Way back in the day, I ate a slice of an old fashion black walnut cake that was nothing less than fabulous. Black walnuts are native right here in the eastern parts of the US. They have a deeper, richer, stronger flavor than their sister, the English white walnut. When you’re making dishes that contain black walnuts, you’ll want to be careful to not put too many in there or it will become overpowering, so a little goes a long way. Because of the cost, I buy mine at a big box warehouse store and keep them in the freezer so they never go rancid. In fact, I keep pecans, English walnuts, almonds and pine nuts in the freezer.
This recipe is my take on this old fashion cake that I added the black walnuts to the batter. I do use a hefty 1 cup of the black walnuts to get the crunch and flavor throughout the cake, but you can add a little more or less to suit your taste. I had originally planned to use slightly less and add some black walnut extract to the batter instead of vanilla, but realized I didn’t have any, hence the full cup. Still delicious!
Here’s how I make it.
Old Fashion Black Walnut Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-12 cup Bundt style cake pan.
Separate eggs, putting the yolks in one small bowl and the egg whites in a large bowl for whipping. Keep the egg whites cold until ready to whip.
Sift the flour, cornstarch, salt and baking powder together with a sifter or a wire whisk to combine and break up any clumps of flour. Here, I used a wire basket style sifter, but honestly, I find it easier to just use a wire whisk. All you’re trying to do is mix the dry ingredients together and make sure you don’t have any lumps in the flour. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the room temperature butter and add…
the granulated white sugar and…
brown sugar until it’s creamy and well incorporated, about 2 minutes. As you can see here, I used granulated brown sugar. I have been using this for some time now in my recipes and I love it! It measures the same as packed brown sugar, but easier to use in my humble opinion. If you are using the traditional brown sugar, just make sure you lightly pack it into the measuring cup.
Add one egg yolk at a time, creaming after each one for about 30 seconds.
With the mixer turned off, add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batter and while mixing it on low, drizzle in 1/2 of the milk until the flour is all mixed in. I used 2% milk just because that’s what I had on hand.
Turn off the mixer and add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, turn the mixer back on to low speed and add the rest of the milk and then ending with the remaining flour mixture. After the flour mixture is incorporated into the batter, turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix well to make the batter nice and creamy, about 1 more minute.
Add the pure vanilla extract and mix for 1 minute.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and take out the paddle. Then lick the paddle…
Fold in the chopped black walnuts.
Doesn’t this look finger licking good?! I just can’t wait to lick the bowl!
With a hand held rotary mixer, beat cold egg whites until stiff peaks form. If you’re able to turn the bowl on it’s side or upside down without the egg whites wanting to slide out, they’re in it’s stiff peak form. This will take a few minutes…
Put the egg whites on the batter.
Fold the egg whites into the batter, careful to not deflate the egg whites. Start with inserting your rubber spatula in the center of the bowl, scraping the bottom of the bowl towards you then up and over to pull some of the cake batter over on the egg whites. Don’t get in a hurry to do this part. Rotate the bowl a little and insert the rubber spatula in the center again, across the bottom of the bowl towards you then up and over the egg whites towards the center.
Repeat until you only see the texture of the egg whites and not the white any more.
Pour the batter into a well-greased and floured 10-12 cup Bundt style cake pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or so. Since all ovens bake differently, take a peek at the cake after about the first hour, and see if it’s turning a golden brown on top and check for doneness with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done.
Cool for 3-5 minutes and invert onto a cake plate to complete the cooling.
I just love this cake pan, it’s my fav. I don’t even want to cut into it! Took lots of pictures to savor it’s beauty. For me, this cake has enough sweetness that I don’t like to slather it with icing. Just keep it simple.
But if I don’t cut into it, how am I gonna eat it?? So, here goes… Look at all of those walnuts! I’m telling you, it’s bursting with the black walnut flavor.
I love having this served while still warm with a cup of coffee!
Would you put icing on this cake? If so, what kind would you make?
If you’re in a cake mood, you might also like my Cranberry Orange Pound Cake. I made the cutest cakes ever! Instead of making one standard large cake, I made two smaller 6 inch cakes! Eat one and freeze one, or give one away to your friend that’s having a birthday. Just click or double-click on the image below and I’ll tell you how I make them. Tell me what you think!
A great Holiday cake!
Here’s the printer friendly recipe.