Chef Angela Cicala’s Walnut Cake

Chef Angela Cicala’s newsletter from anticoitaliantravel.com hit our inbox and we immediately needed to bake her Walnut Cake recipe. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of tasting Chef’s desserts, they are delicate and nuanced, and never too sweet. (You can currently take classes with her at her home, and will be able to enjoy all of her pastries when the much anticipated Cicala at the Divine Lorraine opens!)

It was easy to source all the ingredients from our pantry and the 9th street market. (We found walnut oil at Talluto’s on 9th and Carpenter.)

First, the mise en place.

Grind the walnuts finely by pulsing them in a food processor. Be careful not to overly grind, as the oils will release and form clumps, and eventually start turning into walnut butter.

Chef instructs to mix by hand. We whisked together the dry ingredients, and used a stand mixer for the wet and combination mixing until just incorporated. Be mindful not to over-mix and toughen the batter.

Instead of the recommended 10” round cake pan, we used a favorite Nordicware Bundt™ pan. [Note: grease well! We should have taken more care, as we did have a bit of breakage upon demolding.]

Because of the difference in shape, we needed to extend the baking time. We started with the recommended 20 minutes and checked with a cake tester every five minutes for doneness. Total baking time in our oven set to convection was 35 minutes.

Enjoy this perfect for fall dessert!

Chef Angela Cicala’s Walnut Cake

Makes 10-12 Servings

1 Cup all-purpose flour
2 Cups finely ground walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 Cup sugar
¼ Cup walnut oil
½ Cup olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 10” round cake pan by coating the bottom and sides well with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk flour, ground walnuts, baking powder, baking soda cinnamon and salt.

3. In a smaller bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until creamy. Add walnut oil and olive oil. Whisk until incorporated. Add mixture to dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined.

4. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.

5. Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing cake from pan.

6. Dust cake with powdered sugar and serve with a dollop of sweetened ricotta and Montepulciano pears. (Note: Cake may be made in advance and kept in refrigerator up to 3 days, or can be frozen once completely cool.)

Thank you to Chef Angela Cicala for allowing us to share her delicious recipe! You may read the entire fall newsletter here including this recipe along with a sweet ricotta and Montepulciano poached pears, and sign up to receive updates directly at Antico Italian Travel (https://www.anticoitaliantravel.com/).

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