Vegan coffee and walnut cake – this easy coffee and walnut traybake cake is deliciously soft and moist. Topped with a cloud of light and fluffy coffee buttercream this is the perfect cake for serving a crowd. Post sponsored by Pyrex.
Coffee and walnut cake is an absolute classic British cake. No tearoom worth their salt would neglect to have a coffee and walnut cake on offer!
I think that this vegan sheet cake version is just as good as the original. The cake is soft and moist with plenty of coffee flavour, and the buttercream is light and fluffy and also packs a coffee flavour punch!
Due to the amount of coffee in this cake I think that it is best eaten in the morning or afternoon, not in the evening. I would also recommend swapping for a decaf coffee if you would like to make this cake with children.
I used Pyrex’s new Magic Metal range 23x30 cm roasting tin to make this cake. Their excellent quality roasting tins aren’t just good for cooking a roast dinner, they are also the perfect size and shape for baking sheet cakes!
While Pyrex may be best known for their reliable heat-resistant glassware, their metal bakeware lives up to the same high-quality standards.
The carbon steel Magic Metal bakeware range is non-stick, oven safe up to 230°C, dishwasher safe and comes with a five year guarantee!
I also used their Expert bowl and glass jugs to do all of the cake prep. Pyrex products are my go-to when it comes to baking as they are just so sturdy and practical!
If you want to get your hands on any of the excellent Magic Metal range it is available from Argos.
How To Make Vegan Coffee And Walnut Cake:
(For ingredients and full instructions see the recipe card below)
*For the best results make sure that you follow the recipe closely. As always, I highly recommend using the gram measurements (with a digital scale), rather than the cup conversions. Cup measurements are simply not accurate enough for baking and I cannot guarantee the best results if you use them.*
Start by greasing your 30x23cm roasting tin and lining it with baking parchment. Make sure that it comes above the top of the tin to make it easy to lift the cake out once it is baked.
Whisk together softened vegan block butter and light brown soft sugar with an electric mixer for a good few minutes until it is very light and fluffy. The Pyrex Expert mixing bowl is perfect for making cake batter in!
Next add non-dairy yogurt (plain soy is best), non-dairy milk (again, I favour soy milk for baking), vanilla extract, self-raising flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and instant espresso powder.
Whisk gently until everything is well combined but take care not to over-mix the batter as that can make the cake tough. Fold through some roughly chopped walnuts.
Transfer the batter to your prepared tin, spread it level and bake in a preheated oven for around 25-35 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin then carefully lift it out using the baking parchment and place on a serving platter.
To make the coffee buttercream, whisk together softened vegan block butter and vegetable shortening until they are well combined. Make sure that there are no lumps at this stage.
Mix together instant espresso powder and a little non-dairy milk to make a paste. Add the coffee paste to the butter mixture along with sifted icing sugar and vanilla extract.
Whisk on a high speed for a good few minutes until the buttercream is very light and fluffy.
If it is too thick you can whisk in a little extra milk, ½ tsp at a time. And if it is too soft you can either whisk in more sifted icing sugar or pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up a bit.
Spread the buttercream over the top of the cake and decorate as you like with chopped walnuts, cacao nibs and chocolate coffee beans.
How Long Will It Keep?:
Once decorated, this vegan coffee and walnut cake will keep for around five days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Can I Freeze It?:
Yes, the cooled, un-iced cake can be wrapped and frozen whole for up to three months.
What If I Want To Make A Coffee And Walnut Layer Cake Instead?:
If you want to make a coffee and walnut layer cake rather than a tray bake then this recipe can be baked in two 23cm/9inch round cake tins instead (you can get away with 20cm/8inch ones if they are deepish)
They will probably take a little less time to cook so start checking on them after 20 minutes.
The buttercream quantity should still be the right amount to fill and top a two layer cake.
- If you don’t have instant espresso powder you can grind up instant coffee granules in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder instead.
- This cake has a fairly strong coffee flavour; if you want it to be milder then you can reduce the amount of coffee to 2 Tbsp in the cake batter and 1 Tbsp in the buttercream. You can also use decaf coffee if you just want the flavour, not the caffeine!
- Whisk the butter and sugar together until it is very light and fluffy, but once you have added the other ingredients only mix the batter until it is combined. Over-mixing can make the cake tough.
- It is very important that you use a vegan block butter/margarine to make this cake (both the cake and the buttercream) – the kind that comes in a foil wrapped block, NOT the spreadable kind in a tub which has too high a water content for baking.
- Using part vegan block butter and part vegetable shortening in the buttercream helps to stabilise it and prevent it from splitting which is a common problem with vegan buttercreams.
- Keep the decorations classic with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts, or turn it into more of a showstopper like I did by adding some cacao nibs and chocolate coffee beans too. (I used mocha coffee beans from Waitrose which appear to be vegan friendly).
More Classic Vegan Cakes:
- Vegan lemon drizzle cake
- Vegan Victoria sponge cake
- Vegan chocolate fudge cake
- Vegan carrot cake loaf
- Vegan ginger cake
- Vegan apple bundt cake
- Vegan banana cake
- Vegan coconut cake
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Vegan Coffee And Walnut Cake
- 200 g (½ + ⅓ cup) softened vegan block butter (I use Naturli vegan block)
- 300 g (1 + ⅔ cup) light brown soft sugar
- 200 g (½ + ⅓ cup) non-dairy yogurt (I used Greek style soy)
- 200 ml (½ + ⅓ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use soy)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 400 g (3 + ⅓ cups) self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp instant espresso powder
- 125 g (4.5 oz) roughly chopped walnuts
- 125 g (½ cup) softened vegan block butter (I use Naturli vegan block)
- 50 g (¼ cup) vegetable shortening (I use Trex)
- 2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
- 2 tsp non-dairy milk
- 215 g (2 cups) sifted icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- chopped walnuts for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a 30x23 cm/9x12 inch roasting tin or traybake tin and line it with baking parchment.
- Whisk together the softened vegan block butter and light brown soft sugar with an electric mixer for a good few minutes until it is very light and fluffy.
- Add the yogurt, milk, vanilla extract, self-raising flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and instant espresso powder.
- Whisk gently until everything is well combined but take care not to over-mix the batter as that can make the cake tough.
- Fold through the chopped walnuts then transfer the batter to the prepared tin, spread it level and bake for around 25-35 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin then carefully lift it out using the baking parchment and place on a serving platter. (At this point you can also wrap and freeze it if you like).
- To make the buttercream, whisk together the softened vegan block butter and vegetable shortening until they are well combined.
- Mix together the instant espresso powder and milk to make a paste. Add the coffee paste to the butter mixture along with the sifted icing sugar and vanilla extract.
- Whisk on a high speed for a good few minutes until the buttercream is very light and fluffy.
- If the buttercream is too thick you can whisk in a little extra milk, ½ tsp at a time. And if it is too soft you can either whisk in more sifted icing sugar or pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up a bit.
- Spread the buttercream over the top of the cake and decorate as you like with chopped walnuts, cacao nibs and chocolate coffee beans.
This post is sponsored by Pyrex, thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to continue doing what I love – playing with food and making a mess of my kitchen.