Walnut Cake

A delicious and moist Walnut Cake using seasonal walnuts, rum and honey. This simple cake looks stunning baked in a bundt pan.

walnut cake on wire rack with fresh walnuts

Seasonal Walnuts

It is that time of the year again in Switzerland when the Advent is approaching and the children are becoming excited about meeting Samiclaus (the Swiss version of Santa Claus) on St. Nicholas Day on 6 December.

Unlike the Santa Claus in most other parts of the world, Samiclaus does not have the same breadth of resources nor financial liquidity, so his gift to children is usually a small hessian sack containing clementines, walnuts, peanuts, some gingerbread, and maybe a few pieces of (Swiss) chocolate. No prizes for guessing what gets eaten first!

As walnuts are in abundance at the moment, it will soon be time to make my Swiss Walnut Christmas Cookies, although this chocolate version was quite popular last year.

advent candles in vintage bundt tin
{Our advent candle display this year}

Walnut Cake

But one recipe I have been wanting to try since returning home from the Manger Workshop with Mimi Thorisson is this delicious Walnut Cake.

Made using freshly ground walnuts and heady with rum, it is a cake which truly celebrates the current season. You can find the recipe on her blog or in her new cookbook, French Country Cooking. And if you would like to win a copy of her new cookbook, simply scroll down and enter the giveaway!

mimi thorisson
{Mimi Thorisson decorating a Walnut Cake}
manger workshop
{Walnut Cake}
walnut cake in bundt pan on marble tabletop
{Walnut Cake}
mimi thorisson
{Mimi Thorisson decorating a Walnut Cake}

Walnut Cake Recipe

I have altered the recipe below by changing the method to how I make nearly all of my cakes. That is, I like to cream the butter and sugar first, add the liquid ingredients, and then fold through the dry ingredients.

I should also admit that I changed the method because Mimi’s recipe doesn’t state whether the butter should be softened or melted, and I couldn’t remember what she had used in the workshop … So I decided to use softened butter, and the result was a deliciously moist cake with a lovely crumb.

walnut cake with jar of honey

One tip I took from Mimi was to serve it with a drizzle of dark rum, poured from a dainty little pot which I think was traditionally used to keep concentrated tea. When I saw this little pot at an antique store in Saint-Christoly-de-Médoc, I knew I wanted it, although I procrastinated a little because there was (and still is) a big risk my 20-month old daughter might claim it as part of her dolls’ tea set.



There are so many recipes from French Country Cooking which I am looking forward to trying, and I hope to share a few more recipes from the book here on this blog soon!


Walnut Cake

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: eatlittlebird.com
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6-8
  • Category: Cakes
  • Cuisine: French

A delicious and moist Walnut Cake using seasonal walnuts, rum and honey. This simple cake looks stunning baked in a bundt pan. Recipe adapted from French Country Cooking by Mimi Thorisson



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) (without fan).
  2. Grease and flour a 7 inch (18cm) bundt tin with approx. 6 cup (1.5 litre) capacity. (I recommend using a special non-stick baking spray.)
  3. Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix through the vanilla, rum, and honey.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time.
  6. Fold through the flour, cornflour (cornstarch), baking powder, and sea salt.
  7. Place the walnuts into a food processor and blitz until you have mostly fine crumbs (some coarse crumbs are ok).
  8. Add the ground walnuts to the batter and fold through gently.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.
  10. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Leave the cake to rest in the tin for 5 minutes before carefully unmoulding it.
  12. Leave the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
  13. Decorate the cake with some walnut halves and drizzle with some honey.
  14. Serve with whipped cream and a drizzle of rum.

Kitchen Notes

You can also use pre-ground walnuts in this recipe, if they are commonly sold where you live.

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.


  • Serving Size: Serves 8
  • Calories: 602
  • Sugar: 28.3g
  • Sodium: 49.4mg
  • Fat: 48.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.9g
  • Fiber: 1.2g
  • Protein: 5.5g
  • Cholesterol: 96.4mg

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below and share your photos by tagging @eatlittlebird on Instagram and using #eatlittlebird



In connection with Clarkson Potter, Eat, Little Bird is giving away TWO copies of French Country Cooking by Mimi Thorisson.

The giveaway is open to anyone worldwide and the books will be distributed as follows:
*one copy to a winner in the United States
*one copy to a winner in the rest of the world

How to enter

Leave a comment below and tell me what your favourite French food is. Please indicate which country you are from in the comment form (this information will not be publicly displayed).

Entries will close at the end of Friday 9 December 2016 and the winners will be notified by email. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Stacey and Margaret! You have each won a copy of French Country Cooking. Thank you for entering the giveaway and happy cooking!


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  1. Ana 24 November 2016

    simple but delicious- pain au chocolat

  2. Suzanne 24 November 2016

    Clafoutis is lovely.

  3. ioanna 24 November 2016

    confit de canard!

  4. Irina 24 November 2016

    Comte Cheese Soufflé with some tomato coulis on the side but not necessarily, It’s delicious on its own. I would love to win this so much, love the whole ethos of what Mimi is doing but I wouldn’t have come across her if it wasn’t for Eat, Little Bird !

    • Eat, Little Bird 24 November 2016

      Oh that’s lovely to hear! Mimi Thorisson is such an inspiring person. We made a Cheese Soufflé at her workshop and I’m quite sure she used Comté. It was soooo good 🙂

  5. Faye 24 November 2016

    Croissants and baguettes ummmm…

  6. Ray Becker 24 November 2016


  7. Steven S 24 November 2016

    Very ripe Brie

  8. Donna Durrer 24 November 2016

    My favourite is so simple, Crepes! I make them with my 4 year old daughter almost every weekend and we love trying different flavours to top them off but of course she likes to settle most weekends with Nutella!

  9. Liz Headon 24 November 2016

    Confit de canard. Quiche lorraine, still warm. Oh, and Chamonix Orange biscuits!

    • Eat, Little Bird 24 November 2016

      What are Chamonix Orange biscuits? They sound delicious! Plus, we have friends who have a chalet there 🙂

  10. Jane 24 November 2016


  11. Leone Cloete 24 November 2016


  12. Jackie ONeill 24 November 2016

    Bouillabaisse is one of my fave dishes

  13. Susan St Clair 25 November 2016

    Pork Rillettes. (yummy goodness)

  14. Kim Samiotis 25 November 2016

    I love almost every French dish I’ve had the pleasure of eating however my favourite French food is an at-home meal of Raclette with friends! The joy of all cooking your crudites and meats together and waiting for delicious cheese to bubble and melt before pouring it all over your pommes de terres, cornichons, jambon, etc. YUM! And it truly encompasses the French social aspect of food.

  15. Stacey 25 November 2016

    Foie Gras! Very politically incorrect, but sooooo good!

  16. deepti 25 November 2016

    Crusty, warm baguette with a drizzle of thick olive oil and a glass of Bordeaux.

  17. Mary 25 November 2016

    Crepes from the Montparnasse area of Paris. Lovely!

  18. Wilaine Souter 25 November 2016

    Croquembouche with toffee drizzle. I love making it as much as eating it

  19. Sj Dc 25 November 2016

    i love the croissants in France..the flour, butter and water make them so exquisite that they’re never the same anywhere else

  20. Faith 25 November 2016

    Fresh baguette with gorgeous Brie and a glorious French wine. Heaven!

  21. Gaynor Wilson 25 November 2016

    Wow there are so many, croque monsier, confit duck and to finish il floatant, all so yummy

  22. Mette 25 November 2016

    Croissants and madeleines

  23. Emily Chiam 25 November 2016

    Croissants, quiches and now obsessed with making of cannelé!

    • Chiam York Choo 25 November 2016

      ps: I adore your walnut cake pan!

      • Eat, Little Bird 25 November 2016

        Thank you! I bought it many years ago at Dehillerin in Paris as I thought it was a pretty shape. It makes any plain cake look special.

  24. Anu M 25 November 2016


  25. Elena Kuslys 25 November 2016

    Adoring the French kitchen it’s hard to choose something.. I’ll go for galettes as I fell irrevocably in love with them as a child on our first holiday in Brittany. They are still regularly served in my household. I like them best with ratatouille and roquefort or with fresh goats cheese, honey and walnuts.

  26. Sifra 25 November 2016

    I’ve lived in France, Lyon to be precise, and I loved it! Still planning on going back someday. I miss the cheeses that are in abundance in every supermarket and in small stalls on markets. Being Dutch, I already like cheese, but in France I learned to really appreciate the different tastes of different cheeses. Chaume, Port Salut, you name it. I miss them.

  27. steph 25 November 2016

    I like French cheeses!

  28. Laura 25 November 2016

    I love madeleines!

  29. fozia Akhtar 25 November 2016

    Clafoutis is lovely.

  30. Margaret King 26 November 2016

    Madeleines, fresh from the oven, aromas of vanilla, orange rind, and burnt butter for brushing them – with happy grand-daughters ready to brush, sprinkle with sugar – and share!

  31. Debra Davies 27 November 2016

    Caramel Canele – crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle!

  32. Eileen 27 November 2016

    Well, you can’t beat good baguette. 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  33. Ellie Wood 27 November 2016

    brioche I could never get sick of it

  34. leanne weir 28 November 2016

    I LOVE Croissants

  35. Sweet Harvest Moon 28 November 2016

    Chestnut cream. Chestnut cream in everything 🙂

  36. Lynnette Steward 28 November 2016

    Friands, I use your recipe every time . Clafoutis. Madeleines. .your recipe and Mimis.

  37. Raffaella 28 November 2016

    Escargots à la bourguignonne.

  38. Stephanie Lim 28 November 2016

    Definitely “boeuf bourguignon”!

  39. julia levy 28 November 2016

    I can’t go Pain Perdu. My local french cafe Maison Mes Amis does the best one I’ve had in a very long time.

  40. Kim maree maxwell 28 November 2016

    I love snails! I didn’t think I would, but my friend made me try them and they were delicious garlically goodness…

  41. Shannon 28 November 2016

    We make croque monsieur quite a bit at my house!

  42. Tyler Kraft 28 November 2016

    So many to choose from, but a good boeuf bourguignon simply can not be beaten on a cold day!

  43. Maxine G 29 November 2016

    Tartiflette – a real treat, but perfect comfort food for the winter months

  44. Mei 29 November 2016

    French Onion Soup is simply divine!

  45. Beeta @ Mon Petit Four 29 November 2016

    What a gorgeous cake, Thanh! I love that suggestion for drizzling the dark rum at the end. 🙂

    My favorite French food would have to be magret de canard a l’orange. Or even just duck confit. I’m always ordering duck when I go to Paris <3

    • Eat, Little Bird 29 November 2016

      Me too! I’m always on the lookout for Duck Confit, even though I make it quite regularly at home. At Mimi’s workshop, we ate duck nearly every day!

  46. Corrie Barendregt 30 November 2016

    My favourite French food is coq au vin! Yummie

  47. Bryonna 30 November 2016

    I love so many French foods … but my fave would be a toss-up between pain au chocolate and Marie-Helene’s French Apple Cake. This Walnut Cake is now added to my “must try” list. Thank you!

  48. Thanh Lê 30 November 2016

    Canelés de Bordeaux, among other things.

  49. Christy Brooks 30 November 2016

    all french breads, especially croissants and baguettes.

  50. Karina Agostinho 1 December 2016

    I love madeleines, quiche and macarons!!! French patisserie is amazing!

  51. Solange 1 December 2016


  52. Marie Oyegun 1 December 2016

    My favorite French food is my Mom’s Alsatian Kuglehopf. 🙂

  53. Bettina 2 December 2016

    Moules & Frites et Paris-Brest (dessert made of choux pastry and a praline flavoured cream: c’est trop bon!)

  54. Edyta Mazur 2 December 2016

    my 6 year old son and I love Madeleines. I saw recipe with Nutella on your blog and will give it a try to see if my sons and hubby will like it. I am Polish girl leaving in United States. Love your blog.

    • Eat, Little Bird 3 December 2016

      Thanks, Edyta! I hope you will enjoy my recipe for Madeleines with Nutella. It’s a favourite in our home!

  55. Sarah 3 December 2016

    Croissants, pain au chocolat, baguette, éclairs, tarte flambée… and most recently I’m a bit obsessed with making cannelés (using your recipe/tips)…

  56. Francine 4 December 2016

    Bouef Bourgignon is my favourite!

  57. Theresa N 4 December 2016

    I find crepes are very useful and good.

  58. Flurina 4 December 2016

    tarte des demoiselles Tatin Or Tarte Tatin. Wonderful dessert

  59. Susan Hoggett 5 December 2016

    French bread I just love the way it’s autehtically made

  60. Sarah Lau 5 December 2016

    My favourite French food is boullabaise.

  61. Joyce Ong 5 December 2016

    I love French pastries and breads!

  62. Sarah Reed 5 December 2016

    Duck Confit, delicious!

  63. Mei 6 December 2016

    Definetely ripe, strong cheese and Boeuf Bourguignon.

  64. Jennifer 7 December 2016

    Lovely warm french baguette with pièces of brie se éd. With a lovely glass of french réd wine

  65. Kristin Buno 8 December 2016

    Oh so hard to choose but if I had to pick Croissants and Madeleines. USA

  66. Lina Smith 8 December 2016

    In the winter when the temperatures plumet (i live in Boston) i fantasize about a really good cassoulet. Luckily my parents now live in Montreal where you can find it, only a 5-6 hour drive 🙂

  67. Lisa Wilkinson 8 December 2016

    I love beef bourgignon

  68. Carole Paton 8 December 2016

    Marron Glace

  69. katie w 8 December 2016

    has to be crepes

  70. Liz 8 December 2016

    Modules frites. Also Brie and French bread.

  71. Rich Tyler 9 December 2016

    I love Clafoutis 🙂

  72. Sarah Parker 9 December 2016

    crepes 🙂

  73. Joanna Coleshill 9 December 2016

    Croissants, warm and fresh.

  74. claire little 9 December 2016


  75. AGNIESZKA 9 December 2016

    I guess it would be coq au vin, moelleux au chocolat and Sauternes (if you can call it food..).

  76. Jamie Millard 9 December 2016


  77. Rose 15 March 2018

    One of my favourite recipes from Mimi Thorisson! I love her cookbooks.

  78. Julia 14 April 2018

    mmm…this looks delicious!!! I need to try this! I’ve never had anything like this. Looks good!

  79. Harvie Brydon 10 March 2019

    I really love this Walnut Cake. Your tips were helpful. I am enjoying your site.

  80. Alice Kaker 11 July 2019

    Love the leather apron! Where do you get one? Please

  81. Cezara-Andreea Sara 21 November 2020

    Looks great! Needs trying. I love Far Breton cake, one of my favorite french cakes

  82. Mia 13 April 2021

    How come her cake is so huge and yours so thin? Are these ingredients for her cake or for yours? Thanx

    • Eat, Little Bird 22 April 2021

      Hi Mia,
      This recipe uses the same measurements as in Mimi’s recipe. I’ve used a different cake pan to Mimi, hence the different shape. At the workshop, Mimi used a small bundt pan which has a ring centre and results in a taller cake.

  83. Cathy 24 February 2023

    I am surprised that your recipe calls for cornflour. The original recipe calls for cornstarch.

    • Eat, Little Bird 24 February 2023

      Hi Cathy,
      I had listed the recipe with the UK/Australian terms. I have updated the recipe to include the US terms in brackets 😊 So the recipe uses cornflour, which readers in the US would call “cornstarch”, i.e., the fine, white flour which is also used as a thickening agent. Hope this helps!