Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots {Diamond Jubilee}

If you read through my Diamond Jubilee Big Lunch Party blog post, you’ll learn that the day before the party I spent it baking and making the food for said party…not without many a mishap and the feeling that I had lost my baking mojo!

A classic British cake is coffee and walnut, and so I decided to make one on my husband’s request as it’s one of his favourites.  However, I don’t know if I didn’t follow the recipe correctly, or if there was a misprint in the book, or even if I picked up the wrong type of flour…my cake just didn’t rise at all, and was flat as a pancake!  I couldn’t face cooking it again, but had a brainwave…remembering that I had some shot glasses tucked away in the cupboard I made Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots instead – day saved!

Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots

I will give you the recipe for the cake, along with the steps to make these cake shots for yourself! Whatever you decide to do, please let me know how the cake turned out!  So, jump to print the recipe which tells you how to make the cake and decorate it, or turn the cake into shots!

Normal, cake making ingredients are needed – self-raising flour, caster sugar, unsalted butter and eggs.  Along with the flavourings of coffee (instant) and walnuts.

Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots

Normal cake making procedure too…creaming butter and sugar…

Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots
Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots

Beating in the eggs.

Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots

Folding in the flour.

Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots

Then make up some coffee – I would err on the strong side and use less water when mixing up the instant coffee granules.

Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots
Stir the coffee into the cake batter.
Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots

Use ready chopped walnut pieces, or chop halves up into smaller chunks – reserving 12 halves to decorate the top of the cake shots (or cake – whichever you’re doing!)

Divide the mixture between two 8 inch round cake tins, and bake at 180C for 20 minutes until golden and springy.  Or in my case, until unrisen and springy…no picture evidence I’m afraid, I was way too shocked at my baking efforts!

Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots

At this point I wanted to cry after my earlier failures with my macarons and bakewell tart…and then I shouted out “cake shots!”.  My husband looked at me like I was bonkers, and I said “we have shot glasses somewhere…find them please?!” And that he did, enabling me to construct my coffee and walnut cake shots as follows.

Using a small round cookie cutter, I cut out 24 discs of cake – two for each shot glass.  There will be cake left over…eat it!  Or make more cake shots, whatevs :P  I only had 12 shot glasses – we ate the extra cake.

Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots

Buttercream….you’re going to need coffee buttercream!  Unsalted butter, softened, mixed with icing sugar, and then some instant coffee made with a little hot water poured in – sneak in a taste to check it is coffee-ey enough, then adjust the consistency if required with some milk.

Pipe (or spoon in) a layer of buttercream onto the first layer of coffee and walnut cake.

Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots

Now press down gently with another disc of cake.  My efforts of swirly icing was ruined, but *shrug*

Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots

A final swirl of coffee buttercream on top…

Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots
Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots

And to finish off, a walnut half…well actually, it was half of a half, as I didn’t have enough…haha!

After my saved disaster – just eat and enjoy!

Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots

Coffee and Walnut Cake Shots

Cake serves 8, makes at least 12 cake shots

Ingredients for the cake

  • 170g butter, softened
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 80g walnut pieces
  • 2½ tsps instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
Ingredients for the coffee buttercream icing
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp instant coffee, dissolved in ½tbsp hot water
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • walnut halves to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Grease two 8 inch (20cm) round cake tins and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Sift in the flour and fold in.
  5. Stir in the coffee and walnut pieces.
  6. Divide the mixture between the cake tins and spread out evenly.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and the cake springs back when pressed gently.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  8. To make the icing, beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth.  Add the coffee, and add milk to adjust the consistency as required.
  9. If making cake shots, cut 24 round pieces out of the cake to fit into your shot glasses.  Place one piece into the bottom of each glass and pipe or spoon in some of the coffee buttercream.
  10. Add another piece of cake, followed by a swirl of icing and top with a walnut half
  11. If make this as a cake, sandwich the two cake halves together with icing.  Place on a cake stand and ice with the rest of the buttercream.  Decorate with walnut halves.
  • Lee

    This looks awesome, must try.

    • Michelle Ordever

      I had to turn the fail cake around!! They were very good!

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