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Pennsylvania Dutch Black Walnut Cake, A Thanksgiving Tradition

Updated on November 24, 2011

My Family Recipe

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday for several reasons, but one stands out more than any other. Every year my mom would make her best cake; Black Walnut Cake. I looked forward to this cake every Thanksgiving. It is a rich, flavorful, cake that just last in your taste buds for such a long time. It is hard to tell if you keep tasting the rich walnut flavor or you loved it so much that you keep thinking about it until the flavor returns to your memory so vividly that it seems like you still have it in your mouth. It just makes you want to go back for more. Here is my Pennsylvania Dutch traditional Black Walnut Cake recipe just as mom always made it. Adjust it how you like it best. Some people enjoy it with the Walnuts sprinkled on top and some people enjoy it best with no Walnuts on top of the icing. Our traditional recipe calls for the Walnuts sprinkled on top.

Black Walnut Cake Recipe

  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sat
  • 1 1/2 Cub Milk
  • 1 Cup Chopped Black Walnuts
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Mix ingredients, keeping a portion (about 1/3 cup) of the Black Walnuts aside for the topping.

Flour and grease your cake pan or pans depending on the size you are using.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Use a toothpick to stick in the cake to determine if it is done. If none of the batter comes out with the tooth pick, it is done.

Let the cake cool before icing it with a white icing and then top it off with the crushed Walnuts that you put to the side.


Cranberry Walnut Cake Recipe

Some people like a sweeter taste and a more festive looking cake. An alternative to the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Black Walnut Cake recipe, here is a recipe for a Cranberry Walnut Cake. The two cakes can be altered to your own taste. You can use the recipe above and add 2 cups of Cranberries or for a more spicy flavor use this recipe.

  • 1 3/4 Cups Brown Sugar or 1 Cup Honey and 2 Tablespoons of Orange Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Cranberries
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Sliced Apples
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts

If you are using honey, whip it first; high speed for 10 minutes.

Add oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla, and then beat well.

Add the dry ingredients, stir in the Apples, Cranberries, and nuts. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes in a well greased pan or pans depending on the size you are using. Top with white icing and optional Walnuts on top.


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    • Allen Williams profile image

      Allen Williams 6 years ago from Pennsylvania


      Thank you for stopping by to read this hub. I am sure you will enjoy the cake; it is very rich! Thanks for the vote up!

    • SimpleGiftsofLove profile image

      SimpleGiftsofLove 6 years ago from Colorado

      yum.....thanks for sharing this I am going to make it for Christmas! Up and awesome!

    • Allen Williams profile image

      Allen Williams 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you davenmidtown for stopping by to read my hub. It is a very delicious cake!

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Happy Thanksgiving Allen! That cake looks outstandingly delicious!

    • Allen Williams profile image

      Allen Williams 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      @Enlydia Listener

      Thanks for stopping by to read this hub. I appreciate that and also the comments. It is a very good cake but I don't know about the connection with black walnuts and a hard winter. I never really followed or believed in the old wife's tales or predictions from the Farmer's Almanac. It is fun entertainment but that is about as much as I believe in it.

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 6 years ago from trailer in the country

      thanks for the recipe, Allen. I have been harvesting black walnuts for the last few weeks, and was wondering what I was going to make with them. The cake sounds good.

      Btw, the black walnuts are really in abundance this year...wonder if that means it is going to be a hard winter?

    • Allen Williams profile image

      Allen Williams 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      This recipe makes me homesick too. My mother is gone now and she made it the best, and always for Thanksgiving. I never heard of Gobs, but I searched for it to see what it it is. I found a recipe that sounds good. I might have to try it.,176,153179-248196,... Thanks for stopping by and reading it, and for the comments.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Ok, now I am hungry and homesick. Do you have a recipie for Gobs? No one here in the south makes them. Great article!

    • Allen Williams profile image

      Allen Williams 6 years ago from Pennsylvania


      Thank you for reading it and for the nice comments!

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 6 years ago from Sweden

      This cake looks so delicious! The walnuts give a wonderful flavor to any cake, and walnuts are my favorites, so I will bookmark this and try your mom's recipe out for my self. Thanks for sharing!

      Voted up and useful!


    • Allen Williams profile image

      Allen Williams 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by to read it and for the kind comments.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Allen, you sold the cake to me in your first paragraph! it sounds delicous.

      I am going to try the Cranberry recipe as well.

      Many thanks for sharing, best wishes MM


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