Black Walnut Cake

Dad didn't like a lot of cake.  About the only one he did like was a black walnut cake.  Unless you have tasted black walnuts I wouldn't suggest you try this unless you are a food adventurer!!  We like it as we were raised on it but black walnuts have a strong and distinctive flavor.  Nothing else tastes like them.

My sister Linda was asking me about if I had a recipe for this and I think I remembered this as the correct one.  It calls for lemon zest and almond flavoring and Mom just used vanilla instead.  I remember this specifically.  Anyway our family has a get together planned and I thought I would make it up in Dad's memory.

This is not a tall cake and it is an old recipe and made the old way.  It is a dense and flavorful cake by today's box cake standards.

1/2 C. soft butter
1 C. sifted sugar
2 C. cake flour
3 t. baking powder
3 egg whites
2/3 C. milk
1/2 t.almond* (we used vanilla)
Grated rind of lemon*  (we omitted this)
1/4 C. chopped black walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and butter and flour 2,  9" round cake pans. 

Cream the butter and add the sugar, continue to beat.  Sift flour once, measure then add the baking powder and sift 3 times.   Add alternately to the butter and sugar mixture with the milk.  Beat thoroughly until smooth.  Add flavoring.  Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are light but not dry.  Fold very carefully the beaten egg whites into the batter.  Add the walnuts chopped fine and fold in quickly.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Cool 10 minutes and remove layers from pans.  Cool completely before frosting. 

4 C. powdered sugar
3 T. soft butter
2 t. vanilla
1/4 C. heavy cream

Beat all ingredients well and add additional cream a drop at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.  Frost the cake and store under a cake dome.   Yield 12 slices.

This recipe was adapted from the 1947 version of the Settlement Cookbook by Mrs. Simon Kander.


Sue said...

Thanks for this recipe...I believe I will try it next month - I just bought some shelled black walnuts; much better than shelling them like we did when we were kids!
What did you use for frosting?

Sue said...

Duh! I just had to look to the bottom of your post for your frosting!

Curry and Comfort said...

What a gorgeous cake! Have a wonderful, happy and blessed New Year!! All the very best to you in 2012!!! ~ Ramona

lily said...

Wow!! Thank you all. I would have never in a million years thought this little cake my Dad loved and my Mother made with such love and devotion could reap such a kind and interested reaction. So many people just plain have not tasted them or hate them!! Just goes to show what a great and diverse group of friends are congregating in our blog world. Thank you all so very much. I treasure, truly treasure each and every one of you and your kind words. Happy New Year and God Bless you.

Everett S said...

We used Black Walnuts in our Toll House cookies as well as the cake!
I took the cookies to work & everybody thought there was booze in them.

Judy said...

With cake flour and 1 Tbsp. of baking powder, I'm confused why this would be dense. I'm going to give it a try as I appreciate vintage recipes and I have a package of shelled black walnuts.

Diane Cosby said...

I don't want to mislead is not heavy like a rock or anything but compared to the really soft and fluffy cake you get with a boxed cake mix it is a dense cake. My comment was aimed at anyone who might have expected that kind of a result. It is a good cake.