Ahh, walnutty goodness. As long as you don't have nut allergies, who doesn't like the flavorful, roasty, wonderful flavor of nuts? I mean, I love peanut butter, peanuts, walnuts...There is a Black Walnut Festival near me each year that celebrates the wonderful walnut. I don't necessarily think you have to stick nuts in every brownie or cookie as people are prone to do, but a walnut cake showcasing wonderful nutty flavor? I'm in!
Step-By-Step Nutty Nut Cake
It's really a delicious creation and it only has six ingredients. This recipe is a classic example of a "bare cupboard" cake. Amish cooks are terribly talented at whipping something tasty up out of almost nothing. And six ingredients is almost nothing. I've seen this recipe in many Amish cookbooks over the years so I thought the girls and I would try making it.
I first made this a few years ago with a 3 and a 6-year-old and six ingredients was about right for us. Aster, who is six, can pretty much do anything in the kitchen, so I could try something more complicated with her, but with Beatrice in the mix, we pretty much have to stick with "stir and bake" recipes.
If you like walnuts and peanuts, you can add ½ cup peanut butter to the batter to give the cake a peanutty flavor. The topping is walnutty.
While the cake is baking, make the nutty topping. You could swap out walnuts with chopped pecans if you love pecans, but I prefer the walnuts. You can just use a spoon in a large mixing bowl for the nutty topping, no mixer needed. Just get a nice smooth consistency.
Add a teaspoon salt to the nutty topping IF you like a saltier topping. A pinch of nutmeg is also a nice addition. You can also go to town and add a splash of bourbon or apple cider and some raisins for this high-octane topping (which would make it more like a traditional fruit cake). But I like it the way it is. But, yeah, a lot of substitutions and swaps you could make or spices you could add (hmmm, ginger?)
Pour the nutty topping over the warm cake and let it cool before cutting off a slice. I like this nutty topping more than most frosting. It is so good. As far as cake recipes go, this is about as simple and flavorful as it gets! Let the cake cool on a wire rack.
One step that tripped me up - and always trips me up - is how much to soften the butter. Melted butter is easier to work with but doesn't always conform with the science of baking, but softened butter is kind of a vague term. Neither, though, does a solid stick. I'd just make sure you use very soft, room-temperature butter. Mine was still too cool which resulted in more lumps of butter than I would have liked in the cake.
And by the way you could make this cake in a couple of loaf pans or one large baking pan.
The store the cake at room temperature by covering with plastic wrap or storing in an airtight container.
Delicious Amish Nutty Nut Cake
- ½ cup butter softened
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons butter softened
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
- Add the buttermilk and baking soda.
- Mix well. Add in the flour and vanilla.
- Mix until combined.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the center bounces back when you touch it.
- While the cake is baking, make the topping. In a bowl, combine the butter, milk, brown sugar and nuts. Mix well.
- Spread this mixture all over the top of the warm cake. Place under the broiler (turned to low) and bake for 1-3 minutes or until the nut topping is bubbling.