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About Forkful
We are friends who love making simple food look beautiful. We hope our recipes will inspire you to get into the kitchen this season. Aoife McElwain works in front of the camera writing the recipes and styling the food, while Mark Duggan works behind the camera to make sure it all looks as delicious as possible. We work with editors such as Killian Broderick and music supervisors like Nialler9 to make sure that our finished videos look and sound as smart as possible. We work with brands like Glenisk and Folláin to help them create delicious video content for their online platforms. When we're not making videos, we write a weekly column called Speedy Suppers on Thursdays in The Irish Independent. Aoife writes the recipes and styles the food while Mark takes the photographs.  

Honey Roasted Hazelnut Coffee Cake

Did you know that hazelnuts are native to Ireland? Gavin Lynch and Linda Geraghty run a small, organic dairy farm called Hell’s Kettle Farm in a leafy valley in Wicklow. When they’re not tending to their cows, they’re looking after their small bunch of hazelnut trees.

Mark and I spent an autumnal day with Gavin, Linda and their newborn Peter, marvelling at how hazelnuts go from a bud in a tree to a nut in a shell. We cracked dried hazelnuts by hand in order to roast them, drizzled in honey, to make a traditional farmhouse coffee cake.

Forkful at Hell's Kettle by Aoife McElwain-6

Photo by Aoife McElwain

Find out more about Hell’s Kettle Farm and their hazelnuts here.

Thanks to Lyttet for the use of their track.

Honey Roasted Hazelnut Coffee Cake

This cake makes me feel very nostalgic and warm on the inside. My grandmother Brigid was famous for her coffee cake, and swore by the retro coffee extract Irel. Today, I never make a coffee cake without it.

By Aoife McElwain 


For the cake

100g hazelnuts

1 tablespoon of honey

225g soft butter

225g light muscovado sugar

4 eggs

1 small cup of cold coffee

300g self-raising flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

For the icing

85g soft butter

225g icing sugar

1 tablespoon of coffee extract (like Irel)

2 to 3 tablespoons of cold coffee

Half a teaspoon of finely ground coffee

  1. Line two baking trays (one 30cm x 20cm cake tin and one flat baking tray for roasting the hazelnuts) with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4.
  1. Chop the hazelnuts in half and lay them on the flat baking tray. Drizzle with the honey and mix together. Roast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden. Keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  1. Make a small, very strong cup of coffee. Use about half the water you usually would to make one cup, but use the same amount of coffee. You need about 7 – 8 tablespoons for the whole recipe. Set it aside to cool.
  1. With an electric whisk, beat together the butter and muscovado sugar until frothy and smooth.
  1. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
  1. Chop about half the hazelnuts into finer chunks and add to the batter. Set aside the other half of the hazelnuts for the icing.
  1. Pour in 4 tablespoons of coffee to the batter.
  1. Sieve the flour into a bowl. Sieve the baking powder into the flour. Now add the flour and baking powder into the mix and use a large spoon to gently fold it together.
  1. Pour the batter into the prepared tray and bake at 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4 in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  1. Meanwhile, make your icing by using your electric whisk to mix together the soft butter and icing sugar, coffee and coffee extract.
  1. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool.
  1. Once the cake is completely cool, ice the cake with your coffee icing.
  1. Roughly chop the remaining hazelnuts and sprinkle over the cake.
  1. Sprinkle with a light dusting of finely ground coffee.
  1. Slice the cake into squares and serve with some (hot) coffee on the side.




  • Roisin
    Posted at 14:55h, 14 November Reply

    This looks like a delicious cake! At step 11 do you also add coffee? And what about the honey roasted nuts – they go on top of the cake? Thank you.

  • forkful
    Posted at 18:14h, 27 November Reply

    Hi Roisin, thanks for your comment. Yes you add coffee at step 11 and sprinkle the honey roasted hazelnuts on top as per step 14. Enjoy!

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