Walnut cake with lemon buttercream

Walnut cake with lemon buttercream

This is an amazingly bouncy walnut sponge topped with a lemon buttercream – this is a change to the traditional coffee and walnut combination but goes beautifully together.

Walnut and lemon buttercream cake mmm-nom-nom.blogspot.com



For this recipe I’ve used a mix of unsalted butter and baking margarine. I did some experimenting comparing all butter, all margarine and a mix of both on a creaming method sponge mix and I liked the combination for certain cakes. Previously I’d never baked using margarine; always butter only.

Butter has the best mouth feel and taste but can leave a sponge slightly greasy if the temperature isn’t perfect and it’s over-warmed before use, margarine gives a cake rise a lighter texture but the taste isn’t quite so good. Combining the two has given me a good almalgamation of the positives of both for this recipe – however, I didn’t use 50:50, I used a little more butter to margarine. Of course, for specialist patisserie sponges like joconde and the like, only butter can be used and if you’re after very natural ingredients, then butter wins hands down. I have only used Stork so I don’t know if other brands offer different qualities (better or worse).

If you only want to use either butter or margarine, just use 175g of the one ingredient.

A note about pans – this cake can be made in either two 20cm round pans or one 30 x 15-ish loaf pan. The cooking temps and times are slightly different for these but I’ll detail these in the method below


  • Two 20 cm round pans or one 30 x 13 cm (or whatever you have near this) loaf pan
  • Whisk or mixer
  • Bowls
  • Spatula

Ingredients – cake

  • Eggs, medium – 3
  • Caster sugar – 175g
  • Self-raising flour – 175g
  • Margarine – 75g
  • Unsalted butter, softened – 100g
  • Baking powder  – 1 1/2 tspns (7.5ml)
  • Double cream – 25 ml
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 tspn
  • Almond extract – 1/2 tspn
  • Walnuts – finely chopped – 60g

Ingredients – lemon buttercream

Please note – this is enough for the loaf cake:

  • Butter, softened – 70g
  • Icing sugar – 170g (thereabouts – add in batches and make to your own liking of density)
  • Cream or milk – about 10ml
  • Lemon juice – juice of one lemon or about 2 tblspns if you’re using it from a bottle
  • Extra walnuts for decoration – about 10 (choose the nicest looking ones)

For two cakes (provides a little extra to sandwich in the middle):

  • Butter, softened – 100g
  • Icing sugar – 250g (thereabouts – add in batches and make to your own liking of density)
  • Cream or milk – about 15ml
  • Lemon juice – juice of one lemon or about 2 tblspns if you’re using it from a bottle – this weirdly seems to provide the same taste, even though the other ingredients are greater. Just test it and add a bit more lemon juice if you prefer
  • Extra walnuts for decoration – about 10 (choose the nicest looking ones)

Method – cake

  1. Grease and line the tins – whatever you are using
  2. Preheat to oven to 170C for two round tins or 160C for the large single tin
  3. Cream the butter, margarine and sugar until pale and fluffy
  4. Add in all the other ingredients except the walnuts and mix briefly until all the flour is combined
  5. Mix in the chopped walnuts carefully with a spoon
  6. Dollop the mix into your tins and smooth the top
  7. Pop in the oven – for two tins bake for about 25-30 mins, for one tin bake for about 40-45 mins

One baked, leave to cool in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely before you ice it

Method – buttercream

  1. Mix all the ingredients together (can I suggest you lightly mix it all together with a spoon first before you start whisking, so you don’t get a cloud of icing sugar!)
  2. Whisk for about 4-5 mins so you get a really creamy mix


  1. When the cake is fully cooled, spread the icing on the cake and ‘lift’ the spatula/knife up all over the top to create a wispy finish
  2. Decorate with the remaining whole walnuts

Published by Ink Sugar Spice

I’m Lynn and I’m a baker, pasta maker, patissiere, cook, crafter, designer, artist and illustrator. There's little that I can't make by hand. I have been making bread and pasta, baking and creating recipes for 30 years since a teenager. I was featured as the 'pasta fanatic' in episode three of Nadiya's Family Favourites on BBC2 (July 2018) https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2018/31/nadiyas-family-favourites I work as a web and graphic designer/copywriter/social media manager and have an honours degree in theatre design and have many artican crafts, carpentry and design skills. 💙 #pasta #food #baking #bread #patisserie #confectionery #art #crafts #recipes #blogger #design #illustration

2 thoughts on “Walnut cake with lemon buttercream

Please do leave a reply or raise a question here 💙

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: