Walnut-Orange Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter springform pan with nonstick olive oil spray. Place parchment paper round in bottom of pan and spray paper.

  • Grind walnuts in processor until finely ground but not powdery. Combine ground walnuts, flour, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.

  • Using electric mixer, beat eggs in large bowl until frothy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, beating until light, thick, and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Gradually add walnut-flour mixture; then add orange juice, orange peel, and olive oil, beating just until blended. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Place pan on rimmed baking sheet, and bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool cake completely in pan on rack.

  • Release pan sides. Carefully invert cake onto platter and remove parchment paper. Sprinkle powdered sugar atop cake and serve.

Recipe by Diane Rossen Worthington,Reviews Section

Walnut-Orange Cake in Honey Syrup

What is your concept of a healthy cake? Is there such a thing?

I say, there is! This recipe is my version of a sugar-free, dairy-free, wholesome pastry, and once you taste it, it might make you want another piece… or two.

We all need a sweet treat once in a while (or maybe daily?). Sweet taste balances the ever-active Vata and Pitta doshas that really go for a ride when we are stressed out, traveling, moving quickly through life changes, and in general when we have a lot going on.

Craving sugar might be our mind’s misperception of needing sweetness and pleasure in life. So next time you think of going for your favorite sugar source, first try to find sweetness around you—have a sweet exchange with a person, offer and receive sweet words, open up to feel love and pleasure in your life—you might be needing those more than cookies.

I love creating healthier versions of favorite desserts, and this recipe is my latest attempt. Years ago, my friend Melanie from Greece introduced me to the karidopita, a syrupy walnut cake. In her vegan version, she used olive oil as the fat, dried apricot puree and raw sugar to sweeten the cake, and sugar and honey to sweeten the syrup. In my Ayurvedized version, I omit the sugar altogether and add the honey after cooking the flavored syrup. According to Ayurveda, heat turns honey toxic. So don’t cook with it.

This cake brings back so many memories of growing up in Bulgaria and loving the Greek and Turkish pastries soaked in sugar-sweet syrup, such as tolumba, kadaifi, baklava, and more. Ah, how good those were! I tasted them again the last time I visited my family in my hometown of Plovdiv, but the taste and texture were disappointing. The refined white flour and sugar, vegetable oils, and additives not only spoiled the taste, but also made the pastries very unhealthy.

If you’re a fan of syrupy desserts, try this wholesome option: Not too sweet, succulent, with an unexpected crunch of walnuts, this cake is satisfying and grounding. Its rustic look reminds one of home. One piece will quiet down your Vata and Pitta and keep your Kapha happy—perfect for the cool season. If your Pitta is too high, replace the honey with maple syrup.

Makes one 8-inch square cake (a glass Pyrex dish works well) 9 pieces

Prep: 20 minutes Bake: 30 minutes Cool: about 30 minutes

For the cake:

½ cup chopped dried apricots (½-inch pieces)

2 cups sifted einkorn flour (218 grams) or 1 ¾ cups sifted spelt flour (205 grams)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup fresh orange juice, from 2 to 3 oranges (before squeezing the oranges, zest their peel first for the garnish – see Notes)

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

For the syrup:

¾ cup water
peel of ½ orange, sliced thinly
1 cinnamon stick (2.75-inch long)

¼ cup fresh orange juice (strained for pulp)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (strained for pulp)

For the garnish:

¼ cup toasted and shaved walnuts (see Notes)

thin orange peel waves (see Notes)

  1. Add the chopped apricots to a blender and pour ¾ cup boiling hot water over them. Let them sit for 15 minutes to hydrate them. Blend to a smooth puree.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the baking dish with olive oil.
  1. While the apricots are soaking, in a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, lime zest, and salt.
  1. In a separate bowl, whisk together the apricot puree, olive oil, and orange juice.

  1. Add wet mix to the dry mix and stir a few times, until the sticky batter is well incorporated. Fold in the walnuts.
  2. Transfer the batter to the greased baking dish. Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick or a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup and garnish.
  3. Let the cake cool off completely in its tray, then you may transfer it to a cutting board or a serving platter or leave it in the tray.

To make the syrup:

1. In a small saucepan, add the water, orange peel, cinnamon stick, and apricots, and bring to a boil lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

  1. Reserve the cooked apricots, strain the liquid, and let it cool down to warm temperature (not higher than 120’F). Blend the cooked apricots and the syrup to a smooth, slightly thick consistency.
  1. Whisk in the orange juice, lime juice, vanilla, and honey.

To assemble the cake:

  1. Cut the cake into square or diamond-shaped pieces, about 2 inches long.
  1. Gradually pour the syrup over the cake, making sure to moisten each of the crevices, edges, and corners. (See Notes if you’re not going to serve all cake pieces at once.)
  2. Garnish each plated piece with shaved walnuts and thin waves of orange peel.
  1. Serve immediately.

If you’re not going to serve all cake pieces at once: Pour only a part of the syrup and garnish only as many pieces you want to serve now. Refrigerate the rest of the syrup and garnish until your next serving.

To shave the toasted walnuts for garnish: Use halved walnuts and grate them on the small holes of a grater.

To make orange peel waves: Use a zester to peel off thin strips of orange peel, then soak the strips in an ice water bath and refrigerate until you’re ready to use. (It takes at least 30 minutes for the peels to slightly curl.)

Recipe Summary

  • 1 large orange
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.

Squeeze the orange and reserve 1/3 cup of the juice. Grind the orange peel and pulp, raisins and 1/3 cup walnuts together. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add milk, shortening, and eggs. Beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. Stir in orange-raisin mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

For the topping: Drizzle reserved 1/3 cup orange juice over warm cake. In a small bowl combine 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup walnuts sprinkle over cake

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped black walnuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing just until the yellow disappears. Combine the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon stir into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Stir in the vanilla and walnuts, and pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the crown comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before turning out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.

How to Make It

Prepare the filling: Place dates in a small bowl add hot water to cover. Let stand until softened, about 30 minutes drain.

Place drained dates, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a food processor. With processor running, add 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth.

Prepare the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cardamom, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.

Stir together 2/3 cup yogurt, brown sugar, oil, eggs, 1 tablespoon zest, 1/2 cup juice, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a separate bowl. Stir yogurt mixture into flour mixture.

Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray. Set aside 1 1/2 cups batter. Pour remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon filling over batter use the back of a spoon to spread evenly. Sprinkle walnuts over date mixture. Pour 1 1/2 cups reserved batter over walnuts. Bake at 350°F until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes invert cake onto rack, and cool completely.

Prepare the glaze: Whisk together 1/4 cup yogurt, powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon zest, and 1 tablespoon juice in a medium bowl. Spread glaze over cake.

Reviews ( 24 )

Does anyone know if you can make this cake a day ahead of time.

This is a treasure of a recipe if you're looking for novel and flavorful. There is nothing boring about this cake. I've made it twice and cut the sugar WAY down but I often cut sugar in desserts by 25-75%. I love the idea someone posted to use a chocolate glaze. Yum!!

I am very disappointed in Sunset with this recipe. I am an accomplished baker, but the cake did not rise very high. It was very dense, and it lacked flavor.

Love this cake. Cut back sugar by 1/4C, no glaze (too sweet) and added walnuts and chocolate chips. This is so easy to make! Has anyone ever tried it with lemons?

Okay, I know my way around a kitchen . I've been around the stove a time or two. When I read this recipe I thought, " TD you need this cake . It's orange, it's moist. " So I gathered ingredients, preheated, turned on the oven and pulled out my wife's burnt orange, bundt cake pan, which had not been used since 1974. I followed the recipe to the letter. Well, almost to the letter. When adding the oranges , I used blood oranges from the trees in our yard and I peeled them. In reading other reviews , it seems that many used the " whole" orange . peel and all. I am a big fan of the orange peel but it is my feeling that the white pith , while nutritious , can be bitter. So I used only the flesh. I also opted to use only 3/4 cup of confectioners sugar for the glaze and was judicious with it's use. The cake was good. my wife thought really good. The batter was not too thick . The cake rose pretty well. It tasted very " orange-ish ". I would make it again maybe I'll use grapefruit or lemon.

Grain-free Walnut Orange Cake

There are tufts of fresh green grass growing along the sidewalk the skies are a deep gorgeous blue, and as the sun warms the city, there’s a skip in my step.

This is the start of my favorite season, one which brings forth new life fresh beginnings and plenty of opportunities.

On the previously barren trees are now flowers blooming with a vibrant, bright vigor. The coldest and greyest days of the year are now gone, and they won’t be back for a long, long time. That’s reason enough to celebrate for me.

I’ve got Corrine May’s sweet voice plugged in my headphones, and I sing along with her – this is what joy and peace is to me.

So this is spring, dear friends. But not just any spring. It is THIS spring.

There’s an innately strong feeling brewing inside of me – one that hints of opened doors and fulfilled dreams, of brand-new chances and the possibility of living life doing what I love best.

On my to-read list of books that keeps on growing, the one I’ve just started is called “Crush It!“.

I’ve only started the first few chapters, but the author’s insistence that we are free to live the lives we want, as long as we are willing to work hard, is contagious.

According to author Gary Vaynerchuk, the Internet is what will allow to do that – and as long as we take advantage of the web and the immense reach that social media platforms provide us, with the right amount of constant hustling, we can make our dreams come true.

That literally means to start living the lives we’ve always wanted, instead of spending 10-hour days stuck in an office for the mere sake of the month-end paycheck and self-imposed obligations.

Gary also says that this message isn’t just for people who hate the jobs they’re in it’s also meant for those who are in jobs they can stand but don’t particularly love. He’s saying that everyone, who isn’t currently living his or her passion, can do so, using the tools he teaches in the book.

Does hearing that get you as pumped up as I am?

I’m jumping around in excitement, knowing that there’s truth in what he says, and that one day, I’m going to crush it.

There are moments in life where learning a new concept defines a before and an after, and this is one of those.

I’m excited. Totally, incredibly psyched.

So while the journey unfolds, and I’m on my way to start living my life the way I want – let’s stock up on energy with this fragrant, walnut orange cake.

Made with chopped walnuts, almond meal, and fresh orange juice, among other ingredients, this is one crazy delicious cake.

I ate it on the first day of spring – savoring the fresh citrus flavor of oranges, delighting in the beautiful crunch of walnuts.


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Bring 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1/2 tablespoon orange peel to boil in heavy small saucepan, stirring often boil 2 minutes. Refrigerate syrup uncovered.
    2. Finely grind all nuts, zwieback, cinnamon, and 1/3 cup sugar in processor. Using electric mixer, beat egg yolks, vanilla, 1/3 cup sugar, and remaining 1 tablespoon orange peel in large bowl until very thick, about 4 minutes. Using clean beaters, beat whites and salt in another large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually add 1 cup sugar beat until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into yolk mixture, then fold in nut mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
    3. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Spoon cold syrup over hot cake. Cool completely. Cover let stand up to 1 day. Cut into squares or diamonds.

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    Tips for Making Perfect Scones

    • Make sure your butter is cold – this stops the butter from melting into the flour when it’s mixed together and means you will get more rise when the scones are baked.
    • If you are using your hands to rub the flour and butter together, run them under a cold tap for a minute before you start, so they are nice and cold – this will help keep the butter cold.
    • Instead of using your hands, which add warmth to the mixture, you could use a food processor to combine the butter and flour. Use the pulse option on your processor until the butter and flour are just combined.
    • A few pea-sized lumps of butter in your butter-flour mixture is ok. When the scones are baked these small lumps of butter will melt and the steam produced will add rise and flakiness to the scones. But you want the majority of the butter combined with the flour until it reaches a breadcrumb consistency.
    • When combining the butter and flour give your mixing bowl a little shake every now and again – larger lumps of butter will come to the top. You can then rub them into the flour.
    • Once you’ve finished rubbing the butter and flour together, use a knife to mix the milk in. Using a knife helps combine the ingredients just enough and means you are a lot less likely to overwork the dough.
    • Dust your pastry cutter with a little flour when cutting to avoid the dough sticking.
    • When glazing the scones with milk or egg wash, try not to let it drip down the sides. This can inhibit the rise of the scones when they bake.
    • Make sure your oven is pre-heated to the correct temperature before going in – if it hasn’t warmed up enough the rise of the scones will be inhibited. If your oven isn’t at the correct temperature when you’re scones are ready to go in, put the scones on the baking tray in the fridge to keep them chilled.

    Watch the video: Orange Walnut Cake (January 2022).