Although it’s simple, this Walnut Cake is incredibly delicious. It isn’t super sweet, as the nuts help to reduce the sweetness. This cake pairs well with the sweet brown sugar Swiss marshmallow buttercream.

It was my first attempt at making brown sugar Swiss meringue buttercream. How would it turn out? Sugar is Sugar. It should work fine, or so I was reassured. It was delicious, thank goodness! It isn’t as dark as I expected it to be because I used dark brown Sugar. However, it has a caramel/toffee-like taste. This recipe is one I will make again.

To toast walnuts is a must in this recipe. This enhances the flavor. You should toast whole, shelled walnuts. However, I had only chopped walnuts, so I used them. Toasting nuts is overseeing them to ensure they don’t get burned. Toast nuts in a 350F oven for about 5-10 minutes, or until they can be smelled (so scientifically, I know). ).

This Walnut Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting will make a delicious and comforting Fall or Winter cake.


The Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup unsalted Butter (room temperature).
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated Sugar
  • Three large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (toasted)

Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Five large eggs whites
  • 1 2/3 cups dark brown Sugar (lightly packed).
  • 2 cups unsalted Butter, cubed (room temp)
  • Salt your fingers

For the Assembly:

  • One cup chopped nuts (toasted) (optional).


Bake the perfect cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 8″ cake rounds. Line with parchment.
  2. Mix 1 tablespoon flour with the walnuts in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Mix remaining flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Use a stand mixer fitted to the paddle attachment to beat Butter until smooth. Mix in Sugar until it is pale and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
  5. Reduce speed and add eggs slowly, incorporating fully after each addition. Add vanilla extract.
  6. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk. Start and end with flour. After each addition, fully incorporate. If you still see flour unincorporated, stop mixing.
  7. Add chopped walnuts.
  8. Divide the batter into well-oiled pans. Use a spatula to smoothen the tops.
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean.
  10. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then let them cool completely.

The frosting is a must.

  1. Mix sugar and egg whites in a bowl with a stand mixer*. Whisk until well combined.
  2. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water to create a double boiler. Continue to whisk the egg mixture, heating it until it registers 160° on a candy thermometer. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer.
  3. Use the whisk attachment to beat the egg white mixture for 8-10 minutes on high speed until it is no longer warm to your touch. The meringue should be stiff and glossy, and fluffy.
  4. Move to the paddle attachment. Mix the cubed Butter slowly into the mixer and mix until well combined.
  5. Salt and whip on medium-high for 3 to 5 minutes until smooth and silky. **

Assemble the cake:

  1. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand. Spread 1 cup of buttercream on top.
  2. Continue with the remaining layers and crumb coat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  3. Frost the cake, and smoothen the top and sides. If desired, swirl the sides with an icing brush. Set aside in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  4. If desired, press chopped walnuts gently along the cake’s bottom and top edges.
  5. If desired, pipe rosettes onto the top with an open-star tip and the remaining frosting.


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