Holiday Nut Cake with Maple Syrup Frosting
This is a delightful layer cake that is as homespun as an old-fashioned Christmas. The frosting is soft and puddles a bit, so set the cake on a large enough plate to hold the loose icing.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 10 to 12
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- 1½ cups sugar
- 3 cups sifted flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
- 1 cup black walnuts, hickory nuts, hazelnuts, or pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8″ cake pans and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend. Add half of the milk and blend. Repeat and then add the vanilla.
Fold in the egg whites and then the nuts.
Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let cake cool for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then frost.
Oftentimes people say that they do not care for black walnuts, citing too strong a flavor for their liking. Perhaps it is because they have eaten black walnuts that were past their prime. These walnuts have a high volume of fat, which, if the nuts are not properly stored, can cause them to turn rancid quicker than most other nuts. They are fuller flavored than English walnuts and their earthiness is well suited to desserts and cookies served after a wonderful game meal.