Loaf cakes are one of my favourite things to make because they’re generally pretty easy to knock up, don’t require any detailed icing or decorating and make great gifts for cake-loving friends and family.
Coffee is also one of my favourite things in life and here I’ve made a classic coffee and walnut sponge but thrown in chopped dates as well to give it a little bit more texture.
The walnuts add a tasty crunch while the dates give a toffee texture and you only need a little bit of coffee-flavoured buttercream for the top and then you’re done.
150g self-raising flour
150g caster sugar
150g soft butter
2 large eggs, at room temperature
50g chopped walnuts
50g chopped dates
50ml strong coffee
A pinch of salt
100g icing sugar
25g soft butter
A handful of chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 170C/150 fan/Gas 4 and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Mix the butter and sugar together until you have a thick mixture and then slowly drop in the eggs. Carry on stirring until everything is combined, if the mixture starts to curdle throw in a tablespoon of flour.
Add the cooled coffee and then sieve in the flour and salt and continue mixing on a slow speed for a few minutes then add the walnuts and dates. Mix again so they are spread throughout the mixture and then pour into your loaf tin.
Put the tin into the oven and set a timer for 35 minutes. Keep an eye on the cake, it’s done when a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean, this can take around an hour or slightly longer.
Make the icing by mixing together the icing sugar, butter and coffee until you’ve got a thick, smooth mixture which can be piped or spread onto the cake when it’s cool followed by the nuts.