I enjoy baking with walnuts because they have a uniquely buttery flavor that is absolutely delicious in many baked goods. This easy loaf cake recipe is a wonderful everyday sort of teacake that uses both walnut flour and chopped walnuts. Unlike almond flour, which is readily available in stores, walnut flour is an ingredient that you’re probably going to have to make yourself. Fortunately, it is nothing more than ground walnuts, so it is easy to make. Once you’ve tried it, you can substitute it into recipes that call for almonds for a different flavor twist!
Start with chopped walnuts and a preheated oven. Lay the nuts out on a baking sheet and toast them until they are golden. An easy way to test any nut for toastiness is by cutting one in half (while it is still warm) to see if the color of the nut is golden and even throughout. Once the nuts have toasted, you’ll need to cool them completely before grinding them to flour in the food processor.
The walnut flour is combined with the rest of the ingredients to make a thick batter studded with chocolate chips and more chopped, toasted walnuts. The tender cake is moist and flavorful, with chocolate chips in every bite. The cake itself has a nutty, buttery flavor from the combination of butter, buttermilk and walnut flour in it. It’s the perfect sort of cake to serve with coffee or tea when you need an afternoon snack break. If you want to dress it up, you can sprinkle a little coarse sugar on top of the loaf before baking or even smooth on a little bit of frosting. Cream cheese frosting works well, in case you’re leaning that way. The loaf keeps extremely well, so one loaf should last you several days of snacking.
Walnut Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tbsp coarse sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spread the walnuts on it. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until toasted. Allow nuts to cool, then process 3/4 cup in the food processor to make walnut flour. Set aside flour and remaining nuts.
Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and walnut flour.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, butter and egg until well-combined. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Stir in remaining flour mixture and mix until almost all the dry ingredients have been combined. Stir in chocolate chips and remaining chopped walnuts until evenly distributed.
Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs attached. Allow cake to cool in the pan before turning it out to slice.
Makes 1 loaf; serves 10.