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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Slice and serve as desired.