Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Nordic Walnut Cake with Coffee Icing #FoodieExtravaganza

Nordic Walnut Cake is loaded with finely chopped walnuts that, along with the butter, give it a lovely richness. It’s perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. 

So what’s Nordic about this Nordic Walnut Cake? Our Foodie Extravaganza host, Laura of Baking in Pyjamas set us a theme of Midsummer Eve Desserts this month, which made me think of the northern European celebrations around the time of the summer solstice. A quick search revealed many traditional recipes from countries that celebrate, including Sweden and the like.

I decided on this walnut cake from a website called Nordic Recipe Archive for two reasons. First, the method of making the batter by mixing the other ingredients and then folding in the stiffly beaten egg whites intrigued me. I wondered if a batter filled with chopped walnuts could be lightened. I've baked with ground nuts before and the result is always a dense, rich cake. Secondly, that coffee icing! I am a sucker for all things coffee. I’m not much of a sweet eater, but add coffee and I’ll give your cake a chance.

This cake did not disappoint on either promise. While still rich, the walnut cake is much lighter than my other bakes with ground nuts. And I could have eaten that very simple coffee icing with a spoon!

For the cake:
2/3 cup or 150g butter plus more for greasing the pan
2/3 cup 132g sugar
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
3 1/2 oz or 100g shelled walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup or 83g flour plus more for coating the pan
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the coffee icing:
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup or 95g icing sugar

For garnish:
2 1/2 oz or 70g walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your loaf pan by buttering it and then coating with lightly with flour.

Use a food processor to finely chop the walnuts for the cake batter.

Melt the butter and the sugar in a small pot over a low heat. Gently bring the mixture to the boil and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring continually. Do not let it brown or burn. At first the butter doesn't seem to want to mix in but just keep stirring. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. We are going to be mixing the egg yolks in and you don't want them to cook upon contact.

Use hand held beaters or your stand mixer to beat the egg whites until stiff. Set aside.

Whisk the egg yolks and the vanilla extract in the sugar-butter mixture.

Mix in the finely chopped nuts.

Then the flour mixed with the salt and baking powder.

Gently fold the stiff egg whites into the batter a dollop at a time.

Pour the mixture into your prepared loaf pan.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the cake is nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove it to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the icing:
Melt the butter, milk and instant coffee in a small saucepan over a low heat. Mix in the icing sugar and vanilla extract.

Whisk until smooth.

Pour the icing over the cake on a serving plate. Top with the chopped walnuts while the icing is still soft. They set and stick as it hardens.


Many thanks to Laura for this challenge. I’ve got to say that I have found a new favorite cake! I ate several slices before I finally shared with my neighbor and send the rest home with my mom.

Check out the rest of our Midsummer Desserts:

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1 comment :

  1. Your cake looks fantastic. I have had something similar, I don't remember when now but my parents have Norwegian friends so could have been there. Either way I know I'd love this.


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