Monday, April 15

Walnut Cake + A bit on us lately

A bit on us lately . . .

Esther turned ten months old yesterday.  She can now stand up without assistance, which gives me anxiety.  We took her out to this place Friday night and after refusing to eat any of the puree I brought for her, she proceeded to eat her weight in smoked fish dip. I didn't mind because they had my favorite beer and by some miracle, two of my all time favorite songs made their ipod playlist before we left. Esther's new favorite hiding spot is under our table with the dog.

I recently cut my hair.  I am a bit obsessed with the cut despite the fact that Dave told me I now officially look like a mom.  Also, after eating the entire box in two days, I again understand why I am never again allowing myself to purchase these cookies. I decided to try to offset the cookie calories by chugging expensive beet juice and taking multi-vitamins.

Dave's birthday was on Saturday and all he wanted was for me to make him this cake. I found the recipe in an issue of Bon Appetit about a year ago.  It's a really dense and moist cake with loads of ground walnuts, almond flour and eggs.  It doesn't have a lot of sugar, which is why Dave likes it so much.  I pair it with bourbon-spiked whipped cream, but it's just as delicious on it's own.

Walnut Cake
adapted slightly from this recipe
Serves 12-18 generously

2 sticks butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
1/2 cup turbinado sugar, divided
7 cups raw walnuts
1 1/2 cups almond meal
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup plain full-fat yogurt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 tsp kosher salt

1 cup heavy cream + 2 tsp sugar + a splash of good bourbon for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9x13 metal cake pan then sprinkle the bottom with 1/4 cup of the turbinado sugar.  Set pan aside.

Pour walnuts into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Set 2 cups of the chopped walnuts aside.  Add almond meal and flour and pulse until walnuts are finely ground, 1-2 minutes.  Set walnut mixture aside.

In an electric stand mixer, beat the butter with the granulated sugar for 2-3 minutes or until whipped and light in color.  Add eggs, one at a time and mix until combined.  Add cream, yogurt, vanilla and salt and mix to combine.    Add the walnut mixture and mix until just combined.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the reserved chopped walnuts.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top to form an even layer.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup turbinado sugar over the batter.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out cleanly.  Allow cake to cool completely before serving.  Cut into squares.  Whip cream, sugar and bourbon and dollop a mound on each slice.  Cake is also delicious served cold.

Big bag of walnuts.  All going into this cake.
Thick, nutty batter.
Spread evenly into your pan.
Yum yum.  


  1. Beautiful baby, beautiful cake! Hope all is well!

  2. Happy 10 month Birthday Esther! Beatrice turned 9 months today...we need to get these gals together and Esther can teach Bea the mastering of smoked fish dip. Love it!! Can't wait to make the cake with bourbon cream. Sounds divine. w

  3. This looks and sounds delicious! Lovely photos!

    1. Happy belated (soon to be 10 month) birthday to Beatrice as well! Yes, we need to get our girls together sometime!!

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  5. I made this yesterday for my husband's birthday and it was amazing. I cut the recipe in half and used a 9" cake pan since there we were a small group. It was amazing- thanks for sharing.

    Looking forward to donuts this weekend at Kingfield!