From Hillary Davis, Author of French Desserts


Recipe serves: 8

A Note from Hillary Davis:

This cake is airy, light and gluten free. Instead of flour, its texture and full-bodied flavor come from 2 cups of walnuts finely ground in a food processor. Glazed with warm honey and topped with more walnuts, it’s a comforting treat served with a soft mound of whipped cream.

Cake Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups whole or chopped walnuts, plus 25 whole ones for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 7 large eggs, room temperature, separate
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup honey

whipped cream ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

cake directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and sugar the baking pan and place it on the baking sheet.
  2. Using the food processor, add 2 cups walnuts, baking powder, and salt and process until the walnuts are very finely ground, about 10 seconds.
  3. In the stand mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar for 5 minutes, until pale and thick. Add the vanilla and butter and beat to combine. Gently fold the ground walnuts into this mixture, trying to preserve volume.
  4. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gently fold one-third into the egg yolk mixture until combined then fold in the remaining egg whites, trying to maintain volume.
  5. Scoop the batter into the baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave in the pan.
  7. Heat the honey until it liquefies, then brush it all over the top of the cake, drizzling any remaining over the center of the cake, and allow the cake to cool in the pan before removing to a serving dish.

whipped cream directions:

  • Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then whip in the sugar and vanilla, and whip again to regain soft peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.


To serve, make an attractive pattern over the top of the cake with whole walnuts or break them into pieces and scatter across the top. Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream on the side.