Coffee and Walnut Cake - 8 - 12 servings


  • for the Cake
  • 115g gluten free plain flour
  • 50g maize flour or cornflour
  • 1 heaped tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 60g walnuts, ground – you can use a food processor
  • 225g butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 225g unrefined caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 15ml/ 1tbsp coffee, diluted with a tiny amount of boiling water
  • Small handful walnuts
  • for the Filling and Topping
  • 30g apricot jam
  • 250g butter, at room temperature
  • 500g icing sugar
  • Dessert spoon coffee, diluted with a little boiling water

How to make this recipe dairy free?

Need some advice on ingredients see -
The wheat, gluten and lactose free store cupboard


Preheat oven to 190°c / 375°f / gas mark 5.

Grease and line an 8in / 20cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Sieve together the gluten free flour, maize flour, ground walnuts and gluten free baking powder four times to fully incorporate the baking powder.

Cream the butter and sugar together.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly, beat into the creamed mixture a little at a time. If the mixture looks like it is going to split fold in a spoonful of the flour.

Fold in the flour and the diluted coffee.

Fold in the walnut pieces.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate, turn this onto the cooling wire so the cake cools the right way up or it could break in half.

Beat the butter to soften. Add the icing sugar and diluted coffee slowly. When the icing sugar is fully incorporated beat the buttercream until soft.

When the sponge is cold, cut in half. Spread apricot jam over the base with 1/3 buttercream.

Place the top of the sponge back onto the base.

Decorate the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream.

Decorate the top of the cake with walnut halves and wheat free natural coloured cherries.

how to make this recipe dairy free...

Use dairy free margarine in place of butter in the sponge.

Use dairy free margarine in place of butter in the topping.

  • 200g dairy free margarine
  • 800g icing sugar
  • Dessert spoon coffee, diluted with a little boiling water

Mix the icing sugar and diluted coffee into the dairy free margarine. Do not overbeat the mixture as it will split. Stir in a few drops of water until it reaches the required consistency.

You may think this is a lot of icing sugar. If you use less icing sugar to margarine, the mixture will split. Add a little extra flavouring to this buttercream.

Gem's hints and tips

In all recipes requiring self-raising gluten free flour, I advise sieving the flours together with the gluten free baking powder four times to make sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

If you have made a cake that is really heavy with a solid lump of eggy mixture at the bottom one reason could be because the baking powder wasn’t mixed into the flour properly.

If you can’t find maize flour then cornflour is easily available and makes a good substitute.  There isn’t much difference but I do prefer maize flour.  See resources.

Gluten free cakes are best eaten fresh, they will keep well for a week. They can be frozen but the texture goes a bit grainy when defrosted.

Gluten free cakes are crumblier than other cakes but taste just as good. To cut neat slices, dip a sharp knife in hot water and wipe clean between slices.

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