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Coffee and Brazil Nut Cake

by James Morton

This is a sublime twist on Victoria Sponge that goes great at any time of day.

Prep time

20 minutes

Cook time

1 hour






Coffee and nuts. The bitterness of the (instant) coffee just cuts right through any richness of the cake and the nuts give a great texture and complexity of flavour to the sponge itself.

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Line your two 7-inch tins with a disc of baking paper by drawing round the tins then cutting them out. Grease the sides of the tins with margarine

Step 2

In a large bowl, weigh out ALL of the sponge ingredients together. Whisk them all together with an electric mixer until totally combine and a little lighter than they were before – 30 seconds to a minute and no more.

Step 3

Divide the mixture equally between your tins and place in your pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they spring back totally when pressed and a skewer comes out clean. Overbaking will give a dry cake.

Step 4

Whilst they cool in the tin (or on a cooling rack), you can make the icing. In a bowl, stir together the (soft) butter and the icing sugar until it’s a sort of paste – then, get the whisk out again and beat until light and fluffy. It will get quite a lot bigger!

Step 5

When the cakes are cool, turn them out onto a plate or cake stand and divide the icing equally between the middle and the top – spreading with a palate knife. Finally, place your brazil nuts on top to define each person’s slices.


Top Tip:

Who says you’ve got to use Brazil nuts? You might be allergic, or you might not like the taste, so you definitely don’t have to use them. Walnuts and hazelnuts both work well.




For the sponge:

  • 3 medium eggs
  • 150g baking margarine
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of instant coffee (liquid) /shot of espresso
  • 50g Brazil nuts, chopped

For the buttercream:

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 125g Graham’s unsalted butter, softened
  • 50g whole Brazil nuts, to decorate