Hickory Nut Cake with Maple Bourbon Frosting

Hickory Nut Cake with Maple Bourbon Frosting

A couple of weeks ago, our neighbor helped us discover hickory nuts dropping from some of the trees in the timber behind the farmhouse. It was such a delightful surprise! I wrote more about what hickory nuts are and how to use them in this post.

I was happy to learn that you can substitute these nuts for walnuts or pecans. How wonderful is that? I decided to try making a staple autumn dessert around our town: hickory nut cake. I whipped one up and served it at a potluck we hosted the other night and made the discovery that not one but two of our neighbors both served this cake at their weddings 30+ years ago! How sweet is that? We may have to serve this at our wedding too - good thing I am making the cake!

Ingredients & Recipe |

for the cake

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 3 eggs, white and yolks separated

  • 2 1/2 cups flour

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 cup chopped hickory nuts

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Prepare two 9 inch cake pans with butter and a light coating of flour.

  2. In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

  3. Add the 3 egg yolks and beat until mixed in fully.

  4. Add the salt and baking powder. Begin to add the flour and milk, alternating wet and dry ingredients, starting and ending with the flour.

  5. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg whites and chopped hickory nuts.

  6. Divide and pour into prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

for the frosting

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened

  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  • 1 tbsp bourbon

  • 2-3 tbsp heavy cream

  • In a large bowl, cream together all of the ingredients until all are combined and at desired consistency. If needed, add more powdered sugar or cream.

  • Pipe or spread onto cake once fully cooled. Top with more hickory nuts!

This cake not only tastes delicious, both sweet and toasty, but it makes the farmhouse smell divine while it is baking. I love the delightfully full and rich scents of autumn, and baking this during the day definitely brings all of the fall vibes in the door. Even though it has been in the high 80s and humid all week!


xoxo Kayla

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