Walnut Cake

43 comments

5 from 35 votes
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This walnut cake is a moist and fluffy layered cake that is filled with crunchy walnuts! Made without eggs, butter, or milk, it’s an elegant yet simple dessert. 

walnut cake.

Each mouthful of this cake boasts a fluffy sponge with pieces of walnut and a creamy frosting that pairs exceptionally well with it. 

Even if you are not much of a baker and avoid baking layered cakes, this walnut cake recipe is certainly something you can pull off with minimal kitchen skills!

Table of Contents
  1. Why you’ll love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make a walnut cake
  4. Tips to make the best recipe
  5. Storage instructions
  6. More cake recipes to try
  7. Frequently asked questions
  8. Walnut Cake (Recipe Card)

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Perfect layers. This cake turns out to have the perfect layers. If you have always thought that layered cakes require advanced skills and technique, give this recipe a try. 
  • Easy and quick. Like a lemon olive oil, flourless chocolate, or orange cake, you don’t need to spend hours baking a cake. This walnut sponge bakes in less than 30 minutes. This gives you enough time to clean up the kitchen and make the frosting if needed. All you are left to do is to assemble the cake once the sponge cools. 
  • No eggs. Some people believe eggless cakes never have enough structure and height. This walnut cake recipe proves that you can bake a perfect cake with no eggs at all (just like our eggless cake and vanilla cake). 

Ingredients needed

While this recipe calls for quite a few ingredients, there is nothing you won’t find in your pantry or fridge. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it. 

  • Flour. White all-purpose flour. 
  • Sugar. I use a mix of brown and white sugars for this recipe. You can use only brown sugar for this recipe if you are aiming for a darker sponge and a deeper caramel flavor. 
  • Baking soda. To create bubbles and help the cake rise. 
  • Cream of tartar. Combined with baking soda, the cream of tartar helps produce more bubbles and results in lighter cakes. 
  • Vinegar. To react with the baking soda. Adding vinegar to cake batters also results in a moist sponge. Use white or apple cider vinegar. 
  • Oil. Any neutral-flavored oil will work. 
  • Milk. Any milk will work though water will work too. 
  • Walnuts. Finely chopped. 
  • Cinnamon. A small amount of this warm spice is all you need to complete the flavor of this walnut cake. 
  • Vanilla extract. To make the flavor of the cake richer. 
  • Salt. To balance all flavors. 
  • Cream cheese frosting. Homemade or store-bought. 

How to make a walnut cake

Making a layered walnut cake is quite easy if you use all ingredients in the right amounts and follow these steps. 

Step 1 – Preheat the oven

Start by preheating the oven to 180C/350F degrees.  Additionally, grease three 8-inch pans and set them aside. 

Step 2 – Mix all ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients, including flour, sugars, baking powder, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well. Next, add the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Fold in the chopped walnuts until they are evenly distributed in the batter. 

walnut cake batter.

Step 3 – Bake

Distribute the cake batter evenly among the three greased cake pans. Bake them for around 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  

baked walnut cakes.

Step 4 – Cool, frost, and refrigerate

Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven. Remove them from the pans and allow them to cool completely. Add a layer of cream cheese frosting between the cake layers and a thinner layer of frosting on top and on the sides of the cake. 

Sprinkle the cake with chopped walnuts and refrigerate for around 30 minutes to allow the cake to firm up. 

walnut cake with cream cheese frosting.

Tips to make the best recipe

  • Don’t overmix the cake batter as it may result in a chewy and dense cake. Mix the ingredients just enough to get them fully incorporated. Over-mixing the batter may also cause the cakes to sink in the middle when baked. 
  • Make sure the cake layers have fully cooled before you start covering them with the frosting. 
  • While this walnut cake is perfect with a plain cream cheese frosting, feel free to experiment and come up with more flavor combinations. Skipping the frosting altogether is an option too as the cake tastes good in and of itself too. 

Storage instructions

To store: As this cake is frosted, it’s best to keep it stored in the refrigerator. When Stored in an airtight container, the cake will remain fresh for up to 2 weeks. As the cake is best enjoyed at room temperature, allow it to sit out for 20 to 30 minutes before serving it. 

To freeze: If you have a lot of leftover cake and know you won’t be eating it anytime soon, cut the cake into slices and freeze it in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Whenever you want to eat the cake, transfer as many slices as you like from the freezer into the fridge, let the cake thaw and soften and enjoy. 

recipe for a walnut cake.

More cake recipes to try

Frequently asked questions

How do you keep walnuts from sinking into a cake?

The best way to prevent walnuts from sinking in a cake is to slightly warm them in the oven preheated to 350F degrees. Then toss the walnuts in flour and only then add them to the cake batter. 

Can I make this gluten-free?

Yes, you can make this walnut cake gluten-free. Substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free measure for measure flour. 

walnut cake recipe.

Walnut Cake

5 from 35 votes
This walnut cake is a moist and fluffy layered cake that is filled with crunchy walnuts! Made without eggs, butter, or milk, it’s an elegant yet simple dessert. 
Servings: 16 servings
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 26 minutes

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Lightly grease three 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients, except for the walnuts, and mix well. Next, add your wet ingredients and mix until combined and smooth. Fold through the walnuts at the end.
  • Distribute the batter evenly amongst the three pans. Bake the cakes for 25-27 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool completely, before spreading frosting on them and layering them up. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to set.

Notes

TO STORE: As this cake is frosted, it’s best to keep it stored in the refrigerator. When Stored in an airtight container, the cake will remain fresh for up to 2 weeks. As the cake is best enjoyed at room temperature, allow it to sit out for 20 to 30 minutes before serving it. 
TO FREEZE: If you have a lot of leftover cake and know you won’t be eating it anytime soon, cut the cake into slices and freeze it in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Whenever you want to eat the cake, transfer as many slices as you like from the freezer into the fridge, let the cake thaw and soften and enjoy. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 6gFat: 22gSodium: 383mgPotassium: 175mgFiber: 2gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 3mgNET CARBS: 49g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This cake does not disappoint! I have to say, I’m very impressed, I’ve tried other no flour/no refined sugar recipes but none have been this good. The cake is delicious, moist and fluffy, which is good with or without frosting. Seriously, five stars! 😊

  2. This looks so good, it sounds right up my street. You are slowly but surely filling my summer off university with recipes to make. I absolutely love dates but I think classic banana pecan is my fave fruit and but pairing. I never even thought to try the dates and tea combo!

  3. Dates are my jam, not a day goes by that I don’t eat them… In fact I think if I had to pick one food it would be dates!
    However, I have never ever found dates that were as nice as the ones I had in Oman… They were just in a league of their own! I remember going to the date market and being surrounded by massive jute bags full of them… And the sweet smell in the air… Heaven!

  4. This looks amazing– and love your mom conversation commentary. It’s great to be proud of where you come from. Honestly, living in Malaysia, suddenly I think everything from America is better than what I find here..!

    I always buy dates in Australia and bring them back to Malaysia- not because they are better, but because they are so much cheaper there. I love to use them as a sweetener and in baked goods– I got my husband’s mom’s date loaf recipe when we were there at Christmas, but it’s so unhealthy! I am going to see how he likes this 🙂

  5. This looks magical. I don’t like regular dates, but dried out Medjool dates are HEAVEN. I eat WAY too many of them.

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