The last time I went to The Junction Cafe in Swansea was three years ago. It was the first place my husband and I went to with our twins, following their birth.
I remember having the coffee & walnut cake and, amongst all the people coming to admire my extremely hairy newborns, I recall vividly how much I enjoyed it.
I never forget a delicious treat anyway, but perhaps my experience of this cake was especially memorable because it was my first trip out with my twins. So I wanted to go back and see if the cake was delicious in its own right, without the memories attached. If it was even still on offer, that is.
The Junction Cafe, Swansea
The Junction Cafe is a beautiful old building on the beach front in Swansea Bay. It has a cutesy, vintagey vibe inside, and is often used for wedding receptions. It’s also a very popular choice with families, being by the beach front, and having the lido and playground right outside. Understandably it gets very busy during the summer months.
Anyway, enough waffling (mmm, waffles). On to the cakes.
What we ordered
I visited the junction with my mother and my twins, so we ordered a few things between us.
It was an exceptionally windy and bitterly cold day, so we ordered hot chocolates with marshmallows and cream. The hot chocolate was nice enough. However it had that slight dusty, bitter after taste like you get from cocoa powder when you make it at home.
Thankfully, the coffee and walnut cake was there. There was not much left of it at just 11.30am, so it was obviously a popular choice with the oldies who were populating the cafe that morning.
I ordered my coffee & walnut cake, along with a slice of bakewell tart; a sugar topped heart shaped shortbread biscuit; and two chocolate drizzled orange zest shortbread biscuits for the boys.
The treats were delivered to the table, and each treat (bar one) was on a dainty piece of vintage china. A nice touch, and in keeping with the surroundings.
My twins didn’t take to the orange shortbread, and left it with just two bites taken, to seek out what I was eating.
I took a bite of their biscuit myself to see what I thought. It was a lovely texture; crunchy, but not overly so. It had a lovely crumbliness; the type that can only come with a shortbread. I could see the flecks of orange zest dotted throughout.
Though not to my taste (unless it’s chocolate orange, then not many orange flavoured things are my taste), I could tell that it was a good biscuit and would be enjoyed by those who do enjoy fruit flavoured treats.
The Bakewell Tart
The bakewell tart gave me mixed feelings. It looked well iced when I gazed at it through the cake display glass. However when I dug my fork into it, it was hard enough that it cracked. My personal preference is a soft, sticky icing. Though everyone of course, is different in their tastes.
The slice, unlike traditional bakewells which have a shortcrust pastry, had a flaky pastry. It was nice enough, if a little odd, though again not my ideal choice personally.
The sponge however, was yummy. It was soft, and deliciously moist, and sat well on top of the fresh raspberry jam underneath.
Now onto the whole reason for my return visit – the coffee and walnut cake.
Coffee & Walnut Cake
I don’t know how you prefer your coffee & walnut, but I am not overly fussed on there being chopped nuts throughout the actual cake mixture. Thank goodness then, that the coffee & walnut cake at The Junction Cafe is to my exact taste!
This three layer wedge of delight has my mouth watering just writing about it. Soft and spongey, the chopped nut free cake has the perfect amount of coffee flavour. The delicateness is just enough to let you know that you’re eating a coffee flavoured product, without dousing your mouth with an espresso strength hit.
The exact same can be said for the coffee frosting. Light and fluffy, creamy and melt in the mouth. Covered in chopped walnuts – exactly where they should be!
If I had to change anything about my visit to The Junction Cafe, it would be these two things:
Firstly – softer icing on the bakewell tart. I could forgive the flaky pastry base, if the icing was better.
Secondly – that I hadn’t taken my children! One of them has my good taste, and took a huge liking to my coffee & walnut cake! Grrr.
My Final Verdict
I haven’t eaten a great deal of coffee & walnut cake in my life, mainly because I’d rather choose something else on offer, than have a coffee & walnut cake that has nuts throughout the sponge. The cake at The Junction Cafe was to my exact liking. Mainly for that reason, I would not hesitate to go back to The Junction Cafe again.
And, if the other homemade sponge cakes on offer are anything as good as the coffee & walnut cake…then I’ll look forward to doing another positive review soon!
The Junction Cafe is located at Old Station Building, Mumbles Road, Blackpill, Swansea, SA3 5AS. You can find further information and photos on The Junction Cafe’s Facebook page