Even though Mother baked this tall, beautiful cake often when I was growing up, it was a real treat every time. I like the walnuts in the cake and the frosting. Mother frequently used black walnuts from our trees.—Helen Vail, Glenside, Pennsylvania
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups ground walnuts
- 2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 5 to 5-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and vanilla. Beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in the walnuts.
- Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Add sugar; mix well. Beat in vanilla until smooth. Spread frosting between layers and over the top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with walnuts. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 12-16 servings.
Originally published as Mother's Walnut Cake in Taste of Home February/March 1998, p35
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