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Walnut Coffee Cake

This traditional recipe came to us from friends and family. It is not overly sweet, and the sour cream comes through in its delicate flavor.

Serves 12.



  • 2 Tbsp softened butter
  • 1/3 c brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2-1 c walnuts, chopped


  • 1/2 c vegetable shortening
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c sour cream



  • In a small bowl, using a wooden spoon, cream the butter and brown sugar.
  • Add cinnamon and walnuts and mix until well-incorporated. (Mixture will be somewhat dry.) Set aside.

Cake, Assembly and Baking:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a tube pan or 11″x 7″x 2″ baking pan.
  • With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Move to a holding bowl.
  • Cream the shortening and sugar.
  • Add the egg yolks, sour cream and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Beat until smooth, scraping sides and bottom of bowl.
  • Gently fold the stiff egg whites in by hand until incorporated throughout.
  • Spoon half batter into prepared pan, smoothing top.
  • Sprinkle all of filling evenly on top.
  • Spoon remainder of batter over the filling. Try to cover filling as much as possible.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan 10 minutes. Run knife around all edges including tube center.
  • If using tube pan, place plate over top and invert. Then invert again to cake stand or platter. (Cake baked in 11 x 7″ pan may be served directly from pan.)
  • Cool at least an hour before serving.
  • Cover and store at room temperature. Leftover pieces may be wrapped in wax paper, placed in a freezer bag, and frozen.

*NOTE: Half of this recipe will fit in a cake layer pan. Use 2 eggs.

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