Lyle’s Espresso-Walnut Cake

  • 350g (12oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g (8oz) Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Golden Caster Sugar®
  • 125g (5oz) Lyle’s Golden Syrup®
  • 2 rounded tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 110g (4oz) ground almonds
  • 250g (9oz) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 110g (4oz) walnuts, roughly chopped
  • For the Caramelised Walnuts
  • 95g (3½oz) Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Golden Caster Sugar®
  • 60g (2½oz) Lyle’s Golden Syrup®
  • 12 walnut halves
  • For the Buttercream
  • 275g (10oz) Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Icing Sugar®
  • 275g (10oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g (7oz) Lyle’s Golden Syrup®
  • 4 rounded tbsp rounded instant espresso coffee + 3 tbsp boiling water
  • For the decoration
  • Espresso powder, to dust
  • Birthday candles

You will also need two 20cm (8”) round sandwich tins buttered and lined with parchment paper, and a piping bag and star nozzle.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C, 325°F, Gas Mark 4.

For the cake, beat the butter, Tate & Lyle Caster Sugar® and Lyle’s Golden Syrup® together in a food mixer until light and creamy for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides once or twice.

Sprinkle the coffee over the creamed mixture and briefly mix. Add the eggs little by little making sure they are well incorporated after each addition. Don’t worry when the mixture curdles as it will come together again once the flour is added. Combine the almonds and flour and with a large metal spoon lightly stir in, then add the walnuts.

Divide the mixture between the tins, level the surface and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 30-35 minutes until risen, a rich brown and a fine skewer comes out clean when poked in the middle.

Remove, leave to cool for 10 minutes in their tins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool, discarding the parchment.

Next, make the caramelised walnuts by combining the Tate & Lyle Golden Caster Sugar® and Lyle’s Golden Syrup® in a medium-sized non-stick frying pan over a low heat.

Stir with a metal spoon until dissolved. Increase the heat, stop stirring, and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture thickens and makes a rich amber caramel. Brush down the sides of the pan 2-3 times with a pastry brush dipped in water to stop sugar crystals forming and spoiling the caramel.

Check it’s ready by spooning a little of the caramel into a small bowl of cold water – if it hardens immediately remove from the heat. Using a fork, quickly dip the walnuts one by one in the caramel and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Leave the rest of the caramel to cool for 2-3 minutes then, on another lined tray, drizzle it randomly into 12 decorative circles. Leave to cool and harden.

For the buttercream, in a food processor, sift the Tate & Lyle Icing Sugar® over the butter, add the Lyle’s Golden Syrup® and process for 1 minute until soft and creamy. Scrape down the sides. Dissolve the coffee in the boiling water, add and combine until smooth.

Fill the piping bag and nozzle with about half of the buttercream.

Spread some of the buttercream over one of the cakes, pipe a decorative edge, then top with the other cake and place on a serving plate.

Spread some more of the buttercream over the top of the cake, place a little espresso powder in a small sieve and very lightly the surface.

Pipe some buttercream swirls on top, place a caramelised walnut and piece of caramel on each swirl, arrange the candles in the middle of the cake and serve.

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