Gluten-free coffee and walnut cake recipe – my BEST EVER recipe! Shh… you’d never even know this cake was gluten-free ? This post also includes a tutorial video on how to make it AND tons of step-by-step photos. Basically, you can’t go wrong!
Gluten-free coffee and walnut cake recipe, anyone? This one is for coffee lovers AND coffee dodgers alike. Yep, I am definitely NOT a coffee drinker and I love this cake to death! It’s also low FODMAP and easy to make dairy-free too.
A flavour combo that I don’t see nearly enough when I’m out and about is coffee and walnut. And if you do ever find a coffee and walnut cake, I can assure you that there’s a 99.99% chance that it won’t be gluten-free.
(please alert me if that 0.01% chance actually happens though so I can just cry with jealousy)
But it’s certainly not the end of the world when you can bake your own at home so easily. This is no harder than making a regular Victoria sponge cake, so if you’ve got that down, you’ll definitely be fine baking this!
Here’s a few reasons why you need bake this if you’re not convinced enough already:
Why bake my gluten-free coffee and walnut cake recipe?
- It’s super simple to make – mix up the cake batter, bake, mix up the icing and throw both together. Easy.
- You actually only need 9 simple ingredients to whip this up.
- This is one of the few recipes with a recipe video AND step-by-step photos for the method. So you definitely can’t go wrong!
- It tastes EXACTLY like a coffee and walnut cake that contains gluten – you’d never know the difference. You’ll have to fight the muggles away from this one!
- You don’t need to like coffee to enjoy this – the light brown sugar balances out the bitter coffee and gives it a caramel-like taste. An amazing combo.
- This recipe is low FODMAP and super easy to make dairy-free too.
But what does my gluten-free coffee and walnut cake taste like?
The sponge is light and moist, packed with chopped walnuts which give it a lovely crunchy in every bite.
The sponge is undoubtedly coffee flavoured, but the light brown sugar adds a lovely caramel-like finish that removes all of the coffee’s bitterness.
Then, you’ve got that lovely coffee-infused buttercream which is creamy, fluffy and ties the whole thing together. Throw a few more walnuts on top for added crunch and you’re onto a real winner!
Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe, keep scrolling until you see the recipe card for the measurements and method ??
Gluten-free coffee and walnut cake recipe: Ingredients
For the gluten free coffee and walnut cake
- light brown sugar
- gluten free self raising flour
- xanthan gum
- gluten-free baking powder
- instant coffee
For the coffee buttercream
- icing sugar
- instant coffee
So I thought I’d kick things off with a little frequently asked questions section – if you just want the recipe, then keep scrolling.
But I’ve thrown in some tips here that will be really helpful if this is your first time baking this, or you want to adapt it. So here they are!
Gluten-free coffee and walnut cake recipe: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this recipe gluten free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?
It is gluten free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!
Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination:
Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make that that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).
Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten free products.
Can I make your gluten-free coffee and walnut cake recipe dairy free?
Of course you can – and this recipe is actually really simple to make dairy free.
Instead of using butter in the sponge cakes, simply use a Stork hard margarine block or a dairy-free baking spread.
Then, for the buttercream, use Stork hard margarine or any kind of hard, dairy-free butter. Don’t use a dairy-free baking spread/soft margarine for the buttercream it must be a hard margarine/dairy-free butter.
The buttercream will be a little softer than if you were using butter, so I’d recommend chilling it for 30 minutes after making it.
Can I make your gluten-free coffee and walnut cake recipe vegan?
Yep! If you follow the instructions above to make this recipe dairy free, then all you’ve got left to contend with is the eggs.
Whilst I haven’t specifically labelled this recipe as being vegan-friendly because 4 eggs is quite a few to replace and results can vary, you’re welcome to try some of these egg replacements listed below.
Here’s a few ideas you can use as egg replacements, so each of these = 1 egg.
- 3 tablespoons of aquafaba – water from a can of chickpeas. Keep the chickpeas for a future dinner!
- Egg replacement powder – I’d recommend using Orgran as it’s gluten free.
- 1 tablespoon of chia/flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and left for 10 minutes in the fridge.
- 3 tablespoons of applesauce.
I haven’t tested all of these egg alternatives so let me know how you get on in the comments below ??
Can I make this recipe low FODMAP?
This recipe is low FODMAP. The low FODMAP serving size of walnuts is 30g according to Monash University.
One slice of this cake would contain less than 10g of walnuts, making it suitable for the elimination phase of the diet.
Is your gluten-free coffee and walnut cake recipe nut free? Can I make it without nuts?
This isn’t a nut free recipe due to the walnuts used, but you can always remove the nuts and just enjoy this as a coffee cake instead.
BUT make sure you check the ingredients label on ALL the products you use to bake this cake just to be safe.
Even if the products don’t contain nuts, they may have a ‘may contain nuts’ warning due to being produced in a factory that handles nuts.
You can never be too careful so always read the labels on everything first!
Can I make your gluten-free coffee and walnut cake in a food processor or standing mixer?
Of course you can – and it’ll save you on elbow grease! I’ve never used a food processor to make the cake mixture personally – I’ve always used an electric whisk.
For the buttercream, I always prefer to make it in my stand mixer, purely because of the amount of mixing it takes to beat the butter until it becomes pale. But you can always use an electric whisk for this too.
Can I make your gluten-free coffee and walnut cake recipe by hand?
You can of course, bake this without any assistance from any appliance – just a good ol’ fashioned silicone spatula will do. Just make sure you give it a lot of welly, otherwise your mixture won’t be consistent and might not bake properly.
Making the buttercream by hand is definitely possible, but it’ll take longer and requires a little more effort. But it’s doable!
Do I need any special equipment to bake your gluten-free coffee and walnut cake?
Certainly not! You will need a good quality baking tin (I used 2) so here’s a link to the one I use.
I’d always recommend having two tins so you can bake both sponges at the same time. If you bake them one at a time, the second sponge won’t rise as much as the first.
Can I bake this using the all-in-one method?
In case you didn’t already know, the all-in-one method involves bunging all your sponge ingredients into a bowl at once and mixing them together. That’s instead of adding them gradually.
There’s more ingredients in this bake than there is with a regular sponge cake. And as you might know already, the more ingredients, the more important that consistent mixing becomes.
You certainly don’t want lumpy cake batter, or any unmixed parts, so I wouldn’t advise using the all-in-one method for this one.
Does this recipe need xanthan gum?
You’ll see xanthan gum in a lot of my recipes as it’s an essential ingredient in every gluten-free baker’s cupboard. It helps to bind the texture of the cake together to stop it from being crumbly.
As this cake is baked with gluten-free self-raising flour, you should be ok to skip the xanthan gum if you don’t have any, or you can’t tolerate it. But I’d always advise adding it if possible.
Some people have asked if they can use psyllium husk powder instead of xanthan gum, but I’ve found that it definitely results in a denser sponge so I wouldn’t overly recommend it for cakes.
Can I make this recipe using other gluten free flours like buckwheat flour or coconut flour?
There’s a big difference between ‘gluten free plain/self-raising flour’ and a *singular* type gluten free flour. When I say ‘gluten free plain or self-raising flour’ in a recipe, I mean a BLEND of gluten free flours, not just one, singular flour.
Most gluten free flour you buy in the supermarket typically contains a blend of rice flour, potato flour, maize flour, tapioca flour AND buckwheat flour. That’s a lot of different flours!
So to replace it with just one specific type of flour… that’s not going to cut it at all. Definitely go for a gluten free flour blend.
Do I need weighing scales to bake your gluten-free coffee and walnut cake?
In short… yes, yes and yes! And I wouldn’t advise attempting any my recipes without them.
A lot of work went into fine tuning ratios and quantities and for me, baking is all about consistency and precision. I want you to make this recipe and for it to turn out EXACTLY like mine did.
I’d recommending using digital cooking scales like these so you know you’re getting an accurate measurement and replicating my recipe as accurately as poss.
Can I bake your gluten-free coffee and walnut cake with less sugar / without sugar?
I can definitely understand the need to reduce sugar in our foods, but this is one of the recipes where I wouldn’t advise it.
Of course, the sugar isn’t just for sweetness – it’s integral to the structure of the cake once baked and is super important. This bake won’t function without sugar!
You can of course reduce the buttercream if you’re concerned about sugar – it’s up to you.
How long can I keep your gluten-free coffee and walnut cake for?
I’ve kept it for about 4-5 days in an air-tight container with no problems. If you need it any longer than that, I’d highly recommend freezing it (see advice below for doing that)
When the cake starts getting a little dry, it’s probably starting to get past its best.
Can I freeze your gluten-free coffee and walnut cake?
Of course! I’ve frozen it for up to 2-3 months no problem. Ideally, slice up the cake first before freezing – that way you can simply defrost slices as and when you need them.
Plus, it’ll thaw a lot quicker. When you want to eat it, each slice should take around 4 hours to defrost at room temperature.
How can I tell when my gluten-free coffee and walnut cake is done?
Grab a skewer and give it a poke in the centre. If it comes out clean, then it’s done!
But if the skewer comes out moist and cake-like, it’s best to pop it back in for a bit longer.
Gluten-free coffee and walnut cake recipe: Method
Heat your oven to 160C Fan / 180C and prepare your two 20cm (8 inch) circular tins.
Cream the butter and light brown sugar together until light and fluffy. I do this with an electric hand mixer.
Gradually add your four eggs one at a time, mixing inbetween each addition. Make sure you do this very gradually to reduce the potential of curdling (although it doesn’t matter if it does).
Add your coffee, and mix it in (this needs to be 2 tbsp coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp of boiling water as per the ingredients above).
Fold in your gluten free flour, xanthan gum and baking powder until combined.
Then fold in your finely chopped walnuts.
Divide your mixture between your two prepared cake tins. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes on the middle shelf, they should be well risen by the end!
Remove from the oven, briefly leave to cool in the tins before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Now to make the buttercream. Place your butter in a stand mixer (or electric hand whisk if you don’t have a stand mixer), mix on its own on a high speed for about 5 minutes. The butter should change from a more yellow colour to being a lot more pale.
Add your icing sugar in 2-3 stages. Mixing for about 3 minutes between each addition.
Then add your coffee (again 2 tbsp of coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp of boiling water, left to cool) and mix it in so it’s evenly through the icing.
Evenly top one sponge with plenty of your coffee buttercream, place your other sponge on top. (put enough butter cream in so it oozes a little out of the edges!)
Spread the rest of the coffee butter cream on the top of the cake. Add some walnut halves on top to finish. Enjoy!
Oh and here’s a printable version of my gluten-free coffee and walnut cake recipe. Please remember to give it 5 stars if you tried it and enjoyed it as it helps people know it’s worth trying too! ⭐️
Gluten-free Coffee & Walnut Cake Recipe - BEST EVER! (low FODMAP + dairy-free option)
For the gluten free coffee and walnut cake
- 225 g butter softened (or dairy free alternative)
- 225 g light brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 225 g gluten free self raising flour
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 2 tbsp instant coffee (alongside 2 tbsp of boiling water)
- 80 g walnut halves chopped finely
For the coffee buttercream
- 185 g butter softened (or a dairy free baking block)
- 400 g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp instant coffee (alongside 2 tbsp of boiling water)
- walnut halves
- Heat your oven to 160C Fan / 180C and prepare your two 20cm (8 inch) circular tins.
- Cream the butter and light brown sugar together until light and fluffy. I do this with an electric hand mixer.
- Gradually add your four eggs one at a time, mixing inbetween each addition. Make sure you do this very gradually to reduce the potential of curdling (although it doesn't matter if it does).
- Add your coffee, and mix it in (this needs to be 2 tbsp coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp of boiling water as per the ingredients above).
- Fold in your gluten free flour, xanthan gum and baking powder until combined. Then fold in your finely chopped walnuts.
- Divide your mixture between your two prepared cake tins. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes on the middle shelf, they should be well risen by the end!
- Remove from the oven, briefly leave to cool in the tins before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Now to make the buttercream. Place your butter in a stand mixer (or electric hand whisk if you don't have a stand mixer), mix on its own on a high speed for about 5 minutes. The butter should change from a more yellow colour to being a lot more pale.
- Add your icing sugar in 2-3 stages. Mixing for about 3 minutes between each addition.
- Then add your coffee (again 2 tbsp of coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp of boiling water, left to cool) and mix it in so it's evenly through the icing.
- Evenly top one sponge with plenty of your coffee butter cream, place your other sponge on top. (put enough butter cream in so it oozes a little out of the edges!)
- Spread the rest of the coffee butter cream on the top of the cake. Add some walnut halves on top to finish.
Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me on Instagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo!
Thanks for reading,
Oh and don’t forget to pin this for later!