Spiced Walnut Cake
This Spiced Walnut Cake is perfectly flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and walnuts. Decorate it semi-naked with cream cheese frosting!
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Watkins Organic Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup sour cream room temperature
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons Watkins Organic Ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Watkins Organic Ground Nutmeg
- ½ teaspoons Watkins Organic Ground Ginger
- 1 cup chopped walnuts plus more for decorating (optional)
- ¼ cup buttermilk room temperature (*see notes below to make your own)
Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz (1 block) cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon Watkins Organic Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla Extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
Making the Cakes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 6-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with round sheets of parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and creamy (about 2 minutes). One at a time: stir in the eggs, vanilla, and sour cream (mixing after each addition).
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
Slowly mix ⅓ of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, followed by ⅓ of the buttermilk. Repeat until all of the dry ingredients and buttermilk are incorporated into the batter. Fold in the walnuts. Be careful not to overmix - stop stirring as soon as everything is combined.
Evenly distribute the cake batter into the 3 cake pans and smooth the tops out as much as possible with a spatula.
Bake all 3 cakes on the middle shelf for 20-30 minutes. You may want to rotate the pans halfway through if they aren't baking evenly. They're done when the tops are light brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 30 minutes and then carefully flip them onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Once cooled completely, wrap each cake separately in plastic wrap and set them in the freezer for at least 1 hour before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Place the butter in a pan over low-medium heat. Stir until the butter browns and releases a nutty aroma. Let it cool.
Mix the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in the cooled brown butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar and mix very well.
Assembling the Cake
Place 1 cake layer on a turntable or plate and spread ½ inch of frosting on top. Add chopped walnuts if you'd like. Then stack the next layer and repeat. Spread frosting on the sides to fill the gaps between the cake layers. Then, spread more frosting along the sides & top and use a cake scraper or offset spatula to smooth it out. Decorate with walnuts and enjoy!
*To make your own buttermilk, measure out ¼ cup of 2% or whole milk and add ¾ teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze individually wrapped slices for up to 1 month.
Note: This recipe was created for Watkins but this blog post is not sponsored by them. Watkins Organic Baking Vanilla Extract & Spices were used in this recipe and all opinions are my own.