Those wonderful black walnuts

Every year, I try to beat everyone to the black walnuts that fall from walnut trees on our road. Since there is a market for black walnuts, people scavage up and down the roads filling 50 pound feed sacks full. I just need enough to bake a few cakes and maybe some fudge this holiday season, but so far, I’ve only collected a grocery bag full.

My dad showed me how to dry and shell them when I was growing up. My poor husband Nick got the bright idea that he was going to easily shell my hoard of walnuts with no clue as to what he was getting into. As he grumbled along, I explained that walnuts are alot of work but worth it due to their unique taste. You always appreciate things more when you work for them. One thing is for certain, I don’t know if he will volunteer to help shell them this year!

This recipe showcases that wonderful black walnut taste and is perfect for the holidays. This cake can be made ahead of time, and frozen 3-5 months, but thaw and warm to serve. If you would like to share a recipe, email

Black Walnut Cake


1 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. shortening

3 c. sugar

5 eggs

3 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 c. milk

1/2 c. chopped black walnuts


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease flour and flour a 10,inch tube pan. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing just until the yellow disappears. Combine the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Stir in the vanilla and walnuts, and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the crown comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve. Also, can use cream cheese frosting for more richer taste.