I love to bake with walnuts. I think it comes from my formative years, growing up in a small tract home in Danville, California that was built on what was an old walnut orchard. We had a huge walnut tree in our front yard and another one in the back. I remember they were great for providing shade and for climbing. I also remember the big mess they made when all the green powdery worms fell off the tree on to our driveway, but that mess was nothing compared to the walnuts covered with a thick black skin that fell later. As children we loved to stomp on those green worms as soon as they hit the pavement and I suppose we also liked to stomp on those black walnuts. But, that didn’t last too long because when the walnuts started falling out of trees men would come through with really tall sticks, knock the walnuts down and cart them off. The stains from where the walnuts fell on the pavement would last until the rains washed them away.
We also had giant snowball trees on our street and when the branches were covered with snowballs the kids in the neighborhood would rip the snowballs off the trees and have snowball wars. I can understand why parents like their children to play quietly indoors. I won’t even tell you about what we did with the pomegranates…or maybe I’ll save that for another post.
My brown sugar walnut pound cake iced with a brown sugar glaze and covered with chopped walnuts makes a wonderful Fall weekend cake to enjoy with your family-especially kids love it. The little people in my life, aka grandkids, Noah(8), JD(5) and Gracie(3) spent the night at our house last Saturday. My cake kept shrinking and shrinking, finally down to a few walnuts crumbs on the plate -I’m lucky to have snapped a few photos before their visit.
Adapted from King Arthurs Flour and Epicurious.
- 1 cup (8 oz or 226.8 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (220 grams) light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (128 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (128 grams) whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (242 grams) sour cream
- 1&1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped, plus extra to sprinkle on top of glazed cake
- for the Brown Sugar Glaze
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream (30 grams)
- 1/2 cup (110 grams) light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4-1/2 cups (32-64 grams) confectioners sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
- Lightly grease with butter or spray with baking spray a 9 cup Bundt pan.
- Sift together the flours, baking powder, salt and baking soda, set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy(2-3 minutes).
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute between additions, scrape the bowl down as needed.
- Beat in half the flour mixture.
- Gently beat in the sour cream and vanilla.
- Add the remaining flour mixture, mixing on low speed until just blended.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes away clean or with a few crumbs.
- Cool the cake in the pan on a metal rack until cool enough to handle, then remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling before glazing and sprinkling with chopped walnuts.
- to make the Brown Sugar Glaze
- In a small heavy saucepan over a medium high heat bring the butter and cream to a low simmer, add the brown sugar, stir until blended.
- Continue cooking and stirring mixture over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the powdered sugar, use more for a thicker glaze.
- Remove from heat when glaze is blended and smooth, add vanilla, lemon juice and salt.
- Pace the cooled cake on a cake platter and glaze with Brown Sugar Glaze, sprinkle on the chopped walnuts and serve
Missing My Trip to Germany 2013