Friday, May 4, 2012

Honey And Walnut Cake : Free and Easy Bake-Along #23

It's time for our Bake-Along! For our 23rd Bake-Along, Zoe has chosen this cake, Honey and Walnut Cake from Cake Keeper Cakes. When this cake was chosen, I was rather sceptical about this cake, not for any reason except that it has honey as one of its "star" ingredient. Not that I do not like honey, I love honey when drizzled over hot buttered waffles, when drizzled over pancakes, ice creams and when mixed with yoghurt over fruit salad and also when used as a glaze over barbecue chicken! But I have never like honey when it is used in baked cakes, weird isn't it? I wonder if there is anyone out there who feels the same way!

This cake uses walnuts that are toasted and then process until finely ground. I use the dry mill blender to ground the walnuts, and I was pretty sure it would end up pasty! As from my experience with peanuts, I need lots of flour to mill the peanuts so that they do not end up pasty,  and according to the book, only 1 tablespoon of sugar is added to the walnuts. I went ahead anyway. True enough, the walnuts, are getting  pasty and wet! I ended up using the rest of the flour, mixed with the walnuts and continue to mill them till finely ground. Even then, the walnuts looks lumpy like coarse crumbs in pastry-making. I wonder if using a food processor, would it turn out differently? I have not seen ground walnuts being sold before and thought of substituting with ground hazelnuts, which are easily available, but decided to have a go with the walnuts instead.

I use my fingers to separate the lumpy ground walnuts the best I could. I carry on with the rest of the instructions and when the walnuts was added into the batter, it was all lumpy! Gosh! Lumpy batter!  So I increase the mixer speed to high and beat for 30 seconds longer. Viola! the batter is now smooth! But I was concerned whether the high speed in beating would actually affect the rising of the cake, as the instructions says to mix in the flour just until incorporated, but I'm glad that in the end it turns out well!

This cake is just as Lauren Chattman says in her book, "This is a delicious, moist, rich cake with the beautiful fragrance of honey". It is true, but she has missed three more words when describing this cake, "soft, buttery and tender"!

My overall rating : A lovely cake! But one I would personally not make for myself, simply because I still could not get used to the honey in baked cakes. There's nothing wrong with the cake, it is wonderful! I only ate half a piece to try, and find that I still do not like honey in baked cakes! I know, it's weird, but don't let that stop you from trying this out. It's a lovely cake!


Please visit Lena and Zoe and other friends who has baked along with us in the linky below. And to know what's in store for our Upcoming Bake-Along, please refer to the details below :

Bake-Along No. 24 (14 May)
We will be baking based on a theme, "Baking With Four Ingredients". Does this sounds challenging? Go on, start sourcing for recipes and join us on 14/05.  It would indeed be interesting to see what everyone's four-ingredients bake will be!

Bake-Along No. 25 (29 May)
It's our Bake-Along 1st Anniversary! Yup, Bake-Along has been going on for a year now, so the three of us thought that it would be fun and wonderful to bake something special just to celebrate our 1st year at Bake-Along! We have decided on baking "layer cake"! Come and celebrate with us, bake any layer cake, join our blog-hop on 29th May for "Bake-Along 1st Anniversary Layer Cake"!

Honey and Walnut Cake
(adapted from "Cake Keeper Cakes" by Lauren Chattman)
1-1/2 cups walnut pieces
1/3 cup sugar (I use 1/4 cup)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons honey
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
confectioners' sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper. Grease the parchment. Dust the pan sides and parchment with flour. Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. Combine the cooled walnuts and 1 tablespoon of sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and pulse to combine.
  3. Add the butter, honey, and remaining sugar to a large mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the zest and vanilla. Add the nut and flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry, 35 to 40 minutes. If the cake starts to brown too much around the edges, loosely tent it with foil after about 25 minutes.
  5. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right side up again to cool completely. Dust heavily with confectioners' sugar before cutting into wedges and serving.
  6. Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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  1. Honey and walnuts are a pair made in heaven. This cake sure taste good.

  2. Love walnut cake. The added honey must have given the cake extra flavour and moist.

  3. You did a wonderful job with the challenge. It is hard to work on things you suspect you are not going to enjoy. I give you great credit for participating. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  4. It looks amazing!Honey and walnuts are a great match!Kisses!

  5. Hi Joyce,

    I tried not to over-process the nuts so that the mixture will not become too paste-like. I prefer it to be slightly "floury" to avoid over-release of the nutty fat.

    I like honey in regardless of eating it on its own or baking it in cakes and glad that this honey cake is very moist and delicious.


  6. Great cake for breakfast and tea.

  7. luce absolutamente delicioso tentador y casero,rico rico,abrazos hugs,hugs.

  8. The toasted walnuts do sounds delicious. I love your honest review of the cake!

  9. Looks delicious and beautiful! A blessing in disguise that I did not follow the recipe from the book then lol!

  10. This looks awesome!

  11. Just came from Lena's blog. She did say that using food processor to grind the nuts will give a better outcome of the cake but yours didn't seem to affect that much from the pictures! Honey always have such a strong flavour which is easily cover the rest of the flavours but I do like honey very much. I have both manuka & regular honey. I normally use it to add in my chinese herbal tea like barley to replace with processed sugar. Unfortunately, most of my family members can't accept the manuka honey flavour, so at last, I just use regular honey!

  12. I like your moist cake soft and feel like wanna have a bite

  13. i can fully picture the problem you had cos i encountered the same problem too! now after reading some comments in my post, i know that we can just add a little flour with the walnuts to grind it more properly. The second time i made it, i used a food processor..phew! glad it was ok. But i see your cake still turned out very well despite all that lumpy batter!!

  14. Love this moist honey cake! Looks so appetizing! I love honey & will surely try this recipe. But I do agreed that it's quite tricky when ground nuts so I will surely follow your method & ground with flour. Thanks for the tips & recipe. Have a wonderful weekend, Joyce! :)

  15. OOOh I love honey in any form and it blends beautifully with walnuts in this cake. Grounding walnuts with flour is a good tip. The cake sure is buttery, soft and tender :D.
    Your cake turned out really good even though you had problem with walnuts earlier.

  16. look delicious and amazing! =)

  17. Super spongy cake,lovely texture..

  18. Nice beautiful color to the cake, looks superb..

  19. Nice recipe with healthy ingredients..

  20. Hi Joyce, your cake looks so moist and delicious! I really love that this cake was chosen, I got a keeper cake! ;)

  21. hi Joyce, looks so moist and tender!
    i love honey, but i never bake cake with such amount of honey :)
    hope i can bake this cake in time to join in the fun :)

  22. This is a beautiful cake! Honey and walnuts surely gave it a very distinct flavor, not to mention moisture!

  23. Sama sama..gua pun skeptical when recipe calls for honey in cakes..but i guess the taste is not half as bad as i'd think. heehee...honey or no honey, kasi sikit..

  24. Hi Joyce, I sure would love 3 pieces of this cake.
    One spoon in the mouth can forget mother's name, ha ha.
    Have a fun weekend, and keep a song in your heart.

  25. The combination of ingredients is wonderful, the flavor must be delicious ...
    it was beautiful!
    kisses and good weekend.

  26. Hmm...sounds like a novice baker like me would have had some troubles with this one. Nice adjustments, I think the cake turned out beautifully!

  27. I want a piece too! I think it's going to taste great with coffee.

  28. Your cake looks moist and scrumptious! I'm actually the same way about honey. Ina Garten's pecan bars have honey in them and I think the taste is too prevalent. But it sure looks yummy :)

  29. I will have to make this for my parents!

  30. I admire that you posted even if you didn't care for the finish product. it does look nice though.

  31. I may have to make this cake because I just love the color and the flavors! Thanks for sharing!

  32. eileen@hundred eighty degreesMonday, May 07, 2012

    I don't like honey in cake either, I tried baking one many years back and didn't like it. However, drizzle honey over pancake is my favourite. I believe the pulse button on food processor should work well to grind nuts. your cake looks good.

  33. Hi Joyce, Thanks for dropping by earlier on.
    Your Honey Walnut cake looks really moist and nice..^^

  34. You have a wonderful cake there, pity you do not enjoy honey in cakes. I have two slices left in the fridge.