Recipes » Dessert Recipes » Flourless Walnut Cake

Flourless Walnut Cake

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4.5 from 2 votes
A flourless walnut cake flavored with chocolate and coffee.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Flourless Walnut Cake - this flourless cake uses ground walnuts in place of flour and beaten egg whites for lift and is flavored with chocolate and coffee. https://www.lanascooking.com/flourless-walnut-cake/

Flourless Walnut Cake – this flourless cake uses ground walnuts in place of flour and beaten egg whites for lift and is flavored with chocolate and coffee.

Each year when the date of BeeBop’s birthday gets close, I always ask him what kind of cake he’d like for his day. I can usually anticipate his answer – German Chocolate. Or sometimes Lemon Cheese. But this year he completely took me by surprise when he said, “I want that Walnut Cake we saw on TV the other day.”

Flourless Walnut Cake - this flourless cake uses ground walnuts in place of flour and beaten egg whites for lift and is flavored with chocolate and coffee. https://www.lanascooking.com/flourless-walnut-cake/

Excuse me? The walnut cake that Laura Calder was making on Cooking Channel? You mean he was actually paying attention to the always-running cooking shows on our television and was really asking me for a flourless, French cake for his birthday? Yes, he was. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

Once I confirmed that I had heard him correctly, I got excited because I’ve wanted to try this recipe for a long time. But I would have never guessed that BeeBop would go for a flourless cake. Goes to show how much I know, right?

This was my first ever attempt at a flourless cake and I’m here to tell you that it won’t be the last. This cake was rich but not too sweet and had just the right amount of chocolate and coffee in the batter. Certainly a non-traditional birthday cake but one of the most enjoyable that I can ever remember.

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How to Make Flourless Walnut Cake

Baking pan buttered and lined with wax paper.

You’ll start this cake by preparing an 8″ pan. Butter the pan well and cut a piece of parchment or wax paper to fit the bottom. Insert and butter it, too.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Photo collage showing weighing and grinding walnuts.

Grind the walnuts and breadcrumbs together in a food processor. The walnuts should be quite fine, but don’t process too long or they’ll lose texture and become oily.

Photo collage showing cooking the egg yolks and adding the beaten egg whites.

Separate the egg whites and yolks. In the top of a double boiler, over simmering water, whisk the yolks and sugar together until they have tripled in volume and become thick and very pale yellow.

Take the yolks off the heat and stir in the nut mixture and chocolate. Beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time until completely incorporated. Stir in the coffee or espresso.

Whisk the egg white to stiff peaks. Stir a small amount of the beaten whites into the batter to loosen it.

Folding batter into egg whites.

Add the batter to the remaining egg whites and gently fold it in.

Cake batter in prepared pan.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 35 minutes. Note – the cake will pull away from the sides of the pan during baking.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack before transferring to the serving plate.

Decorate with sifted confectioner’s sugar and additional walnuts, if desired. Serve with whipped, sweetened cream.

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Flourless Walnut Cake - this flourless cake uses ground walnuts in place of flour and beaten egg whites for lift and is flavored with chocolate and coffee. https://www.lanascooking.com/flourless-walnut-cake/

Flourless Walnut Cake

A flourless walnut cake flavored with chocolate and coffee.
4.5 from 2 votes
Print It Rate It
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: European
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 274kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces shelled walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate grated
  • ¼ cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon strong coffee or espresso

For serving:

  • Additional shelled walnuts, confectioner’s sugar. and whipped cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Generously grease an 8-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper. Also grease the parchment paper.
  • Grind the walnuts and breadcrumbs together in a food processor. The walnuts should be quite fine, but don’t process too long or they’ll lose texture and become oily.
  • Separate the egg whites and yolks. In the top of a double boiler, over simmering water, whisk the yolks and sugar together until they have tripled in volume and become thick and very pale yellow.
  • Take the yolks off the heat and stir in the nut mixture and chocolate.
  • Beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time until completely incorporated.
  • Stir in the coffee or espresso.
  • Whisk the egg white to stiff peaks.
  • Stir a small amount of the beaten whites into the batter to loosen it. Add the batter to the remaining egg whites and gently fold it in.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  • Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 35 minutes. Note – the cake will pull away from the sides of the pan during baking.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before transferring to the serving plate.
  • Decorate with sifted confectioner’s sugar and additional walnuts, if desired. Serve with whipped, sweetened cream.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 138mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 273IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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24 Comments

    1. Hi Monique. I’ve never tested this recipe with a replacement for the bread crumbs. However, I would think you could use something like crushed cereal, or oats, or even potato or tortilla chips in their place. You do need something to grind with the walnuts to keep them from clumping and turning into walnut butter.

  1. Hi,
    I’m Texan and Southern, so I really enjoy your stories and recipes. In most of your recipes you use a food processor. This isn’t something that was ever in my mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen and isn’t in mine either. So, my question is this: When you use a food processor to grind nuts (or whatever else) how would you suggest I prepare those kinds of things? I am assuming just so that they are the right texture is what I am after. Thanks so much for all the wonderful memories you evoke with your stories.

  2. don’t you just love a surprise like that instead of making a repeat? sometimes I get an answer just as good, as if an alien has taken over, but most of the time it is “Why do you have to always make something new?” with a mumble of never enjoying the same thing twice…
    your cake must have a wonderful taste, the ingredients sound very much so…

  3. It looks good and only 7 ingredients WOW!
    My question is salted or unsalted butter?
    Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Whichever you prefer Chantal. We Southerners tend to use salted butter in everything – both sweet and savory – but you may prefer unsalted for this recipe.

  4. It looks wonderful! I love cakes made like this, they tend to be very light, although as you say with the walnuts and beaten egg yolk it may not be as light, but I am sure it is a delicacy. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I am sure to enjoy it soon.

  5. Looks amazing and I think it would probably be a good cake for Grumpy since the carbs need to be lower for him with his diabetes diagnosis. I personally think they are listening to our shows even though its proclaimed they can’t stand them…I mean after all, they are always thinking what we can put in their stomachs aren’t they? :)

  6. Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear BeeBop……… Happy Birthday to you!

    I sang that to you. Did you hear me?

    Miss P

    1. I was so surprised when he requested this one, Nancy, but it turned out to be a great choice. We’ll definitely enjoy this recipe again.

  7. Oooh, love this! Reminds me of my great nana’s chocolate gateau, only she used almonds instead of walnuts. Just lovely!

  8. I can see why this request would take you by surprise! But it really does look like a lovely cake. I love that there is no flour in it. The egg whites must make it so light.

    1. It’s not really as light as you might think, Katherine. I think perhaps because of the weight of the walnuts and the viscosity of the egg yolk mixture. Still – a very enjoyable cake!