Chocolate Walnut Cream Cake

  • Yield 20 servings

With ground almonds and walnuts and breadcrumbs instead of flour, this cake is topped with a luscious buttercream frosting. Use gluten-free bread for a gluten-free cake.

Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn

To toast the nuts, place on a baking sheet and bake at 350F about 10 minutes, watching carefully so they don't burn. You'll need a food processor and stand mixer to make this cake.


2 cups toasted walnut pieces
1 cup toasted almonds
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup very fine breadcrumbs (from 2 slices of white bread or gluten-free white bread)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
10 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1 tablespoon coffee powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
15 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped and melted in a warm oven or microwave
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 2 (10-inch) cake pans. (Omit the flouring if you want this to be a gluten-free cake, or dust with cocoa powder instead.)
  2. To prepare the cake, place walnuts, almonds and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine (10 to 15 seconds). Add chopped chocolate and blend until fine. Combine nut mixture and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Sift in cocoa and cinnamon; stir well.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  4. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with remaining 1/2 cup sugar until pale yellow and a firm ribbon forms when beaters are lifted. Dissolve coffee powder in boiling water. Drizzle into the egg yolk mixture while beating. Add lemon juice.
  5. Carefully fold egg yolk mixture into the nut mixture. Add egg whites and fold until lumpy. Using a large whisk, whisk until well incorporated.
  6. Transfer batter to prepared cake pans. Bake 35 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Let cool on wire racks.
  7. To prepare the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together in a large mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until completely smooth. Add lemon juice and chocolate, continuing to beat until fluffy. Reserve at room temperature.
  8. When cake layers are completely cool, ice top of one layer with frosting. Place second layer on top. Ice top and sides of cake.

—Recipe courtesy of The Brandywine Inn, Monroe, Ohio.

For a complete menu featuring Chocolate Walnut Cream Cake, along with 11 more simple menus for year round entertaining, check out our Supper Club Menus Recipe App for the iPad on iTunes. 

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