Brunch-Worthy Walnut Orange Coffee Cake

Are you ready for a walnut orange coffee cake you will crave?

Walnut Orange Coffee Cake slicedOfficially this coffee cake is known in my home as the Pantry and Fridge Staples Cleanup Coffee Cake. Why?

Because often, after a series of baking recipes, there are some leftover oddities and I don’t waste anything! Most of us encounter the same challenge, so here’s how to conquer this situation!

A delectable mixture of orange, sour cream, walnuts, butter, and vanilla leads the way to an incredible brunch take-along, or any day dessert or breakfast!

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

For those that have tasted a basic sour cream coffee cake with streusel you know, they are delicious. However, this particular walnut orange coffee cake amps up the taste.

Basic everyday pantry and fridge staples will suddenly get used up and you will end up with zero waste! Now that is how you stay on budget and produce yummy treats!

Instead of letting walnuts go rancid from half-used bags for other recipes you might have made, use them in this delicious coffee cake.

Moreover, using a fresh orange in this recipe provides a bright, citrusy flavor, which is unanticipated but is zesty and elevates this from basic to decadent without much effort!

Simply use up what you already have and make an incredible brunch, breakfast, or dessert take-along!

Perfect Every Time After Baking

Walnut Orange Coffee Cake after being bakedNo matter how many times I bake this walnut orange coffee cake it turns out perfect every time! I let it cook sometimes longer than 55 minutes up to 65 minutes and it releases beautifully out of the pan with a light golden flavor (thanks to the brown sugar!)

Recipe Ingredients + Substitutions

Walnut Orange Coffee Cake Orange slicesWhat I love best about this particular coffee cake is that it serves as a springboard recipe. You can choose to use the ingredients that I have incorporated from my pantry and refrigerator or you can use what you have and change this up.

Citrus includes lime, orange, lemon, you get the idea. So ultimately my walnut orange coffee cake might turn into a lemon or lime coffee cake! Use what you’ve got and let your unique flavoring become your signature coffee cake!

Now with reference to the orange, you will be using the WHOLE orange. Therefore, once you get the zest, then you will be slicing it and using the orange slices!

Pantry and Refrigerator ingredients are combined in my walnut orange coffee cake:

  • Walnuts: make sure to use ‘chopped’ for whatever kind of nut you use. I find that walnuts are perfect for coffee cakes, as they offer a light texture with a slight crunch once baked and cooled.
  • Oranges. Baking is something I love so I constantly am changing up ingredients, like cranberries and dried cherries. Today, I used oranges. With that said, I used the skin as well as the fleshy citrus, I’ll show you what I did, keep reading.
  • Almond Extract. A nutty extract to develop the walnut is all I can really say here as to why I used almond extract. While it’s totally optional, there are very few baking recipes I don’t pop at least a teaspoon into the recipe!
  • Sour cream. So, using sour cream in this walnut orange coffee cake keeps it moist, and that is important since often coffee cakes can be a drier baked good. However, you could also use Greek yogurt. That said, if you do use Greek yogurt in this walnut orange coffee cake recipe, I’d suggest vanilla flavored!

How To Make Walnut Orange Coffee Cake

Combining this entire mixture is super easy and will take about 10 minutes. You’ll be combining your flour, baking soda, and baking powder separately.

Baking will take about 55 minutes to 65 minutes depending on your oven. During the preparation of the walnut orange coffee cake, you will be cracking eggs, sifting flour, using measuring spoons, measuring cups, zesting, and slicing. There’s nothing hard here trust me, it’s simple baking preparation.

Your hardest decision of the entire process when prepping the walnut orange coffee cake recipe will be what type of pan to bake it in.

Pans + Pan Prep for the Walnut Orange Coffee Cake

So, I’ve used this bundt pan many times before to make this walnut orange coffee cake as well as my cinnamon walnut coffee cake, but sometimes it has a mind of its own, no matter how I treat it ahead (to ensure its nonstick!). Plus cleaning out the nooks on this bundt pan after baking is a total PIA if you want my personal opinion!

My preferred baking pan is a springform cake pan. I purchased my MasterClass Springform 10″ cake pan at HomeGoods and only paid $7 for it, but you can order it online!

Why I love using this springform pan, is one the walnut orange coffee cake is cooled, I just ‘unbuckle’ (release) the edge of the pan and it’s magically perfect. No fighting a bundt pan that can either release the coffee cake or kill it, depending on how the nonstick and pan prep went.


Walnut Orange Coffee Cake Walnut PiecesPretty simple here, as the object is to use up walnut pieces you might have from other recipes. Just make sure they are bite-size and don’t taste rancid!

Eggs + Butter

I’ll suggest allowing your butter to be at room temperature. In the event you just found this recipe and have all the ingredients, and want to make it immediately, here’s the fast track remedy: defrost mode in the microwave not allowing the butter to be completely melted just 1/2 and 1/2.

For the eggs, place them uncracked, in lukewarm water (warm faucet flowing temperature), and allow them to sit until the water is no longer warm. Remove from water and place in a bowl.

Flavoring +

Walnut Orange Coffee Cake Orange ZestFYI: you can use both almond and vanilla extract or just one or the other your choice! Also, you can add orange flavor extract if you want!)

Orange Zest – you can either cut slivers of orange skin/peel or use a zester. It’s where the intense flavor comes from.

Walnut Orange Coffee Cake Batter in Pan
Walnut Orange Coffee Cake Batter in Pan

Streusel Topping

Walnut Orange Coffee Cake streuselYour premier showstopper is the streusel. Inside of this walnut, the orange coffee cake will be the flavor that drives each bite, outside of the ‘orange’.

The butter used should be soft not melted. Using a mixer is great but a fork and scraper by hand will ensure you capture every ingredient and incorporate them well!

End result, not too floury you want some of it more ‘molded’ and other parts of it more simple like crumbs.

Don’t forget to add some cinnamon for that robust bakery-like flavor that is baked into most coffee cakes.

What To Serve With Walnut Orange Coffee Cake?

What Does Walnut Orange Coffee Cake Go withAfter dinner cordials or coffee and tea are always perfect accompaniments to this walnut orange coffee cake.

But, ice cream is also another great option to serve with this, especially vanilla ice cream or a lemon sorbet (citrus will amp up citrus)!

Naturally, if you are serving this for breakfast, I’d add in some blueberries and oranges!

Champagne and orange juices (mimosas) are perfect too!

Don’t forget about milk, it’s always a welcome treat whether you serve it with coconut milk, almond, oat, or plain out Cow milk!

Enjoy ~ Dana XO

What Does Walnut Orange Coffee Cake Go with

Walnut Orange Coffee Cake

Earthy flavors of walnut mixed with orange zest amp up your everyday basic coffee cake!
Print Pin
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: dessert
Prep Time: 10minutes
Author: Dana Vento


  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (sifted & leveled)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c softened butter refer to post
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1 c sour cream Refer to post for substitute ingredient
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract optional
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts
  • 1 large orange washed, dried, for zesting. Reserve orange


  • 1 3/4 c brown sugar you'll initially add 1 1/2 c in and wait until you are done combining to see if you NEED the extra 1/4 c
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract optional but Yum!
  • 2 1/2 c All-purpose flour you'll use 2 c to start and then add in the last bit after you are done combing IF Needed
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter salted softened not completely melted


  • Coffee Cake
  • Preheat Oven to 350°F
  • Prepare baking pan. If using springform, make sure to use a brush and coat with nonstick spray on the interior of pan rim.
  • Zest orange and set the zest aside.
  • Slice zested orange VERY thin
  • In bottom of preared springform,sprinkle to coat base, a tablespoon of sugar and then place orange pieces on the bottom atop the sprinkled sugar. Set aside
  • In small mixing bowl, place flour, baking soda and powder. Set aside.
  • Using a large mixing bowl place eggs, butter, brown sugar, white sugar, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Mix to combine well.
  • Once combined add in flour mixture. Combine again. Make sure to scrape down sides to incorporate all ingredients evenly.
  • Add in 3/4 of the orange zest. Mix to combine.
  • Now fold in the walnuts.
  • Set coffee cake mixture aside and now make the struesel


  • in one large bowl combine all streusel ingredients: brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, flour and butter. Mix to combine. If the mixture is Too wet, add in the rest of the flour and brown sugar. However, if it is good (see images in post) don't add in extra flour or sugar. Set aside once mixed.

Construction The Walnut Orange Coffee Cake

  • Using the prepared baking pan, scoop out 1/2 of the batter and evenly distribute the mixture using a spatula or clean fingers.
  • Now, use almost 3/4 of the prepared streusel topping evenly distributing it around the prepared walnut orange coffee cake batter.
  • Follow that with the remaining walnut orange coffee cake batter, again, distributing the batter evenly around the pan, using a spatula.
  • take the remaining orange zest/peel and sprinkle across the top of the cake, then follow with the remaining streusel.
  • Place in oven and bake for 55-65 minutes at 350°F or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.
  • Once the walnut orange coffee cake is done baking, remove from oven and serve warm or allow to cool.