Walnut Cake

13 comments All Recipes, Cake Recipes, Light Bites
A quick and easy walnut cake recipe, for a light, moist, fluffy walnut cake with toasted chopped walnuts and grated chocolate shavings.

This walnut cake recipe was given to me by a dear friend who was a cooking and baking instructor early in her working professional life. Madam Lim used to bake these walnut cakes by the dozens to meet countless orders from her customers. These cakes were so much in demand then, that she had to have her customers place orders weeks in advance.  I was so honoured when she gave me this simple, but obviously treasured recipe, as soon as she discovered that I love to bake.

Truth be told, I’ve attempted this recipe on more occasions than I can remember.  I’ve even been to Madam Lim’s home to observe how she makes this. And of course, Madam Lim always turns out a fabulous walnut cake. I have a feeling you know where I’m going with this…I must have had a really poor attention span or memory because in spite of all that first-hand knowledge and hands-on instruction, on every occasion that I’ve tried this by myself, I’ve managed to get it wrong in one way or another. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out what I was missing.

Then, one day, it hit me – it was like my ‘Eureka’ moment. Suddenly, recollections of baking tips and principles I learnt from attending baking courses years ago came flooding back and it all just clicked. I realised that I was under-beating butter, eggs – pretty much everything. Obviously, I had thought I was beating everything right but no. This is a cotton-light sponge butter cake, so the process of creaming and whipping has to be done just right.  Well, thankfully, you don’t need to go down the painful and arduos road I did, and just to make sure you can succeed, I’m including step-by-step pictorials in this post.


If you zoom in on the photographs above, I’m hoping it will give you a really good impression of how soft, light and fluffy the walnut cake texture should be. In retrospect, it really is an incredibly easy recipe and a quick bake – great for afternoons when you have only an hour or two to spare.

Walnut Cake

Walnut Cake

Yield: 1 square cake (20-cm/8-inch)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

A quick and easy walnut cake recipe, for a light, moist, fluffy walnut cake with toasted chopped walnuts and grated chocolate shavings. Makes an 8-inch square cake.



  • 6 oz. butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


  • 5 1/2 oz. sugar
  • 5 1/2 oz. plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Ovalette, or sponge cake stabliser
  • 1 oz. water, ice-cold
  • 5 eggs, cold


  • 3 oz. walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
  • 3 oz. walnuts, roughly chopped (for topping)
  • 2 oz. chocolate, shavings


  1. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of cake tin with softened butter. Dust greased bottom and sides lightly with flour. Pre-heat oven to 200 deg C.
  2. In a clean mixing bowl, using the paddle attachment on your electric mixer, cream ingredients (A) at medium speed (Speed 3 on my Kitchen Aid mixer) till light and creamy, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl, wash the mixing bowl thoroughly and wipe completely dry.
  3. In a clean mixing bowl, place all ingredients (B). Using the whisk attachment on your electric mixer, whisk at high speed (between Speed 4 to 5 on my Kitchen Aid mixer) until mixture turns pale in colour and is very thick, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Fold in creamed butter from step (2) above, together with toasted chopped walnuts and grated chocolate shavings till well combined. Pour out into cake tin and lay untoasted chopped walnuts on top.
  5. Bake for 30 mins on centre rack of oven. Cake is done when a bamboo skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove onto cooling rack, top side up, to cool down completely. Slice and serve as desired.
  6. Slice and serve as desired.


  • Something I learnt from baking school - butter should be at an ideal temperature of 19 deg C for creaming. If you do not have a food thermometer, you can do a finger press test. At the ideal temperature range between 19 to 21 deg C, butter yields a little (but doesn't give way) when pressed firmly with your finger.
  • If butter is too soft as a result of having been left at room temperature for too long, it is more difficult to trap as much air bubbles during the creaming process. Hence, the cake batter may suffer loss of volume and the cake may be flatter and denser in texture.
  • If the surface of the cake, particularly the chopped walnuts, browns too quickly, place a piece of aluminium foil loosely over the top and covering the entire surface of the cake tin.  Do this only towards the end of baking, preferably after the 20-minute mark. Sudden temperature changes caused by opening and closing the oven door during early stage of baking can adversely affect the cake.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see! Remember to share your pics on Instagram and tag @foodelicacy or #foodelicacy.


  1. Hi Paula, Ovalette is a sponge gel emulsifier or also known as cake gel. It is very different from cream of tartar. In sponge or foam cakes, it helps the batter to foam easily and achieve good volume, as it enables liquid and fat particles to combine well. It thus helps whipped eggs retain stability and minimise loss of volume especially when you need to fold in butter, oil etc, like this recipe. Hope this helps.

  2. Is Ovalette like cream of tartar? I normally use 1/8 teaspoon for every egg white.

  3. Hi Julie, thank you for your feedback?. I hope your timing adjustment worked for the cake.

  4. I baked the cake as per your recipe and put it in the oven for 30m but it still is wobbly in the centre. I extended the baking time by another 10 mins . Now sitting in front of the oven n keeping my finger cross! ? I think you might want to check the baking time again. Anyway thanks for the recipe.

  5. Hi Evon, thank you so much for taking the time to write and share! I’ve been travelling, so I do apologise for getting back to you only now. In answer to your questions (1) this recipe would work better with a sponge stabiliser like Ovalette or equivalent, as that would help the beaten eggs retain the air that’s beaten into it. I’ve personally tried this recipe without, and the cake just won’t turn out as fluffy and airy as it should (2) it is perfectly alright to whip butter without sugar, and the key is to whip it till it turns pale and feels light on your spatula. For this to happen, the butter should be slightly softened, at room temperature. It may take a while to whip till light, and in my tropical environment, it only takes a few minutes, but if it’s cool where you are, it might take as long as 7 to 10 mins (3) I don’t use chocolate chips as these are too heavy to remain suspended in a sponge cake batter. You’ll have much better results using finely grated chocolate, or chocolate rice. I hope this helps! This really is a lovely sponge-textured cake, so I hope you’ll give it another try if you can somehow get your hands on a sponge gel or stabiliser, where you are.

  6. Hi!
    I’ve been searching a long time for a recipe reminiscent of the super moist walnut cake I had when I was young and chanced upon your blog…anyway I immediately tried this recipe and halved it.
    I was wondering if you could kindly help troubleshoot what went wrong during the process?
    1. Batter B (without ovalette as I can’t get it here) did not become thick even though I doubled the whipping time 🙁
    2. When I folded A into B the creamed butter separated from the mixture and the whole batter looked streaky throughout…I just wanted to confirm again as most recipes called for creaming of butter and sugar but this was just butter alone
    3. As a result of the above the chocolate chips (I only had that at home) sank whilst baking and I couldn’t remove the cake from the tin :((

    Overall I still enjoyed the cake (in crumbles) after it was baked but it would be perfect if I could find out what went wrong in the above!


  7. Hi Anne, eggs weighing between 55 to 60 grams will be fine.?

  8. Hi, what is the weight of the eggs used? Thanks!

  9. Thanks… will try it for my next bake..

  10. Yes, Shek Ling, you can do without the ovalette. It’s a sponge cake stabiliser that helps to stablise the batter, but is not absolutely necessary. Thank you for asking! Cheers, Celia

  11. Hi,
    Is it possible to avoid ovallete? Thanks

  12. Thank you for your feedback, Chris! Definitely the way to go for future posts!

  13. Lia, very well baked n hv good texture. However just wish qty r measured in cups instead of ozs.

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