So this edition of Cake Wire is all about British Classics! As my new business, Victoria Sponge, finally gets underway (yes I finally managed to convince my landlord, yippee!), you would think that it would be obvious which classic I would be discussing today! However, I have decided to share a recipe for different cake with you instead!

Whilst in Australia, I had the great opportunity of teaching one of the contestants from the Great Australian Bake Off! Mark was a keen baker, but had never decorated cakes before, and he had to work up his recipes and designs prior to going to film the show. So his wife called me! Being in Australia and covering such a vast amount of land, the programme was not filmed weekly as they do for GBBO, but the contestants had to stay in Melbourne for the duration of the competition, or until they were eliminated. Therefore they were given a brief of what bakes they may have to produce if they were in for that long.

Mark and I spent three baking/decorating days and numerous emails developing designs and recipes together which had to be original recipes. I’m proud to say that two of the recipes we worked up are in the Great Australian Bake Off recipe book, but as he was eliminated before the chance to bake his special tiered cake, this recipe has been left for just me and Mark to enjoy! So now I hand it to you!

This is my twist on a very big favourite classic cake of mine, the Coffee and Walnut cake. It was developed in part because I love coffee and walnut, but I know lots of people who don’t like walnuts and find pecans more likeable. The hazelnut syrup, because that was my ultimate treat, added to my Aussie latte adored with beautiful coffee leaf in the froth.

Coffee, Pecan and Hazlenut Cake.


  • 2 x 8" round cake tins
  • 325g Margarine / unsalted butter
  • 4 tsp coffee to 225ml water (to yield 4-5 tbspn of espresso for cake)
  • 325g Self Raising Flour
  • 1.5 tbspn Hazlenut syrup (The kind you buy to flavour coffee)
  • ½ tspn Bicarbonate Soda
  • 325g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 150g Chopped Pecans


  1. Preheat your oven to 160 Deg C
  2. Grease and line the baking tin with greaseproof paper
  3. Soften butter in a mixer for 1 minute
  4. Sift flours and add all other ingredients other than the nuts to the butter.
  5. Mix in all ingredients together
  6. Fold in the chopped nuts
  7. Divide in to 2-3 tins.
  8. Bake in the centre of the oven (see chart for approx times)
  9. Once cooked use a spike to test if it comes out clean cake is cooked)
  10. Remove from tin and place on cooling tray to cool.

For the filling:

  1. 250g butter
  2. 750g good quality cane Icing Sugar (I know they say there is no difference from beet sugar, but I do find it makes a much smoother buttercream!)
  3. Cooled strong black coffee with 2 tsp of hazelnut syrup.
  4. Soften the butter in a food mixer, gradually add the sugar slowly so you don’t drown in a cloud of dust! It will go quite stiff due to the high sugar content.
  5. Add the coffee a spoonful at a time, whilst whipping to get a fluffy consistency of buttercream. Once the cakes are cooled stack and fill with the buttercream.


About Victoria Forward
Victoria Forward has just returned to the UK after two years in Australia, and is setting up cake business "Victoria Sponge", in Buckinghamshire. She previously ran Let Them Eat Cake in the UK for six years providing celebration cakes / cupcakes, cake decorating courses and workshops. In 2012 she won the award for Best Presented Cupcake at the British Baker National Cupcake Championships. Victoria is married with 2 children.