Don’t you just love it when you dream up a recipe for something in your head, and then when you put the recipe to the test, it actually turns out exactly how you had envisioned it would on the first try? I personally get positively giddy when this happens in my kitchen, and lucky for me such was the case with these amazing Coffee & Walnut Mini Loaves!
As usual I awoke with a craving for a yummy latte made from my new Starbucks Verisimo machine <3 <3 – (for now let’s won’t discuss my new found extreme love this machine and subsequently my new found caffeine addiction.) But of course for me just a delicious caffeinated beverage is never quite enough, because according to me no morning is complete without a little helping of something sweet 😀
So as I often do, I savoured a few extra minutes in bed while dreaming up recipes that I could bake up in a flash and pair alongside my morning latte fix. Since I haven’t made a good loaf in quite some time, I thought I would try and think up something that would be good in loaf form. It didn’t take long for the idea of these amazing little Walnut Loaves that are infused with the wonderful flavours of what else but freshly brewed espresso to pop into my head… because you know a morning latte isn’t quite enough caffeine for this little one 😛 No Siree!
So I got out my mixing bowl, threw together this batter in under ten minutes – that’s right, under 10 minutes – and popped the mini loaves in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes while I took a shower and got ready for the day. When I stepped out from my bathroom, I was immediately hit with the aromas from the toasted walnuts and the fresh espresso baking together with the cakes into a heavenly bliss.
When I pulled them out of the oven, I was nearly jumping with joy at how cute they were with their puffy tops, and I could hardly contain myself while they cooled down enough for me to take them out of their pans and give one a taste. One bite of this Coffee & Walnut Loaf, and I was smitten – this recipe went straight into my recipe book for safe keeping because they turned out completely perfect on the first go (which pretty much never happens!)
The Loaf itself is the perfect balance between a moist, dense loaf, and a sweet, airy cake. The buttermilk in the loaf adds a beautiful richness that pairs flawlessly not only with the nutty aromas from the toasted walnuts but it also pairs dreamily with the fresh espresso in the loaf. The balance of sweetness to espresso in the loaf, in combination with the addition of just a little bit of cinnamon, the cake has a perfectly balanced flavour.
So as you can see in the pictures, I took the deliciousness, (and caffeine intake,) of this recipe to a whole new level and topped off these adorable little loaves with a healthy amount of coffee infused cream cheese frosting… that’s right, Coffee. Infused. Cream Cheese. Frosting! Don’t worry if you are now drooling, rest easy knowing that I am right there with ya – there will never be any food inflicted drool judgement on this blog!
I’m going to be a tad smug and give myself a little bit of a pat on the back for adding this frosting to these already delicious loaves, because not only was it really just the perfect pairing for these little beauties, but the frosting is kind of a stroke of genius just on its own. Seriously people… this frosting…. oh… my… god! I mean the icing by itself was enough to make me weak in the knees, and I would be completely lying if I said I didn’t eat a couple… (cough, cough… several) spoonfuls of the leftovers once I ensured that I had frosted these beautiful little cakes with plenty o’ frosting! Nom, nom nom!!!!
Believe you me, if there was anymore frosting to be had, I would be eating it as we speak, but sadly I have already licked the bowl completely clean 🙁 :(:( That’s right… I said I licked the bowl of that delicious frosting clean – I was serious when I told you there would be no shame or judgement on this blog!
So now that I have blabbed a sufficient amount about drooling and licking icing bowls, (no judgement,) I think it’s time for me to just stop talking, and start sharing recipe’s instead. So here it is everybody – a seriously quick and easy recipe for what is guaranteed to be your new favourite loaf slice to pair with your morning caffeine fix!
Coffee & Walnut Mini Loaves
Makes: 1 9×11 loaf or 4 mini loaves
Things you need…
Coffee & Walnut Loaf
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup butter
2 tbsp espresso powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup toasted walnuts
Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting
2 tbsp butter
1/4 pkg cream cheese
1 tsp espresso dissolved in 1 tsp of hot water
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups icing sugar
How to make…
Coffee & Walnut Loaf
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and grease either a 9×11 inch loaf pan or four mini loaf pans – whichever you prefer ( in my pictures I made mini loaves)
Toast your walnuts by placing them in the 325 degree oven for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown. Set aside to cool.
In a saucepan, melt the butter with the buttermilk and the espresso powder. Once the butter is melted and the espresso is dissolved, remove from heat. Add the granulated and brown sugar and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to combine. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla and mix well.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Gently fold together until the mixture starts to come together – add the toasted walnuts and continue folding until everything is combined.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan(s) and bake for 40-50 minutes if you are making one large loaf or for 20-30 minutes if you are baking the mini loaves. They are done when the tops spring back to your touch or when you can insert a skewer and it comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before turning out of the pan(s) and allowing to cool completely before frosting with coffee cream cheese frosting.
Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting
In a small mixing bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and espresso until combined and there are no lumps. Add the icing sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Once you have added all the icing sugar continue to beat for 1 minute until fluffy.
Top the loaf with a hefty dollop of the icing and push to the edges of the loaf.
Finish with any left over toasted walnuts and serve alongside your favourite caffeinated beverage 😉
So as far as I’m concerned you now have at least 3 reasons to bake this loaf…
1. Because it is espresso & toasted nut infused loaf of deliciousness!
2. It is just so darn pretty and adorable!
3. Coffee. Infused. Cream. Cheese. Frosting….
Case in point… You must try this recipe!
I could not be happier with how this recipe turned out, and it is definitely going to be one that I make over and over again. I hope you give this recipe a try, because it really is that good! I mean, even if you just whip up a batch of the coffee infused cream cheese frosting… :D:D
Happy Coffee-Infused Baking!!!