Monthly Archives: January 2012
My parents have a black walnut tree in their yard. This year they had a bumper crop of nuts, and my dad harvested about 10 bushels (from one tree!!) and has given me a ton of black walnuts. It takes a lot of effort to harvest black walnuts, because the shells are terribly difficult to crack. My dad uses a rock and a hammer, if that gives you any indication. After they’re cracked and picked from the shells, they’re dried in a dehydrator for 24 hours.
Black walnuts sell for about $11 a lb. currently, but it doesn’t take much to make most recipes. I keep the ones I get from my dad in the freezer because they will last that way for a couple of years. Yes, they really do last that long and longer with proper storage.
If you don’t have black walnuts available in your area but would like to try them, you can order them here. The Hammons website also has a recipe section with a lot of awesome recipes to use black walnuts in. I’ll be making one or two of these in the very near future to share with you.
Right now I have about 18 packages with 3 cups in each in my freezer. This will keep us in delicious baked goods with that fabulous black walnut taste for a very long time.
The following recipe is my dad’s favorite.
He just loves it.
So do all his buddies.
He bought me some mini angel food pans so I can make him small ones, since the large version of this cake is too big to eat all of it before it’s no good anymore.
One recipe makes 7-8 mini pound cakes, depending on how much batter you put in each. I fill each mini pan about 2/3 full and I get 7.
The minis make wonderful gifts–black walnut is not a common flavor (at least in our neck of the woods) so some people will experience it’s awesomeness for the first time–and this pound cake really delivers a wonderful taste.
Black Walnut Pound Cake (made exactly as written from Taste of Home)
- Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1 hour 25 min. + cooling
- Yield: 12-16 Servings
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 3 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup chopped black walnuts
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together flour and baking powder; add alternately to creamed mixture with milk and extracts, beating on low speed just until combined. Fold in nuts.
- Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. tube pan. Bake at 325° for about 1 hour 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, combine frosting ingredients; spread over cake. Yield: 12-16 servings.
Stacey’s Notes: I didn’t use the cream cheese icing at all in this recipe. It is so rich and buttery all by itself, no icing is needed. See for yourself!
Above is the large pound cake, below is a mini. See that dark golden outside? Oh my word…it’s a rich, chewy, buttery crust of goodness. You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. And you will definitely want more. I promise.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do, it’s excellent.