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orange walnut cake
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3.85 from 20 votes

Orange Walnut Cake

This amazingly soft orange walnut cake is loaded with ground walnuts, orange juice, zest and has a crisp orange sugar topping. Perfect plain or with coffee. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: orange cake, orange cake recipe, orange walnut cake, walnut cake
Servings: 1 8-inch cake
Author: Maria Doss

Ingredients

Dry ingredients

Wet ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Orange sugar topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • Into a food processor, combine all dry ingredients (flour, walnuts, baking powder, baking soda and salt). Process for one minute and 30 seconds, until finely ground. Transfer mixture to a bowl and keep aside.
  • Into the same (now empty) processor, add butter, sugar and orange zest (from one orange). Process for 45 seconds. Add both eggs and process for few seconds until smooth (scrape the sides of the processor to mix in any butter sticking to the sides).
  • Add half the ground flour mixture, process for 10 seconds, then orange juice, process for 10 seconds and then finish off with remaining flour mixture and process for additional 10 seconds, until combined. 
  • Transfer batter into the prepared pan, spread evenly and sprinkle orange sugar on top. 
  • Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 36-41 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes clean.
  • Place pan on a wire rack to cool (we usually start digging in while still warm). YUM. 

To make orange sugar topping

  • Mix 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon orange zest in a small bowl with your finger tips, until zest is evenly distributed. Stir in finely chopped walnuts. 

Notes

While zesting orange, make sure you get only the outer orange part and not the white inside.
Walnuts need not be toasted.
Use only freshly squeezed orange juice and not store bought.

How to make orange cake without a food processor? 

Use a food processor for best results. However, you can still enjoy this cake with your electric hand mixer and any dry grinder.
Step-1: Add all dry ingredients into a dry grinder and process until finely ground (make sure to stop and stir twice in between). Transfer to a bowl and save the grinder (do not wash, we will be using in a bit for topping).
Step-2: Add butter and sugar into a medium bowl and beat with a hand held electric beater, until smooth and creamy (3-4 minutes). Beat in eggs and orange zest, until smooth (about 1 minute).
Step-3: Add the ground dry ingredients and continue beating, just until it comes together. DO NOT OVER MIX, you can do the final mixing with a rubber spatula.
Step-4: Transfer batter to the prepared pan and make the topping.
Step-5: Make orange sugar topping. Add all ingredients into the same dry grinder and process. Sprinkle on top of the cake.
Step-6: Bake according to instructions.

Can I use a 9-inch cake pan?

YES! The orange cake will be slightly shorter in height and the baking time will be few minutes lesser.