A recipe that is close to my heart is my Mum’s Walnut Bundt Cake. Living in Shetland is wonderful, but at times, especially Christmas, I miss home and all the childhood memories and traditions I had growing up.
One of the ways I love to honour these memories is to pull out some of my favourite Christmas recipes from back home, or that my Mum used to bake for us when I was a child. She would often bake bundt cakes (usually with a marble effect, made with half vanilla and half cocoa batter), but her walnut one was always my favourite.
Even now, before I make my way back to Shetland after visiting my mum, I always ask her to bake a delicious Bábovka for me. And she does, one day before my departure, to be savoured on the train with a small flask of coffee when I set off for my return flight. It’s always bittersweet leaving, but baking this cake in Shetland (especially around the holidays) is one way of transporting me there and I love using traditional family recipes over Christmas.
Walnuts in baking add wonderful moistness, richness and the nutty flavour is so delicious. This cake is the perfect Christmas and seasonal recipe, as walnuts are in season from autumn throughout winter.
How to make this deliciously moreish Christmas inspired cake
Ingredients list for this Christmas recipe – serves 12
4 large eggs
150g unsalted butter, well softened plus extra for greasing the tin
300g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or ¼ tsp ground vanilla powder
100ml double cream
300g self raising flour
To serve – how to turn this recipe into a Christmas favourite:
Icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (400 F, fan oven 180C)
Using a small food processor, grind the walnuts finely so they resemble breadcrumbs.
Grease the tin with some butter and dust the sides slightly with flour.
Soak the raisins in hot water for 5 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Separate the egg yolks into a large bowl and set the whites aside.
Use an electric whisk to beat the yolks with the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Then add the cream and whisk again. Next, sift and fold in the flour gently.
In a separate bowl, use the whisk to whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the whites gently into the mixture. Finally fold in the ground walnuts and raisins.
Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 45 minutes. Stick a wooden skewer into the centre of the cake: if it comes out clean, it’s ready. If it’s sticky, return the cake to the oven for 5 more minutes.
Allow to cool down slightly before tipping the cake carefully onto a cooling rack.
When cool, place on a cake stand and dust with icing sugar. Serve on its own or with a dollop of whipped cream.
Mum’s Walnut Bundt Cake Christmas Recipe will be the perfect centrepiece for your holiday celebration
Bundt cake tins have fluted edges, making the cakes look elegant and elevating simple baking for special occasions – a bundt cake makes a wonderful centrepiece for gatherings of family and friends.
The tin has a hole in the middle which helps the cake cook more evenly. It’s worth buying one but the cake will bake perfectly well in a loaf tin.
Looking for more seasonal recipes using fresh ingredients from the garden?
Check out my cookbook A Year in My Shetland Garden where you can find a collection of simple, seasonal recipes for nourishing dishes, inspired by my beloved garden, local Shetland produce and wild plants.