Try this moist Banana Black Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting using this tried and true recipe! This cake is rich with banana flavor and the black walnuts add a bold depth of flavor that goes perfectly with the bananas.
Have you ever tried Black Walnuts?
Well, they’re very different from standard English walnuts. They have a bold, rich and earthy flavor and smell. At first I didn’t like them at all. I just wasn’t used to the strong flavor. Now I’ve come to appreciate their complex flavor and really like it paired with bananas, fudge and certain cookies.
The wild American Black Walnut is native to 32 states and is the official tree nut of Missouri. My mother-in-law lives in Missouri and has black walnut trees on her property. In fact, she brought us a bucket of unshelled black walnuts on one of her recent visits, they’re the round objects you see in the picture!
If black walnuts look like a hard nut to crack, they certainly are! Here’s how to crack them:
I’ve heard that some folks pour them out in their driveway and back over them a few times to get the hard shells cracked! But if you don’t want to try that method, here’s how Mother Earth News suggests to shell them: “To do the job efficiently, use a hammer to smack the husk sharply, and then peel the nut out. Next, discard the husks and toss the nuts into a bucket of water, throwing away any that float. Then drain your treasures and spread them in a single layer on newspapers in a warm, dry, and airy environment. (I allow the nuts to cure for at least a month, checking periodically for dryness and making sure that any moldy ones are tossed away.)”
More dessert inspiration? Try these tempting sweets!
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- ½ cup solid Crisco shortening
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 ripe bananas
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup chopped, plus 2 cups finely chopped for garnish (optional) black walnuts
- ½ cup (1 stick) softened salted butter
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 16 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, softened
- 2 pound bag powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
- For the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together shortening and granulated sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Mix in mashed bananas, buttermilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
- Stir in 1 cup black walnuts.
- Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool in pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Combine butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer (or you may use an electric mixer) and beat until creamy, well-combined, and lump-free.
- Add vanilla extract and salt and stir well to combine.
- With the mixer on low, gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined.
- Use to frost completely cooled cake or cupcakes.
- Place one cake layer onto a serving plate and spread a thick layer of frosting evenly to the edges of the cake layer.
- Place the second layer on top of the other iced layer and press gently.
- Ice the top and sides of the cake until completely covered and smooth as desired.
- Surround sides and sprinkle the top of the cake with 2 cups crushed black walnuts.