Honey Walnut Cake

Honey and walnuts are a classic combination.  Whenever there is no dessert in the house and we want some, we mix some walnuts with honey with the slightest pinch of cardamom powder.  This cake worked well with fresh churned vanilla buttermilk ice-cream (replace fruits with 1 tbsp vanilla extract).  I bought some fancy wildflower honey (pricey!) and now Ria wants this particular honey in her oatmeal every morning.  Somehow she figured out that this is the good stuff and knew exactly where I put it in the pantry.   Hmmmmmm….somebody’s paying attention.

Honey Walnut Cake – from The Vineyard Kitchen by Maria Helm Sinskey

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups walnut pieces

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) at room temperature

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp grated orange zest

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

10 nice walnut halves with 2 tbsp honey for garnish

Softly whipped cream (optional) – we served with vanilla buttermilk ice-cream

Method

  1. Preheat over to 350F
  2. Butter a 9-inch cake pan
  3. Spread the walnuts on a sheet pan and toast in oven for 6 minutes.  Cool and rub walnuts in a towel to remove loose skins
  4. Grind the walnuts in a food processor with 1/2 cup of flour until very fine.  In a medium bowl, combine the ground walnuts, remaining flour, baking powder, and salt.  Reserve
  5. In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter with the honey and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape down sides of the bowl
  6. In a small bowl, beat the eggs lightly with the orange zest and vanilla.  Add it in thirds to the butter mixture.  Beat well to incorporate after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the dry ingredients and mix till fully incorporated
  7. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared cake pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  8. While the cake is baking, toast the ten walnut halves on a sheet pan for 8 minutes.  While they are still warm rub the walnuts with a towel to remove the excess skin and place them in a small bowl.  Add the 2 tbsps of honey and stir until the walnuts are coated.  Reserve the walnut halves for garnish
  9. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes and then turn it out onto a cake rack to cool.  Garnish the edge of the cake with the walnut halves
  10. Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla buttermilk ice-cream (like we did 🙂 )