As a girl, I'd help my dad and grandpa gather hickory nuts for Grandma's classic cake. We could hardly wait for dinner to be over so we could indulge in a generous slice.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 cup finely chopped hickory nuts or walnuts, toasted
- 4 egg whites
- BUTTER FROSTING:
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 5 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 to 5 tablespoons half-and-half cream
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in nuts. In a small bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form; fold into batter.
- Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter and sugar on low speed for 1 minute. Beat in the vanilla, salt and enough cream until a fluffy consistency is achieved. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Yield: 12-16 servings.
Originally published as Hickory Nut Cake in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2004, p138
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