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Gilded Mocha-Walnut Layer Cake

This has been in my recipe file for years. This lovely cake is perfect for any occasion where you would like to impress your company. It does take some time to make, but it is worth the time when you hear the compliments.—Lorraine Caland, Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Total Time
    Prep: 55 min. + standing Bake: 15 min.+ chilling
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 10 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups ground walnuts
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Gold pearl dust


  • Separate eggs; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the ground walnuts, flour, cinnamon and salt; set aside. Grease the bottom of four 9-in. round baking pans; line with waxed paper. Dust with flour and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating on high speed until thick and lemon-colored, about 10 minutes. Blend in vanilla. Gently stir 1/3 cup ground walnut mixture at a time into yolk mixture; fold in chopped walnuts.
  • In another bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of egg whites into the batter, then fold in remaining whites. Gently spoon into prepared pans.
  • Bake at 350° until cake springs back when lightly touched, 14-18 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For filling, in a heavy saucepan, bring sugar, water and coffee granules to a boil; cook over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add a small amount of hot mixture to egg yolks; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Cook until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.
  • In a microwave, melt chocolate; stir until smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in coffee mixture and chocolate. Beat in confectioners' sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread mocha filling between cake layers. Frost top and sides of cake with whipped cream; dust with gold dust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Editor's Note
Pearl dust is available from Wilton Industries. Call 800-794-5866 or visit
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 751 calories, 49g fat (24g saturated fat), 305mg cholesterol, 284mg sodium, 73g carbohydrate (57g sugars, 3g fiber), 11g protein.

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