W is for walnuts! A healthy and wholesome addition to any cake, such as carrot or courgette or chocolate brownie. But today I've paired it with one of my faves - coffee. It's no. 23 of 26 alphabetical bakes! Make it extra special with coffee icing and candied walnuts. This is adapted from a Julie Le Clerc recipe.

1 c walnuts
125g butter, softened
3/4 c unrefined sugar (I used organic golden, coconut or rapadura also ok)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/4 c cold strong espresso coffee
1 1/3 c flour (I used spelt)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp oil (walnut oil preferred but I used rice bran)

Coffee icing:
75g butter, softened
1 1/2 c icing sugar
2 tbsp strong espresso coffee

Candied walnuts:
1 cup walnut halves
3 tbsp brown rice syrup (or maple syrup)
1 tbsp coconut or rapadura sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180C. Spread walnuts on a baking tray and roast for 8-10 min until nicely golden. Remove to cool. Once cooled, finely chop.

Reduce oven to 160C. Grease a 20cm cake tin and lightly dust with flour.

In a large bowl cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in coffee.

Sift in flour and baking powder and stir until combined. Lastly stir in walnuts and oil.

Transfer to your tin and bake for 45 min or until cooked through (use the skewer test). Stand in the cake tin for 30 min to firm before turning out on a wire rack. 

When completely cooled, ice with coffee icing and decorate with candied walnuts.

For the icing, beat all ingredients until smooth.

For the candied walnuts, preheat oven to 180C. Mix all the ingredients together and then spread in a single layer onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 20 min until dry and golden brown.

Remove and leave to cool before storing in an airtight container.