Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Walnut (no walnuts) Cake

The Walnut (no walnuts) Cake

This is the cake that my mom so often made as a birthday cake!
Her children and grandchildren remember this cake well.
It was called Walnut Cake but she never used walnuts,
in fact, she often decorated the top with pecans!

I have her hand written recipe which says it came from "Mrs. D. Schwartz",
her sister-in-law - Dad's sister Esther!
I wonder sometimes if my cousins, Laura Ann, Irene, Florence, David, and Wayne
remember their mom making this cake and if so how it was different.
Did Aunt Esther actually use walnuts or raisins???
Did she put brown sugar icing on it like Mom did???

My daughter, Becky, turns 33 today - I simply can't believe it
and this is the cake she requested - eek!
I know that my sister Evelyn has mastered the recipe (with it's scant/no instructions)
but I will give it a try.
After all, it has been so long since I've been able to bake a cake for Becky
on the day of her actual birthday.
In the past years, her birthday was celebrated by telephone or FaceTime while she was living in Alberta!
Sometimes I would bake a cake anyhow for the farmer and I - 😏

I began bravely, after consulting with my sister, putting together the ingredients.
On one of the recipe cards she had written "mix in order and alternate milk and flour".

First I greased and floured the actual cake pan that she always used for this cake.

Somewhere I found a recipe for greasing cake pans that is used by professionals so I mixed up a batch, greased the pan and floured it.

Cake Pan Grease:
Equal parts vegetable oil, shortening, and flour.
Beat till well blended and store in fridge for up to 5 months. This stuff really works well.

The cake baked beautifully (much to my surprise) and came out of the pan perfectly.
I didn't know what temperature to bake it at or how long but used 350F and baked for approx. 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean.

Now the icing (the cake with the "brown" icing) as requested by my birthday girl....
I wonder if this is why they all loved this cake?

Mom's Brown Sugar Icing (as written by her)

1 Cup Brown Sugar - packed
½ Cup Sweet Cream
“Boil till it forms a soft ball in bottom of a glass of cold water.  Add vanilla and a nice (walnut size) piece of butter.  Take off heat and stir till cool and creamy.  Lots of luck, Sarah”

I believe a walnut size of butter is about 2 Tbsp. - I used a heaping 2 Tbsp.

This is the actual depression glass cake plate that Mom always used to serve her Walnut Cake!

With a little fiddling and much needed practice with the icing technique,
it's iced and ready to go.

Pecans - no walnuts in the house, and Mom's apron
Just maybe she never had walnuts around either and used pecans instead? Who knows?

I'll come back later and let you know how it tasted and whether the "Walnut Cake"
 made the grade....

I think it was a success ...

The cake was a tad too sweet - but not as sweet as this girl of ours!
Happy Birthday Becky!

Oh, and one more thing - exactly 5 years ago I posted my very first blog post - Wow!
Here is the link .... (for some reason the pictures did not show up except for one)?

Till next time ......... Thanks Mom for being the wonderful mother you were and for making amazing memories for us all!!!! I miss you always.


  1. Apparently, baking a walnut, no walnut, no raisins either, cake is like riding a bike. You never forget. And oh it does look delicious. Happy Birthday to your daughter!

  2. Congrats on 5 years! That cake looks amazing. So...what is sweet milk or sweet cream? Thanks for that bonus recipe for cake pan grease. Happy Birthday to your dear daughter!

    1. Aww yes, the sweet milk and sweet cream just means "not sour". I think they used to bake often with sour milk or buttermilk and sour cream but not for this recipe.

  3. Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter! What a good mom to honor her birthday request for cake for which you had no directions! And it turned out beautifully!

    Happy blogiversary to you!

  4. Oh that looks delicious! I can indentify with recipes passed down with hardly any instructions. Makes me laugh at the details we need to know today. Happy Birthday to your girl who is now a mommy! So special to be able to celebrate together!

  5. Happy anniversary to your blog and happy birthday to your daughter! Your cake looks fabulous (love all the family history that goes with it)---especially that caramelly frosting!!! Wow.

  6. Love that the walnut no walnut cake is decorated with pecans! It looks yummy, and I am intrigued by the brown sugar icing. Lovely that you got to celebrate with your daughter! Congratulations on five years of blogging, Rosella!


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