Classic Hickory Nut Cake

Total Time

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


12-16 servings

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
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 whole milk
  • 1 cup finely chopped hickory nuts or walnuts, toasted
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. 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.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 470 calories, 20g fat (10g saturated fat), 42mg cholesterol, 309mg sodium, 71g carbohydrate (54g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

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