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Mother’s Walnut Cake

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    12-16 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large 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
  • 11 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


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter, shortening and granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and vanilla. Beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in ground walnuts.
  • Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter. Add confectioners' sugar; mix well. Beat in vanilla until smooth. Spread frosting between layers and over the top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with walnuts. Refrigerate.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 685 calories, 35g fat (16g saturated fat), 114mg cholesterol, 475mg sodium, 86g carbohydrate (61g sugars, 1g fiber), 9g protein.

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  • cook46ingrndle
    May 31, 2020

    This cake is delicious. My son requested d a walnut cake for his birthday and since I had never made one before I went with Taste Of Home for the recipe. The only problems I had were the instructions should list to grease and flour 3 9-inch pans at the beginning of the instructions and there was not enough of the frosting to frost the whole cake. Next time I will double the frosting.

  • Karla
    Dec 12, 2019

    This has become my best cake yet above all the other cakes I make. Absolutely delicious. I poured my batter into 2 - 9" pans instead of 3 - 9" pans. Makes thicker layers and need to bake a little longer. Have to watch it and give the toothpick test until its ready. Had plenty of frosting leftover since going with just a 2 - layer.

  • Katharine
    May 17, 2019

    This was so easy to make! The middle of my cakes fell, but this doesn't affect the look at all after frosting. One mistake I made was rationing the frosting as a comment below stated the person made a double batch of frosting. One batch is PLENTY. When I make it again, I won't be so stingy as I ended up throwing some frosting away.

  • mayron
    May 7, 2018

    We made this cake yesterday and it was fantastic! I added to one layer pastry cream and I put peaches and apricots jam to the other layer. Covered with cream cheese frosting! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  • slon
    Dec 8, 2012

    hello, I would love to make this cake, but I do not understand what "shortening" is. as I'm from Slovakia, cannot find it out. Can you please, explain? Thank you so much, Michaela.

  • sener
    Dec 19, 2011

    I just baked this cake today....delicious....probably will have to bake another one BEFORE the 25th. I used a sheet cake pan and guessed baking time. If anyone could tell me the exact time....I would appreciate it. I baked it for 50 minutes...little long? Anyway, this recipes is a keeper. We loved it!

  • PABerard
    Mar 26, 2011

    This is asked for EVERY Birthday by my daughters. It is delicious, although I double the frosting. What can I say... it's delicious!

  • Linda Gee
    Mar 22, 2011

    This is a really good moist cake, I did cut the recipe in half, since it's just two of us. No problems at all. Glad to add this to my keepers.