Coffee and Walnut Cake

Lisa Onykhonie

This is the best vegan sponge cake I have ever made, both in terms of taste and texture. I would challenge anyone to tell that it was vegan in a blind tasting!

  1. For the cake:
  2. 100g/4oz dairy-free spread/margarine
  3. 150g/6oz soft brown sugar
  4. 200g/8oz self-raising flour
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  7. 1 tbsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 200ml/8 fl oz boiling water (or cooled espresso/filter coffee)
  8. 1 tsp white wine or cider vinegar
  9. 1 tsp xanthan gum*
  10. 100g/4oz roughly chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts) – reserve 25g/1 oz to top the cake
  11. For the vegan butter-cream icing/frosting:
  12. 1 tbsp coffee dissolved in 3 tbsp boiling water
  13. 200g/8oz icing sugar
  14. 50g/2oz dairy-free spread/margarine, softened

  • Make up the coffee and set to one side to cool.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C/160C Fan/325F/Gas3.
  • Cream the spread and sugar.
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients (reserving 25g/1oz of the nuts) and mix until just combined.
  • Divide the mixture between 2 greased and lined 7″ sandwich tins.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins until the cakes are firm and spring back slightly if pressed gently in the centre.
  • Turn out onto a wire rack and remove the greaseproof paper.
  • Allow to cool before icing.
  • Soften the spread in a bowl and stir in the icing sugar.
  • Mix together, adding just enough of the coffee to make a thick, spreadable icing.
  • Spread in the middle and on top of the cake.
  • Decorate the top of the cake with the remaining nuts.

Suitable for freezing.

*I made this cake as an experiment, to try out the tub of xanthan gum I had recently bought. Xanthan gum is a binder and emulsifier which is often used in gluten-free baking – it can be found in the baking or free-from section of most big supermarkets.

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