Mocha Walnut Crunch Muffins

Mocha Walnut Crunch Muffins

Mocha Walnut Crunch Muffins, excerpted from Cake & Loaf by Nickey Miller and Josie Rudderham © 2022 Nickey Miller and Josie Rudderham. Photography by Nickey Miller.

Cake & Loaf: Satisfy Your Cravings with Over 85 Recipes for Everyday Baking and Sweet Treats

Cake & Loaf, a cozy from-scratch neighbourhood bakery, started with a dream shared over coffee between college friends and business partners, Nickey Miller and Josie Rudderham. Genuinely passionate about food, sustainability, and community, they wanted to create a bakery with a dynamic atmosphere that fosters creativity and equality. Today, a living-wage employer, Cake & Loaf is beloved for its stand-out baked goods.

Full of flavour and homespun comfort, the recipes range from classics like Maple Syrup Butter Tarts and Vanilla Bean Nanaimo Bars, to local favourites like Pumpkin Spice Baked Doughnuts and Lemonlicious Cake.

The book features over 85 recipes and variations to create your own sweets and treats at home, including everyday morning baking—muffins, scones, doughnuts, and granolas—cookies, decadent sandwich cookies, bars, layer cakes, tarts, and pies.

The charming stories of the bakery’s roots, mouthwatering photographs, and beautiful illustrations throughout the book will transport home cooks to the bakery. These sweet treats and desserts are sure to please everyone!

Cake & Loaf: Satisfy Your Cravings with Over 85 Recipes for Everyday Baking and Sweet Treats is available at and    

Mocha Walnut Crunch Muffins

Throwing away all pretense of practicality and heading firmly into indulgence territory, this beauty is loaded with caffeine, chocolate, and just the right crunchy finish. This muffin does mornings right! We based this recipe on one of our favourite old-school doughnuts: the Walnut Crunch. If you have not had one before, it is a lightly cocoa-flavoured cake doughnut with chopped walnuts and a simple vanilla glaze. This muffin is very reminiscent of that classic doughnut, and the aroma of the ground coffee while baking really rounds out those retro doughnut shop vibes.

Makes 12 muffins


2¼ cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce

1½ tablespoons finely ground coffee (use the espresso grind setting)

¾ cup packed dark brown sugar

¾ cup cold coffee

⅓ cup granulated sugar

⅓ cup canola oil

2 large eggs, room temperature

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

½ cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped


¼ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons finely ground coffee


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners or generously grease with canola oil cooking spray.
  2. Make the muffins: Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl and stir together.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the applesauce and ground coffee and mash together with a fork or wooden spoon until well blended. Add the brown sugar, coffee, granulated sugar, canola oil, eggs, and vanilla and whisk together until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the chocolate chunks and walnuts.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir just until the ingredients are fully incorporated and no dry flour remains. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Fill the muffin cups to the rim with batter.
  1. Make the topping: In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and ground coffee. Sprinkle the mixture over the muffins, 1 to 2 teaspoons per muffin. This seems like a lot of topping, but it will form a crust that cracks as the muffins bake. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the pan or wait 5 to 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Excerpted from Cake & Loaf by Nickey Miller and Josie Rudderham © 2022 Nickey Miller and Josie Rudderham. Photography by Nickey Miller. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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