California Walnut Coffee Cake Bars

California Walnut Coffee Cake Bars

Looking for the perfect cake to enjoy with your afternoon cup of tea? This is it right here! These California walnut coffee cake bars are my current favourite pick me up with a lovely warm drink.

I usually go for chocolatey desserts, but I always get excited when I see a coffee treat on offer. Chocolate is everywhere, but a decent coffee dessert is much harder to come by, so when you finally discover one it feels so much more special. I think coffee as a flavour is not taken advantage of enough in the baking world. Even I rarely make coffee flavoured treats. Well that’s about to change from this point onwards.

vegan gluten-free Walnut Coffee Cake

A delicious vegan and gluten-free coffee sponge, topped with a smooth and rich coffee flavoured buttercream. Who could ever say no to that? I took these beauties to college with me to share with my mates and they all loved them! No one could believe they had no dairy in them 😀 

Instead of flour, I used a combination of rolled oats and California walnuts, both of which I ground up into a flour. I find that mixture works really well in baked treats and it’s a much healthier alternative to super refined white flour. I’m really enjoying baking with walnuts at the moment. I eat walnuts on a daily basis, but never really experimented with them in baking until recently. Now I can’t get enough of them! I love the nutty, subtle and creamy flavour they add, which works perfectly to complement the coffee in this recipe.

vegan gluten-free Walnut Coffee Cake

I’m teaming up again with California Walnuts to bring you another easy and fun walnut recipe. I used walnuts in the cake as well as in the frosting to show how versatile this humble nut is. Baking with walnuts is also an easy (and fun!) way to get some essential Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. California walnuts are bursting with wholesome plant-based goodness and are naturally nutritious.

Walnuts can sometimes be bitter, but thanks to California’s unique growing conditions and year-round sunshine, these walnuts have a mild, creamy flavour that is like no other walnut you’ve tried! Once you try a California walnut, there is no going back to any other type of walnut. You’ll notice a difference in taste and texture straight away. 

Go on then, treat yourself to some scrumptious vegan & gluten-free walnut coffee cake. You know you want a slice 😉 

California Walnut Coffee Cake Bars

Makes: 8 cake bars

For the cake bars

2 chia eggs (two tablespoons milled chia seeds and six tablespoons of water)
100g California walnuts, ground
160g oat flour – plain oats ground up into a flour in the food processor. Use gluten-free oats if allergic/intolerant
65g brown sugar
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
70g dairy-free spread, melted
110ml Strong brewed coffee (2 tbsp instant espresso + 110ml hot water)

For the frosting

100g California walnuts
4 tbsp dairy free spread
4 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp plant-based alternative to milk (Why not try making your own California walnut alternative? Find the recipe here)
2 tsp instant espresso
6-12 walnut halves to top


Preheat your oven to 180°C /160°C fan/350°F
Create the chia eggs by mixing the milled chia seeds with water and leaving it to set for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, mix the ground walnuts, oat flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Add the brewed coffee, melted dairy-free spread and the set chia eggs. Transfer the batter into an 8” square tin lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 30 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Leave to one side to cool completely.
To make the frosting, blend all the ingredients together until smooth. If the mixture is too soft, refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. Spread over the cooled cake and top with the California walnut halves.
Once the frosting is set, slice the cakes into bars.

Thanks to California walnuts for sponsoring this post. Commissioned posts is how I’m able to continue working on the blog and creating recipes and recipe videos for you. As always, all opinions are my own.