2000s Recipes + Menus

Walnut Jam Cake

Serves 6 to 8
  • Active time:15 min
  • Start to finish:1 1/2 hr (includes cooling)
April 2009
Jam is always in season, which is why we turn to this nutty, homespun cake whenever we’re craving a hit of fruit in the early days of spring. The cake itself is rich with walnuts, and it comes together in minutes using the food processor. The topping’s even more straightforward: a healthy smear of good-quality apricot jam (raspberry would also work—the cake tastes best with preserves that aren’t too sweet), followed by a drift of whipped cream.

For cake

  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts (4 1/2 oz), toasted (see Tips) and cooled
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For topping

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam or preserves
  • 2/3 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.
  • Pulse walnuts and sugar in a food processor until finely chopped. Add butter and process until combined, then add eggs and vanilla and process until combined. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and pulse just until incorporated. Spread batter in cake pan.
  • Bake until cake is just firm to the touch and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a rack and cool completely.
  • Stir lemon juice (if using) into jam. Spoon jam over cake.
  • Beat heavy cream with sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until it holds soft peaks, then spoon over jam.
Cooks’ note: Cake (without topping) keeps, well-wrapped, at room temperature 4 days.
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