Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Espresso-Walnut Cake

Okay. Today I am going to try to redeem myself as a coffee drinker, lover, holic. I'm sure we all remember the Earl Grey tea cake debacle. Well, I now bring you espresso walnut bars! Woohoo!!

While we are having a little downtime here in the middle of nowhere Missouri while The Hubble is in school, I've decided that the perfect way to make as many treats and sweets I want without gaining back all the weight I lost is to make the stuff and send them off to school with The Hubble! Genius right?? I thought so.

So last Monday was the first time I've been able to concentrate on making something for The Hubble's class since we got here a month ago. I gave The Hubble a list of choices and I was MORE than willing when he selected I make this recipe. See...The Hubble claims to be a tea drinker but he is quickly realizing things are so much better on my side of the fence. I will corrupt him and make him a coffee drinker if it's the last thing I do!! (Cue evil laugh) Muahahahahahahahaha!!

Okay I'm done. Here we go...

Ingredients: flour, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, instant espresso, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla yogurt, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Whew, I'm out of breath now!

In a small bowl, dump in your tightly packed brown sugar...

Your finely chopped walnuts...

And 1 teaspoon of the instant espresso. I like to use the Starbucks VIA because it's in those nice little packets and you don't have to buy a big jar for a small recipe. And hello?? It's Starbucks! (I'm a fan if you didn't know. If they sold IV's of the Kenya blend I would buy stock!)

But I digress...

Mix those ingredients together and set aside.

Now, get a large microwave safe bowl and nuke your butter until it is melted.

Dump in the sugar. And whisk it all together.

Add in your eggs.

And whisk those in until you have a smooth mixture.

Then whisk in the yogurt, vanilla, baking soda, and salt.

Dump in the flour and the rest of the espresso.

And whisk until just mixed together.

Spray your pan with this stuff. And if you don't have this stuff go ahead and spray the pan with regular cooking spray then dust with 2 teaspoons flour.

Spoon half of your mixture into the bottom of the greased and floured pan. Smooth it out as best you can.

Then take that lovely brown sugar, walnut, and espresso mixture from earlier and sprinkle half of that over the other mixture in the pan.

Now comes the tricky part. You want to pour the rest of the mixture into the pan and spread it.

But you have to be careful not to disturb the brown sugar mixture in the center too much.

Then sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar mixture over the top of the entire thing.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.

Once they are cool you can cut them up...

Serve, and enjoy!

Espresso-Walnut Cake
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine


  • 1/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 3  tablespoons  finely chopped walnuts
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1  tablespoon  instant espresso or 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules, divided
  • 5  tablespoons  butter
  • 1  cup  granulated sugar
  • 2  large eggs
  • 2/3  cup vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1 1/3  cups  all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon espresso granules in a small bowl.
  3. Place the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave at HIGH for 1 minute or until butter melts. 
  4. Add granulated sugar, stirring with a whisk. 
  5. Add eggs; stir well. 
  6. Stir in yogurt, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Lightly spoon 1 1/3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. 
  7. Add flour and 2 teaspoons espresso powder, stirring just until blended (do not overstir).
  8. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with half of the brown sugar mixture.
  9. Carefully spread remaining batter over brown sugar mixture, and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar mixture.
  10. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. 
  11. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. 
  12. Cut into squares.
  13. Enjoy!
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