Walnut Spice Cake
Adapted from Parents Magazine
Servings: 20 Prep 25 mins Bake 350°F 35 mins
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon maple extract
- 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
- 2 lbs powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup+ milk
- 2 cups walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with shortening and flour (you can also spray the pan with cooking spray, line bottom with parchment or waxed paper and spray again - will save you a few calories but takes more time).
2. In bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
3. In a second bowl, beat together both sugars and shortening until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat 2 minutes.
4. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Turn cake layers out and cool completely on a cooling rack lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
5. In bowl, beat shortening, butter and extracts. Gradually beat in powdered sugar then 1/4 cup of milk; beat until smooth, adding more milk as needed for good spreading consistency.
6. Place 1 layer on serving plate. Spread with 1 cup of frosting. Place second layer on top. Frost top and sides of cake. Gently press chopped nuts onto sides.
1. This dough is sticky; so whichever method you choose to prepare your plan, prepare your pan well.
2. The frosting will start out very thick. Add milk slowly, starting with ¼ cup until desired consistency is reached. The thinner it is, the easier it will be to frost the cake without picking up too many crumbs from the cake. However, if it is too thin, it won’t provide enough coverage and the walnuts will not stick.
3. I only used 1 1/2 cups of walnuts. They did not cover the entire side of the cake. I adjusted the recipe for 2 cups in order to cover the sides from top to bottom.
4. When adding walnuts, put a small amount in your hand and gently press onto the side of the cake. Immediately after your walnuts are in place, put the cake in the refrigerator. This will keep the walnuts in place, slightly hardening the frosting so everything doesn’t end up sliding down to your cake platter.
5. Pull the cake out of the refrigerator 15-20 minutes prior to serving. Cake (in general) is best eaten at room temperature. Due to the milk in the frosting, it is safer to store leftovers in the refrigerator.
6. The frosting is very sweet since it has both powdered sugar and maple extract. I did not use all of the frosting, and there was plenty on the cake. Balance the sweetness with a warm cup of tea or cider or a tall glass of cold milk!