My Gluten Free Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes

21st July 2021
Blog post

My Gluten Free Coffee and Walnut Cake is easy, absolutely delicious and you’d never know it was gluten free. The coffee flavoured, fluffy cupcakes have little pieces of walnut mixed through. They’re topped with velvetty rich, coffee buttercream and I love them.

Don’t tell my Victoria Sponge, but she used to be my favourite until this guy came along and now I’d struggle to pick. Did I mention, I love them?!

I have to say, my pictures don’t do them justice… I wanted to take more pictures to get a better one to show them off but they smelt too good and I just couldn’t wait. Sorry!!!!

Ingredients for my Gluten Free Coffee & Walnut Cupcakes

Here’s everything you need to make my Gluten Free Coffee & Walnut Cupcakes:

Here’s some info about the ingredients and possible substitutions if you need them:

1) Gluten Free Flour

  • Cupcakes: Ideally you need self-raising for the cupcakes. If not, add 1.5 tsp of baking powder to the plain flour.
  • Brand: I like Doves Farm FREEE

(2) Light Brown Sugar – White caster/granulated sugar would be fine too, I just (very marginally) prefer the taste of light brown sugar here as it adds a caramel note to the cupcakes

(3) Icing Sugar – no other options here I’m afraid!

(4) “Spread” – Flora – this is my preference for making cakes and buttercream as it makes them light and fluffy and is naturally dairy free but of course you can replace it for any of your preferred brands

(5) Egg – I’m yet to try other options but I’m told flax eggs, chia or even more apple sauce can work! Will try them asap and update this guide 

(6) Coffee – see below

(7) Walnuts – whole or chopped work! You can leave them out/replace with a different nut if you prefer too

What coffee should I use in my “Gluten Free Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes”?

Espresso powdered coffee is the best for my “Glten Free Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes”. It has the consistency of something like icing sugar or caster sugar. Its perfect because you can add it straight to the buttercream, without the edition of boiling water or something to dissolve the coffee. This is the one I use…

imageOfProduct id = 11752011

If you do go for a regular instant coffee, when you make the buttercream, just mix the coffee with 1 tbsp of boiling water to dissolve it before adding to the butter and icing sugar. I’ve added this as a tip in the recipe to remind you!

What size cupcake cases have you got?

You can band case into 3 sizes, usually labelled on the box as “fairy”, “cupcake” or “muffin”. You can make delicious cupcakes with any of these sizes! This section will help you to adjust the ingredients quantities and cooking times accordingly

SizeQuantities Required for 12 CakesCooking Time
(1) Fairy Cases – tiny!
Fits about 1-2 tsp of cake mix
Divide all of the cupcake ingredients by 2 (e.g. 4 eggs -> use 2 eggs)
Divide all of the topping ingredients by 4 (e.g. 400g icing sugar -> use 100g)
8-10 mins
(2) Cupcake Cases – the regular ones
Fits 2 tbsp of cake mix
As per the recipe belowAs per recipe below
(3) Muffin Cases – big!
Fits 2 heaped tbsp of cake mix!
Times everything below by 1.25
(e.g. 4 eggs -> use 4 x 1.25 = 5 eggs)
20-23 mins

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5 from 2 votes

Gluten Free Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes

My Gluten Free Coffee and Walnut Cake is easy, absolutely delicious and you'd never know it was gluten free. The coffee flavoured, fluffy cupcakes have little pieces of walnut mixed through. They're topped with velvetty rich, coffee buttercream and I love them. Did I mention, I love them?!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time17 minutes
Servings: 12 large cupcakes
Course: Dessert



  • 225 g self raising flour
  • 225 g spread/butter – I use a tub of Flora – original or dairy free
  • 225 g light brown sugar - – substitute with caster sugar if you haven't got this
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp instant ground coffee
  • 75 g chopped walnuts


  • 175 g spread/butter
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant ground coffee
  • Handful of walnuts for decoration



  • Preheat your oven to 180oC (fan).
  • Add the coffee granules to from the "cakes" section to a mug. Add 1 tbsp of boiling water to the mug and mix together. Set aside to start to cool whilst you move onto the next steps.
    >I think the boiling water helps to bring the coffee flavour alive in the cake so I wouldn't miss this step!
  • Chop the walnuts into small pieces, like the picture

Making the Cakes

  • Preheat your oven to 180oC (fan).
  • Line your cupcake tray with cupcake cases.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the butter & sugar until fully combined
    >You’re looking for the mix to be paler, smooth & creamy! I use an electric whisk for 2 mins.
  • Crack all the eggs into a separate bowl & beat together until just starting to froth up, like the picture.
    > Takes 5 seconds. You can use the electric whisk for this too
  • Add the flour and eggs to the butter/sugar. Whisk together until JUST combined (10 seconds).
    >Don’t over whisk, otherwise you’ll lose the air bubbles & your cake won’t be quite so fluffy!
  • Add the contents of the mug and the chopped walnuts to the cake mix and whisk together until smooth.
    >Make sure you scrape right down to the bottom of the bowl and around the sides so everything is thoroughly mixed.
  • Place 1 heaped tbsp of the cake mix into each cupcake case.
    >I find its best to do this using two spoons –one to scoop up the mix and the other to scrape it into the cupcake case. >Each case should be about 2/3rd full.
    >GENTLY level each of them out slightly, so the cake mix is spread around the case quite evenly. Try not to get too much around the top 1/3 of the case (this is just to make your end result look extra neat!)
  • Bake for approx 17 mins.
    >You’re looking for them to be firm on top but slightly springy to touch and a knife/skewer poked into the middle of the cake should come out relatively clean!
  • Once cooked, leave the cupcakes in the tray for 5 mins to cool and firm up slightly. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before moving onto the next step.


  • Whisk together the remaining butter, icing sugar and coffee until smooth (takes at least a minute).
    >If your coffee isn't powdered like icing sugar/caster sugar consistency, you'll need to dissolve it in 1 tbsp of boiling water. Leave it to cool for 5 mins before mixing into the butter/icing sugar.
  • Pipe onto your cupcakes
    >If you're not confident with this, there's tons of YouTube videos you can watch but my tip is to start by making a circle round the outside, then slowly circle in, overlapping half of the the existing circle of buttercream.
  • Sprinkle with a little extra coffee powder or cocoa powder and the EAT THEM ALL!!!
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  • Vikki

    27th July 2021 at 8:48 am

    5 stars
    Spotted this recipe and had to have a go! It was an easy to follow recipe and cakes came out beautifully.

  • Justyna

    24th December 2022 at 1:33 pm

    5 stars
    My family LOVES this recipe. Every time we have a family gathering my mum asks me to make these. I definitely prefer it with unsalted butter than the spread (though, it’s so much more unhealthy that way ?). Thank you!

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