Chocolate Kahlua Walnut Cake

I’ve been watching a few British baking shows lately. The techniques they use and flavor combinations,  I find so intriguing. One flavor combination that caught my attention was coffee and walnut. Which seems totally normal, but actually rather uncommon here in typical American baking.

This interesting combination inspired me to make this showstopper cake. I wanted the coffee flavor to be present in both the cake and the frosting & really be the focal point. The walnuts are lightly toasted and garnish the bottom half of the cake. They add the perfect crunch! Now let’s talk notes…

Here’s My Notes:

1)For the chocolate cake part of the recipe, I’m leaving that up to you. You can use a chocolate cake mix or use your favorite homemade chocolate cake recipe…. either will work fine. I used my own chocolate cake recipe and substituted the water for French pressed coffee. I wanted the coffee to be nice and strong, which is why I used the French press instead of normal drip brewed coffee. If you decide to use a cake mix, add a tablespoon of espresso powder to get a coffee flavor.

2)Another note about the cake, if you go the homemade route use a dark cocoa powder. It gives the cake a more deeper flavor.

3)The key to this frosting is the Kahlua. You simply will not get the same flavor if you don’t use it…highly, highly recommended.

4)I decorated my cake with some little chocolate covered shortbread cookies. They kinda reminded me of tea biscuits, the kind that you would have with your afternoon tea in England….. plus I just thought they were cute. You could totally just top yours with some dollops of buttercream or sprinkle with more walnuts.

Chocolate Kahlua Walnut Cake


1 chocolate cake recipe, I suggest a recipe that makes three 9-inch layers

4 sticks salted butter, softened

5 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ounces Kahlua Liquor

1 cup toasted walnuts, pulse in the food processor

shortbread cookies for garnish, optional


In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and powdered sugar on medium speed until combined. Add in vanilla extract and Kahlua and beat frosting at high speed for 3-4 minutes or until super light and fluffy.

On a cake plate or cake board begin stacking your cake, place a some dollop of buttercream in the center your plate to help the cake stay in place. Lay one of your cake layers on top, spread a generous layer of buttercream over the top using a small offset spatula; continue with all the layers. Crumb coat the sides of the cake and place it in the fridge to chill before doing your final frost. After frosting the cake press the toasted walnuts into the sides of the cake. Finish decorating your cake however you like. I suggest cutting this cake with a good serrated knife. Enjoy!




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