Classic Italian Walnut Cake: A light and tasty nutty delight

Classic Italian Walnut Cake: A light and tasty nutty delight

Immerse yourself in the rustic charm of this classic Italian walnut cake, a simple but delicious dessert that celebrates the rich flavor of walnuts. With its airy texture and optional citrus zest, this cake is a perfect blend of nutty goodness with a touch of freshness. It's a traditional treat that requires minimal ingredients but offers a wonderfully sophisticated taste.

Why you will love it

This cake is a nut lover’s dream! The nuts provide a deep, earthy flavor and crunchy texture complemented by the lightness of the whipped eggs. The optional addition of lemon or orange zest adds a subtle but bright flavor that cuts through the richness, making each bite both refreshing and satisfying. This cake is not too sweet, making it a perfect companion for tea or coffee.


Perfect opportunity

Italian Walnut Cake is perfect for any gathering, whether it's a family dinner, a festive celebration or a casual afternoon tea. It's also a great choice for holiday baking, providing a delicious alternative to more traditional rich desserts. Its elegant simplicity makes it suitable for both formal and informal settings.

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Decorating Tips

For a beautiful presentation, sprinkle the cooled cake with powdered sugar just before serving. If you want to add a little more style, consider topping the cake with some whole or halved walnuts. For a seasonal twist, top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or serve it with fresh berries for a refreshing contrast.


  • 12 ounces walnuts, toasted if preferred
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest (optional)
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling


  1. Prepare the pan and oven:
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Process the nuts:
    • Place the nuts in a food processor fitted with a blade. Blend until the nuts are finely chopped and resemble coarse crumbs. Put aside.
  3. Beat the egg whites:
    • In a clean bowl, mix the egg whites and half the sugar. With an electric mixer, beat at high speed until the whites are light, fluffy and have doubled in volume, about two minutes. Put aside.
  4. Mix the egg yolks and combine the ingredients:
    • In another large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until pale and doubled in volume, about two minutes. Stir in the zest if using.
    • Gently stir in the ground nuts with a spoon. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture using a rubber spatula, being careful not to deflate the mixture.
  5. Bake the cake:
    • Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the top. Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for about 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool and serve:
    • Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove the springform collar. Once completely cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar, slice and serve.
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Enjoy this exquisite Italian Walnut Cake, a timeless treat that pairs wonderfully with a variety of accompaniments and captivates with its simple elegance and delicious flavors!

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