Black Walnut Layer Cake

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling


16 servings

Updated: Oct. 02, 2022
My sister gave me the recipe for this beautiful cake years ago. The thin layer of frosting spread on the outside gives it a chic modern look. —Lynn Glaze, Warren, Ohio
Black Walnut Layer Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1-1/4 cups finely chopped black or English walnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • Additional black walnuts
  • Thin orange slices, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of 3 greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease parchment.
  2. Cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition. Fold in walnuts.
  3. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
  4. For frosting, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and enough buttermilk to reach spreading consistency.
  5. Spread 1 cup frosting between cake layers. Spread top of cake with an additional 1 cup frosting. Spread remaining frosting in a thin layer over side of cake. Top with additional walnuts and, if desired, orange slices.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 630 calories, 30g fat (13g saturated fat), 92mg cholesterol, 432mg sodium, 84g carbohydrate (60g sugars, 1g fiber), 9g protein.