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Light, delicious and easy coffee and walnut cupcakes with an easy coffee buttercream frosting!

I have been trying to think of cupcake recipes that people would want to see and make themselves, and these came up. My coffee cake recipe was so popular and such a big hit with my readers that I know these will be loved by all too!

My carrot & walnut cupcakes are such an old recipe on this blog now that they’re rarely seen, but these will hopefully bring the walnut love back. If you like coffee cake then you will utterly adore these. One of my family friends literally CONSTANTLY says that she likes walnuts with her coffee cake, so these were made as her little birthday treat and they went down an absolute storm!

Coffee bakes

When I was little I never really liked nuts and I couldn’t drink coffee… so these sound like my childhood nightmare. HOWEVER. These cupcakes are SO damn moist and delicious I just can’t get over it – and the nuts give that added extra crunch that everybody craves in a cupcake!

Sometimes people can find that cupcakes can be a bit sickly, or too sweet? But the coffee in the sponge and buttercream gives it a delightful twist of almost bitterness with sweetness? It’s delicious either way.

I haven’t done many coffee based bakes yet on this blog but they are so underrated. Now I adore coffee everything so I always want to post more and more coffee bits and bobs. 

Which coffee

So when I make coffee based bakes, I always use an instant coffee compared to anything from my espresso machine as I find it creates a stronger flavour, but both can work really well.

I dissolve my instant coffee in as little boiling water as possible and then it creates the perfect base flavour. I tend to make my cupcake mix up after I have dissolved my coffee so that it has a chance to cool before using in the mixture. 

If you want to use an espresso shot then you absolutely can – I have used a two shot out of my Nespresso machine before and it worked well in the cake mix and also the frosting as well. 

Cupcake mix

The cupcake mixture for a bake like this is super simple and adaptable. I try to use as few ingredients as possible in my bakes, so a bake like this is the best. 

  • Butter – for the sponges you can use either a block butter at room temperature, or you can use a baking spread which a lot of people prefer using.  
  • Sugar – I use light brown soft sugar when I bake these because I want the slightly caramel flavour, but you can use caster sugar if you prefer. You can also use dark brown soft sugar if you want a deeper ore treacle like flavour
  • Eggs – I use medium eggs, so in this recipe I used four. 
  • Flour – self raising flour is the best of the best for a bake like this. 

Buttercream Frosting

When it comes to a buttercream frosting where you are adding liquid, you need to be more careful. I will always use a block butter (the kind wrapped in foil), at room temperature. 

I will beat the butter on it’s own for a couple of minutes to make sure it’s nice and loose but this stage can vary… if it’s peak summer it won’t take long at all, but middle of winter you may be waiting a while.

I use the same theory of coffee for the frosting as well as the cake mix so I dissolve the coffee first and then mix it into the mixture. I used the same coffee again here as well. 

Tips & Tricks 

Recipe updated September 2023 – 175g butter, 175g light brown sugar, 3 large eggs, 175g self raising flour, 2 tsps coffee dissolved in water, 75g walnuts chopped.  The method and theory are the same, just slightly different quantities. 

  • These cupcakes last 3+ days at room temperature 
  • These can freeze for 3+ months 
  • I use this piping tip
  • I use these piping bags 
  • The walnuts are optional, you can leave them out. Or, you cans was them to an alternate nut. 

Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes

Light, delicious and easy coffee and walnut cupcakes with an easy coffee buttercream frosting!
Print Pin Rate
Category: Cupcakes
Type: Cupcakes
Keyword: Coffee, Walnut
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling and Decorating: 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: Jane's Patisserie



  • 150 g unsalted butter (or baking spread)
  • 150 g light brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 150 g self raising flour
  • 2 tsps strong instant coffee granules
  • 75 g walnuts (chopped)

Buttercream Frosting

  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 2 tsps strong instant coffee granules


  • 50 g walnuts (chopped)
  • sprinkles



  • Preheat your oven to 180ºc/160ºc fan and line a 12 hole tray with large cupcake cases/muffin cases
  • Dissolve the 2 tsps of instant coffee in one tablespoon of boiling water and leave to cool completely.
  • Cream together the unsalted butter and light brown sugar until fluffy
  • Add in the eggs and self raising flour and beat again until smooth
  • Add in the dissolved and cooled coffee and beat again
  • Fold through the chopped walnuts.
  • Scoop the batter equally into your cases and bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes, or until cooked through!
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Buttercream Frosting

  • The same as earlier, dissolve the other 2 tsps of instant coffee in one tablespoon of boiling water and leave to cool completely. 
  • Beat the unsalted butter on it's own to loosen
  • Gradually add the icing sugar on a slow speed until it is combined, then speed the mixer up and beat for 3-4 minutes until fluffy and smooth.
  • Add the dissolved coffee to the buttercream and keep on beating for 5 minutes until whipped, light and fluffy!


  • Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, and sprinkle over some extra chopped walnuts and some sprinkles! Enjoy!


  • Recipe updated September 2023 - 175g butter, 175g light brown sugar, 3 large eggs, 175g self raising flour, 2 tsps coffee dissolved in water, 75g walnuts chopped.  The method and theory are the same, just slightly different quantities.
  • These cupcakes last 3+ days at room temperature 
  • These can freeze for 3+ months
  • I use this piping tip
    I use these piping bags 
  • The walnuts are optional, you can leave them out. Or, you cans was them to an alternate nut. 


Find my other recipes on my Recipes Page!

You can find me on:

J x

© Jane’s Patisserie. All images & content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words and credit me, or link back to this post for the recipe.


  1. Emma on December 10, 2023 at 9:01 pm

    5 stars
    The cupcake recipe is great, thank you. I used a coffee Swiss meringue buttercream on top & they were very well recieved 😁

  2. Dawn on November 11, 2023 at 6:03 pm

    Hi Jane. I’ve made these as cupcakes and they were a massive hit at work. I’ve been asked if I can use the same recipe but as a two tear cake? Would you be able to share the quantities that I would need to do this please?

  3. Carolyn Harberd on September 24, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    5 stars
    These turned out soooo tasty. Didn’t have walnuts in so substituted Pecans. I froze half (un frosted) and they tasted equally as delicious .

  4. Lucy on July 16, 2023 at 11:09 am

    Hi Jane, what piping tip did you use for these?

  5. Amy on March 30, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    If I wanted to make this into a cake using 2x 20cm tins, how much should I increase the recipe and cooking time by?

  6. Winifred on January 20, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    5 stars
    Thanks Jane for all your recipes, I feel very confident when I’m following your recipes.
    Where do you buy your sprinkles and your chocolate, either dark, white or milk please?

    • Jane's Patisserie on January 30, 2023 at 11:27 am

      Hiya! I usually link my sprinkles on my recipes, and I usually either use Callebaut or supermarket own chocolate! Hope this helps! x

  7. Olivia Margetts on December 6, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Can this recipe be made into a loaf cake if combined?

  8. Nic on September 5, 2022 at 8:09 am

    5 stars
    Hi Jane!

    I love love love all your recipes! So easy to follow and come out so delicious! I need to make a gluten free coffee and walnut cake…do you think this would work?

    Thank you so much for all your recipes and tips!


    • Jane's Patisserie on September 5, 2022 at 9:39 am

      Hiya! I personally have not tried this – however it is definitely worth a go! Hope this helps! x

  9. Night Nurse on September 3, 2022 at 9:13 am

    Can I use camp coffee and how much?

    • Jane's Patisserie on September 14, 2022 at 4:18 pm

      Hiya! Yes absolutely, use 2 tsp. Hope this helps! x

  10. Lauren on November 15, 2021 at 12:08 am

    5 stars
    Made these for my Mums birthday and they turned out fab. My first time having a go at piping too. The amount of buttercream was spot on… there was just the right amount to cover all of the cupcakes with no wastage!

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 15, 2021 at 11:12 am

      Im so happy to hear that, Thank you & enjoy! x

  11. Chloe on August 26, 2021 at 7:10 am

    Hi Jane,

    I love baking your cakes! Your amazing!

    Please could you tell me if I could use coffee extract/essence instead of granules? If so how much should I add?

    Many thanks

  12. Caroline on July 31, 2021 at 8:26 am

    I love all your recipes and they are always a success when I take them into work. I want to make a 3 layer chocolate cake and use coffee buttercream for middle and decorate outside. If I split buttercream into 3 bowls and add different amounts of brown colouring to each one would this work..I want an ombre sort of effect. Many thanks.

  13. Lynette on May 22, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    Hi, again, Jane! I was just wondering, could I replace the 75g of walnuts with cocoa powder/chocolate to make it a chocolate and coffee cupcake? Or would that make it too dry? Thanks! <3

    • Jane's Patisserie on May 24, 2021 at 12:46 pm

      Hey! Remove the walnuts and replace 40g of flour with cocoa powder xx

  14. Becky on May 14, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    Hi Jane,

    Thank you for this recipe! I’m looking at making some of these for my boyfriend birthday next weekend but he LOVES your vegan cupcake recipe in terms of texture (he says they’re better than none-vegan cupcakes!) would I be able to use that recipe and just adapt the flavours to make it coffee?

    thanks x

    • Jane's Patisserie on May 15, 2021 at 11:21 am

      Hiya! Yes I would use the vegan Biscoff recipe and add coffee to that xx

  15. Surina on March 26, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    Hi Jane,
    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Can you help me with exact proportions of self raising flour please? As I’ll hsve to mix flour, baking powder and salt by myself.


    • Jane's Patisserie on March 27, 2021 at 10:16 am

      Hello! To make your own self raising flour you use two level tsp of baking powder per 150g of plain flour, whisk it in well before using xx

    • Sophia on November 23, 2021 at 4:16 pm

      5 stars
      10/10 amazed with how perfect these cupcakes have turned out!! Hoping my hubby will like them for his birthday!! ❤

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 25, 2021 at 11:43 am

      Yaaay I’m so happy to hear that, enjoy! x

  16. Darragh on March 8, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    Hi I want to make this recipe into a cake for my mother’s birthday just wondering how I adjust the recipe for a 3 tier cake
    Thank you for your help

  17. Mary on March 4, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    Just wondering could I make this recipe into a cake instead of cupcakes do I have to adjust the measurements at all? Thank you☺️

    • Jane's Patisserie on March 14, 2021 at 9:38 pm

      I usually say one batch of cupcakes makes one 8″ cake layer that takes about 30 minutes to bake x

  18. Emma on February 10, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    Can I make 12 but freeze some of them either once cooked or just when its batter

  19. Sarah Sheehy on January 14, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Jane, I absolutely adore your baking recipes ever since first making your white chocolate and pistachio cheesecake which has been adored by everyone ever since I first made it for Christmas 2018! So I have always been into baking ever since I was child but was never particularly good at the icing even though decent at the baking part & desserts that didnt require icing/decorating, but I have thankfully gotten better since covid with more time on my hands, so just a quick question about these cupcakes, I forgot to buy the walnuts (baking them tomorrow night) but I think I could just omit them? I do have some dates and pecans, would you recommend either or just leave them out?

    • Jane's Patisserie on January 15, 2021 at 8:28 pm

      You can definitely swap to chopped pecans or dates, or just leave them out! x

  20. Zoe on January 4, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    I tested them with a metal skewer and it came out clean, and I left them in for the full time.. anything else it could be??

    • Jane's Patisserie on January 7, 2021 at 2:33 pm

      I’m not sure – sometimes things can come out clean with a skewer but still need a little longer, but they don’t usually sink too badly in that case. It can also happen by over beating the cake mixture!

  21. Zoe on January 3, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Jane, I made these cupcakes but they sunk slightly in the centre, why might this have happened?? Thanks! x

    • Jane's Patisserie on January 3, 2021 at 8:35 pm

      This usually means they are underbaked! x

  22. Olivia Nestor on December 2, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Hi! I made this recipe the other day – not normally a coffee cake lover but this has totally converted me!!! Was wondering about making it an Irish Coffee cupcake adding whisky… how much liquid would you use to the cake and to the buttercream?
    I can’t thank you enough for all your recipes – I’m in love with your stuff!!! You are always my go-to when I’m looking to try something new!
    All the very best!

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 4, 2020 at 8:43 am

      Ahh yay! So I’m not sure it’s worth it in the cake, unless you maybe drizzle a little on the sponge after they come out of the oven – but because of the coffee already in the buttercream you can’t add too much whisky otherwise it may get too soft! It’s worth adding a small amount as you go so as not to overdo it! x

  23. Kate on November 18, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Hi Jane,

    I’d like to make this as a lockdown birthday gift for my Dad but using a 2lb loaf tin. Would you recommend any changes to the recipe so this works better in the tin?
    I made your carrot loaf cake for Father’s Day and it was incredible!
    Thanks in advance

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 18, 2020 at 11:18 am

      Hey! So personally I would add some more ingredients (I would use a 200g/4 medium egg mix with 150g walnuts) but then it would fit well! I am planning on doing a coffee & walnut loaf cake, I just haven’t got round to it yet haha! And I’m so glad! x

    • Cheryl on February 28, 2021 at 3:13 pm

      Hi Kate & Jane,

      How long do you cook for as a 2lb loaf cake please? 😋

    • Jane's Patisserie on February 28, 2021 at 5:18 pm

      I would imagine 55 minutes or so! x

    • Cheryl on March 2, 2021 at 11:30 am

      Thanks so much Jane. 😄
      You were spot on!
      I cooked for 50 mins and although my skewer was clean, it was a teeny tiny bit under baked at the bottom when I cut into it. So 55 mins would have been ideal. Still tasted fab though.
      I tagged you in the photo on Instagram. 😋

  24. Aysha on November 4, 2020 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Jane love the taste of these cupcakes (and all your other recipes). But are these supposed to be quite dense as mine didn’t turn out light and fluffy like I prefer cupcakes?

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 5, 2020 at 9:23 am

      The recipe is still a standard recipe so it shouldn’t make too much of a difference – maybe they were under baked or an ingredient wasn’t quite right?! x

  25. Katie on October 10, 2020 at 7:58 am

    Hi Jane,

    Would I be able to substitute stork in the cupcakes (not in the buttercream)?

  26. Zohra on August 19, 2020 at 11:54 am


    Love your recipes 🙂 just wanted to ask, could you use this recipe for a 2lb loaf tin? x

    • Jane's Patisserie on August 19, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      Yes – it may be not quite as deep as my loaf cakes, but it would work in one! x

  27. Sarah Dyer on July 11, 2020 at 10:01 am

    Hi, can you use Stork instead of butter for the icing?

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 11, 2020 at 7:45 pm

      No definitely not – never ever use a spread for buttercream!

    • Kerry on July 21, 2020 at 9:42 am

      I always use block stork/baking block in my buttercream, it’s fine, just don’t use the spreadable tubs!

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 21, 2020 at 1:59 pm

      Block unsalted butter is fine, but block stork can still be too soft.

  28. Kerry on June 3, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    Just made these 😍😍 they are so good! Sending some to my partners work tomorrow as I am the only one in the house that likes coffee! Galaxy cupcakes next.

  29. Stacey on May 26, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Jane,

    Firstly, thank you for all the amazing recipes. I’ve made a few now during lockdown and they’ve all tasted amazing.

    Secondly, I’d love to make these for my sister and brother in law, can I do these with golden caster sugar rather than the soft brown sugar do you reckon please?

    Many thanks,


    • Jane's Patisserie on May 26, 2020 at 9:11 pm

      Hey! Ahh thank you! Yes you can definitely use golden caster sugar for these! X

  30. Isabella on May 11, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    Would i be able to halve the ingredients if i only wanted 6 cupcakes?

    • Jane's Patisserie on May 11, 2020 at 2:30 pm

      As you can’t use half an egg for baking cupcakes it’s easier to use 1/3 (one egg) and make four, or 2/3 (two eggs) and make eight!

  31. Sarah on April 26, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Hi Jane,
    These cupcakes are delicious!
    Please can you tell me what butter you use for the buttercream?

    • Jane's Patisserie on April 27, 2020 at 9:27 am

      I use unsalted butter – the kind wrapped in foil!

  32. Linda on April 25, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Jane I have baked these several times and they are absolutely delicious but I always have trouble with the buttercream, it won’t set it always stays soft. Is there something I am doing wrong.?

    • Jane's Patisserie on April 25, 2020 at 10:25 pm

      It depends, what butter are you using?

    • Linda on April 26, 2020 at 6:33 pm

      Thank you, that could be the problem, I will try it using unsalted butter.

  33. Kalie on February 12, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    Hiya, I’m just wondering If I didn’t have any strong instant coffee would I be able to use mild instant coffee instead strong or would that work or change the taste? Xx

    • Jane's Patisserie on February 12, 2020 at 8:51 pm

      It might just simply be less coffee flavoured!

    • Sarah Sheehy on January 15, 2021 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks for your reply about adding the pecans, I’m just wondering is it just a case of using vegan butter and maybe adding some dairy free milk into the cupcakes to make it a vegan recipe, or is there too much of an overhaul for it to be worth tweaking -my friend is mainly vegan due to dairy intolerances but can have eggs in bakes?

    • Jane's Patisserie on January 16, 2021 at 5:48 pm

      Yes, if you want to make the cupcakes dairy free you can use simple substitutes! The frosting may too soft as dairy free butter is a bit too soft for lots of liquid to be added x

    • Alicia on October 3, 2022 at 11:49 am

      I want to make 24 cupcakes. Would you suggest I simply double all ingredients??

    • Jane's Patisserie on October 3, 2022 at 1:34 pm

      Hiya! Yes, this should be fine! Enjoy! x

  34. Kalie on February 12, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Hiya I was just wondering if I had no strong instant coffee would mild work if I added an extra teaspoon would it work the same or not ? Xx

  35. Kerry J on January 10, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Delicious cupcakes. I have used so many of your fantastic recipes and never been disappointed. Thank you for making my baking events for family gatherings so successful x

    • Jane's Patisserie on January 10, 2020 at 7:08 pm

      Awh thats okay! I’m so glad you enjoy them!! x

  36. Sharon Skinner on November 20, 2019 at 9:54 am

    I’ve seen that you can bake as a traybake if you triple the recipe but how long would this take to cook please?

  37. Hannah’s Highlights #1 – a Box of Buttons on November 14, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    […] 6. Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes by Janes Patisserie […]

  38. Louise on June 15, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Does anyone know if this recipe would work as a tray bake?

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 15, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      For a traybake size, I would triple it and bake into a 9×13″ tin.

  39. Tracey on November 11, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    Lush. That’s the only words for this. Even my daughter who doesn’t like coffee or walnuts loved them.

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 12, 2018 at 9:02 am

      Ahh thats amazing!!

    • katrina on November 15, 2021 at 7:57 pm

      5 stars
      Hi how much coffee and water would I need to put in these if I just did 4 cupcakes. thank you

  40. […] Recipe adapted from Jane’s Patisserie. […]

  41. KP on May 26, 2018 at 1:29 am

    Hi, what could I replace the eggs with in this recipe that won’t make too much of a difference to the flavour and texture?

    • Jane's Patisserie on May 26, 2018 at 9:37 am

      I have no idea I’m afraid sorry, I have never baked egg-free before x

  42. Paula on February 14, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Hi Jane!
    Could I use this recipe for one larger cake? I know you have a recipe for a coffee cake but I just wanted to check if I could use this one as I want to make a coffee and walnut cake. Thank you! Paula

    • Paula on February 14, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Hi Jane- I’ve just reread your coffee cake recipe and it says about adding in walnuts! Thank you!

  43. krystina on November 4, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    I made these cupcakes a while ago (and they were delicious!) but next week I’d like to take them into the school that I work at for the staff but we cannot have nuts on the premises. Would I just use the same recipe without the walnut or would I need to alter the amount of other ingredients?
    Thankyou 🙂

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 4, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      Hiya! Yeah just leave the walnuts out and keep the rest the same! x

  44. Holly on October 2, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Hi Jane, I only discovered your website last week and I am completely spoilt for choice! I’m practicing piping could you tell me what frosting tip you used to pipe the coffee buttercream? Thanks

    • Jane's Patisserie on October 3, 2017 at 8:32 am

      On this post I used a 1M piping tip.

  45. Mansa Kane on July 25, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Jane, Does this cupcake dome?

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 26, 2017 at 8:39 am

      Depends on how you mix it and your oven. Some cupcakes dome for some when they won’t for others.

  46. Carola on December 21, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Hello Jane,

    these cupcakes look delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipy.
    I want to make the cupackes for Christmas, but was wondering if it is possible to put them in the freezer and make the buttercream on the day you want to serve the cupcakes?

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 22, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      You could, but I always prefer to bake them fresh.. maybe bake the cupcakes the day before and frost the day after?

    • Carola on December 23, 2016 at 9:44 am

      Thank you Jane for responding. I will bake them tomorrow and frost on Sunday.
      Merry Christmas!

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 23, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      Sounds perfect! Merry Christmas!

  47. Novi Liana on August 7, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Hi. Thank you for the recipe. It seems delicious and I’d like to try it. So, if we don’t have self rising flour, how much baking powder or baking soda that we need? Thank you.

    • Jane's Patisserie on August 7, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      Use the same weight of Plain Flour with two tsps of Baking Powder 🙂 x

  48. Teresa on July 25, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Hiya is the light brown sugar soft or demerara plz

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 25, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Hiya – ‘light brown sugar’ is soft sugar, Demerara isn’t considered a light brown sugar 🙂 x

  49. Jessica on May 9, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Me and my sister are addicted to coffee so I KNOW she would just love these cupcakes. Your recipes never disappoint Jane. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Jane's Patisserie on May 10, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      Hehe yay! Aah thank you so much Jessica, that’s so sweet of you to say! 🙂 x

  50. Faz on May 9, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    What tip was used?

  51. Marta on May 9, 2016 at 10:08 am

    I looooove all coffee flavoured desserts. These look really good, thanks for the post.

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