Grandma’s Hickory Nut Cake

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 25 min.


16 servings

Updated: Nov. 01, 2022
This recipe's more than a recipe to us—it's a family tradition, three generations old. The frosting's a must—otherwise it's not the "true" cake! We have a timber stand with hickory trees on our farm, so getting enough nuts is easy. The problem is finding someone to crack and pick them and the "someone" usually ends up to me! I bake a lot of pies, cakes, rolls and bread. Three of our four children are now married, but with eight grandchildren, I still have plenty of takers for treats.
Grandma's Hickory Nut Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup hickory nuts, chopped (reserve a few halves for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in nuts. Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan.
  2. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. For frosting, in a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar; boil 2 minutes. Add milk; bring to boil. Remove from heat; cool to lukewarm. Beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Immediately frost cake; garnish with nuts.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 471 calories, 20g fat (9g saturated fat), 72mg cholesterol, 212mg sodium, 70g carbohydrate (54g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

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