Black Walnut Cake



  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs (separated)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups chopped black walnuts
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar


  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 3/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla



  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Grease and flour 3 9” round baking pans.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy and almost white in appearance.
  • Add in the sugar and beat again.
  • Add the egg yolks only to the creamed butter. Beat 2 minutes.
  • Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter alternately with the buttermilk. Start with the flour mixture and end with the flour mixture. Beat between each addition.
  • Beat until the mixture is smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Mix in the vanilla, 1 ½ cups of walnuts and coconut.
  • Using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a small bowl until they are stiff and can hold peaks.
  • Fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between the 3 pans.
  • Bake for 27-30 minutes or until the cakes test done.
  • Cool for 10 minutes before removing the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Using an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take about 3 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar, ½ a cup at a time, until it is thoroughly mixed.
  • Add the vanilla and beat the frosting on medium speed for about 2 minutes.


  • Make sure the cakes are level. Cut off any domed parts.
  • Place one cake layer on the plate.
  • Frost the cake with a thin layer of frosting.
  • Place the second layer on top, then frost as you did the first.
  • Place the third layer on top and frost the top of the cake.
  • Frost the sides of the cake, putting on as much frosting as you’d like. We chose to make a “naked” cake. You can add more frosting if you’d like.

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