″ (17cm) sandwich tins and line with baking parchment.
  • Place the instant coffee into a cup and add 30ml of boiling water. Stir to dissolve and set to one side to cool.
  • In a large bowl add the butter and sugar. Whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Next add the 3 eggs, vanilla extract and 3 teaspoons of the cooled liquid coffee. Whisk/beat for 2 minutes until combined.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just incorporated. This will ensure a very light sponge.
  • Divide the batter equally between the 2 prepared cake tins. Use may use digital scales to ensure your quantities are even, or just eyeball it as I did.
FF Classic Coffee Walnut Cake
Two coffee cakes ready for the oven.
  • Bake the cakes in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  • The sponges are baked when they are golden brown and spring back from a light touch.
  • As soon as the cakes are baked remove from the oven, place the tins on a cooling rack and leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes.
FF Classic Coffee Walnut Cake
Beautiful cooked coffee cakes.
  • When they are cool enough to handle turn the cakes out of their tins, ensuring one sponge is the right way up, for the top of the cake.
  • Allow the turned our sponges to cool completely before assembling the cake.
  • Place the walnut halves on to a baking tray and place in the hot oven for 5 minutes to toast. Remove and leave to cool on the baking tray.

Making The Icing And Decorating The Coffee And Walnut Cake

  • Place the butter, sifted icing sugar and 3 teaspoons of liquid coffee into a large bowl.
  • Whisk until pale and creamy. Taste the buttercream, add more coffee if desired.
  • When cooled place the bottom half of your cake, flat side up, onto a cake stand or board.
  • Using a palette knife spread half of the buttercream over the sponge, not quite reaching the edges.
  • Set aside 10 nice walnut halves to decorate the top of the cake ( it’s always good to have one spare).
  • Roughly chop the remaining walnuts and place on top of the buttercream.
  • Place the top half of you cake, rounded side up, on top of the bottom half.
  • Fit an icing bag with a French star tip (or whatever tip you prefer).
  • Fill the icing bag with the remaining buttercream.
  • Pipe 8 small swirls equally around the top edge of the cake. Pipe the same small swirl in the centre.
  • Top the buttercream swirls with walnut halves.
  • Pipe little swirls around the middle of the cake, where it is sandwiched together for a pretty finish.
  • Dust with a little icing sugar.

Classic Coffee Walnut Cake such a beautifully delicious, easy cake to make and the perfect gift for any coffee cake lover.

Store the cake in an airtight container, in the fridge during hot weather. Eat within four days.

Thank you

I love my husbands parents very much. Hubby and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary this year. My relationship with my in – laws has not always been smooth or plain sailing. We have been through a lot together and I honestly love and respect them as if they were my own parents.

Thank you Ma and Pa, we couldn’t have gotten through the last 20 years and especially the last year without you x.

I really enjoy baking for other people. It’s such a fantastic feeling when you see the look of surprise and joy on their face when I give them a cake, or whatever goody I have baked. Finally, hubby should be home soon and I have managed to keep myself distracted whilst he has been gone.

Do you enjoy baking for others?

If you’ve enjoyed this Classic Coffee Walnut Cake then you may also want to take a peek at these recipes:

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake

FF Raspberry Almond Cream Cake
Raspberry Almond Cream 

Baileys Coffee And Walnut Cake

Bailey’s Coffee And Walnut Cake
Baileys Coffee And Walnut Cake

Strawberry Sweetheart Cake 

MT Strawberry Sweetheart Cake
Strawberry Sweetheart Cake

I’d love to see photos of any bakes that you have made as gifts. Please pop a pic on Twitter or Instagram and tag me in. Likewise, do you have a story linked to a special bake? Also tell me about it in the comments section, I love reading all of your comments.

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.


The cake below features vanilla icing and a sprinkle of edible holographic glitter. Substitute the coffee in the buttercream icing recipe for one teaspoon of vanilla extract. While the addition of sparkles is your choice!


Vanilla buttercream iced coffee and walnut cake finished with edible holographic glitter.