Toasted walnut cake with hints of cinnamon, topped with a brown sugar buttercream and chopped walnuts.
- Yield: One 8" Round Cake (2 layers)
- Category: ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽
For the Cake:
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (toasted)
For the Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 2/3 cups dark brown sugar (lightly packed)
- 2 cups unsalted butter, cubed (room temperature)
- Pinch salt
For the Assembly:
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (toasted) (optional)
Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour two 8″ cake rounds, line with parchment.
- Remove 1 tablespoon of flour and toss with walnuts in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk remaining flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until well combined. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat on med-high until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
- Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla extract.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk). Fully incorporating after each addition. Stop mixing when you can still see a bit of flour unincorporated.
- Fold in chopped walnuts.
- Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Frosting:
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer*, whisk until combined.
- Place bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double-boiler. Whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Carefully transfer the bowl onto the stand mixer.
- Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch and the meringue is fluffy, glossy and holds a stiff peak.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, slowly add cubed butter and mix until incorporated.
- Add salt and whip on medium-high until silky and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.**
Assemble the Cake:
- Place one layer of cake onto a cake stand or serving plate. Top with approximately 1 cup of buttercream and spread evenly.
- Repeat with remaining layer and crumb coat the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Frost the cake and smooth the sides and top. Use an icing comb on the sides or do a swirl, if desired. Place back in the fridge for 20 minutes to set.
- Gently press chopped walnuts along the bottom and top edge of cake if desired.
- Pipe rosettes on the top using an open star tip with the leftover frosting, if desired.
- * Ensure there is NO trace of egg yolks in your whites and that your mixer bowl and whisk are completely grease free or your meringue may not whip up.
- ** The buttercream may look like it’s curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth.