Baking| Armenian Nutmeg Walnut Cake … the perfect one!

“In case you never get a second chance: don’t be afraid!”
“And what if you do get a second chance?” “You take it!”

C. JoyBell C

Armenian Nutmeg Walnut CakeThe cake haunted me. It was part two of the Daring Baker challenge that’s just gone by. I didn’t get it done on time, yet it was high on my list of things to do. Many enticing DB posts later, I breezed into the kitchen, whipped it together … and then helplessly stared at lava cake overflow in my oven! The failure haunted me, so I had to get it right! Here it is now, a happy success story with the Armenian Nutmeg Walnut Cake.Armenian Nutmeg Walnut CakeIt was a cake waiting to be made, one which I followed on many blogs after a huge thumbs up at the Daring Baker forum. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella posted a stunner, and so did Sawsan @ Chef in Disguise. Armenian Nutmeg Walnut Cake I didn’t need any more convincing and soon scuttled off to the kitchen to make mine. I did hit disaster zone as I experimented with smaller tins and had overflowing lava all over my oven. What I salvaged was fabulous but not worthy of a picture! Bryt had a similar disaster … Armenian Nutmeg Walnut CakeIt haunted me for a couple of days, and then I pinned it down to using smaller size tins than recommended. I should have just followed the recipe guidelines … but well, we live and learn, and thankfully have another chance to get it right!! I used the same proportions as I did the last time {cut back the butter and sugar}, and substituted a little flour with walnuts. I hit a home run, and was so relieved I had a cake this time.Armenian Nutmeg Walnut CakeStunning cake! Nutmeg is an acquired taste as many say, but give it a shot. I used a nice heavy dose of freshly grated nutmeg and the whole house smelt divine! You could always use cinnamon if you don’t like nutmeg, or maybe some orange zest instead of the spices. It’s a wonderful cake to try.Armenian Nutmeg Walnut CakeIt’s different! It’s got a crisp biscuit layer on the bottom {and on the sides since I thought I had too much base and pushed some to line the sides}. A rather liquidy batter is beaten up and poured over the biscuit crust, and they bake together, the crust firming crisp and the batter ending up in a sponge. Very interesting!Armenian Nutmeg Walnut CakeI used some extra walnuts in mine, and they sank into the liquidy batter becoming soft and nice while baking in the sponge, and tossed a few on top. Great flavours in a cake served warm. A nibble the next day, and the thought of a warm spicy fruit cake popped into my head, a nostalgic winter thought! {BTW, we loved this cold too}Armenian Nutmeg Walnut CakeSurprisingly the ‘now threatening to be quite terrible pre-teen‘ requested for a slice {rather two} when he got in from school, and said the same thing. ‘This tastes like Christmas cake Mama’, he declared and ‘I really like it‘! The ‘not so terrible anymore teen‘ didn’t quite take a shine to nutmeg though she devoured the ‘earlier disaster’ as it was squishy & gooey, and nibbled on the ‘good one‘ only when it was chilled!

Thank you Jason of Daily Candor  for sharing your rich cultural heritage in this Armenian Nutmeg Walnut Cake.

Armenian Nutmeg Walnut Cake Aperture DOF With summer here, I was reading up Aparnas Goa posts, when I tripped upon this on My Diverse Kitchen. Always fascinated with manual photography, but very wary of the technicals, I found myself joining her Exercise in Food Photography. Maybe this will shake me out of my auto slumber…maybe. Here is a diptych of 2 pictures I shot with shaky, nervous hands. Next time will dust the cobwebs off my tripod!

Womens Weekly May 15, 2012A big thank you also to Womens Weekly UK for featuring Passionate About Baking in their May 15, 2012 issue which is on the stands now.

[print_this]Recipe: Armenian Nutmeg Walnut Cake
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Summary : An addictive, warm, spicy Armenian cake with pleasing overtones of nutmeg and walnut. Simple to make and rustic in appeal, it’s a beautiful tea cake to serve. We enjoyed it warm and chilled too! {Minimally adapted from Jason @ Daily Candor}. Serves 12-14

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • 250ml milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 200gm all-purpose flour
  • 100gm  walnuts, divided
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 320gm brown sugar
  • 150 gm unsalted butter, chilled, cubed
  • 1 egg {optional}
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease an 8″ springform tin {or line}. I used a dessert ring and lined it with foil.
  2. Mix the baking soda into the milk and set it aside.
  3. Place the flour, 50gm walnuts and baking powder in the bowl of your processor and pulse until the walnut is ground {4-5 times}
  4. Add the brown sugar and pulse a couple of times to mix.
  5. Now add the chilled butter and process until you get a breadcrumb like mix. {You can do this by hand too, but a processor is far quicker and easier}
  6. Divide this into half. Press half {435gm approx} into an 8″ springform tin, pushing up some into the sides if you like. Else pat firmly to create a base.
  7. In the bowl of the processor, add the milk-baking soda mixture to the remaining biscuit mix with the egg and freshly grated nutmeg, and process for 2-3 minutes till you have a smooth batter.
  8. Pour this batter over the pressed crust, and sprinkle 25gm walnuts on top. They will sink into the rather ‘liquidy’ batter. Toss the remaining walnuts in a tsp of flour, and sprinkle on top gently.
  9. Bake the cake at 180C for about 35 to 45 minutes till the top is a golden brown or till a skewer pushed through the centre of the cake comes out clean. { Mine took about an hour}
  10. Cool the cake in the tin before demolding. It is best eaten while still warm, though we enjoyed it cold too.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  • 4 years ago

    I so wanted to make it too but I have been working like crazy and haven’t had time to post anything really.

    I want to make this cake because it sounds like one of those cakes you keep in the favorite recipe box.

    Gorgeous pictures, as always!
    Laura´s last blog post ..Black and White Wednesday #30My Profile

  • Bindiya
    4 years ago

    The cake looks gorgeous and divine…love the pictures. Congratulations for being featured on Woman’s Weekly UK!

  • 4 years ago

    It looks amazing! A wonderful cake. I’ll have to try it soon…



  • 4 years ago

    This looks like such a beautiful, moist cake!! I easily see myself going the cinnamon and orange zest way and am eyeing your cake stand!! :)
    baker in disguise´s last blog post ..Watermelon Mint Ice LolliesMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    that cake stand is gorgeous! just a piece of unasked for opinion on the first pic. i find the cake knife distracting. but otherwise, all pics are fab, as usual.
    nags´s last blog post ..Paneer Payasam (Chenna Payash) in 12 MinutesMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    So glad you got it on your second try!

  • 4 years ago

    Like the black granite you shot the cake on…the shadow of the cake makes the picture lovely!
    Sanjeeta kk´s last blog post ..Recipes | Wholewheat Buns and Spinach Litti – A Healthy Treat from Rustic IndiaMy Profile

  • Definitely a stunner. I’ve been wanting to try this cake too. Congrats on being featured.
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes´s last blog post ..Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars and a May is for Miracles GiveawayMy Profile

  • Srimathi
    4 years ago

    The cake stand looks very ethnic and I loved the way you have captured the cake on it. congrats on getting published in Women’s Weekly. True passion gets noticed. I am so happy for you.

  • 4 years ago

    Me acabo de enamorar de esa preciosidad de Cake Stand. Y de la torta que decir, que es una autentica tentacion. Un saludo
    raquel´s last blog post ..Galette dulce de fresasMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    Me acabo de enamorar de ese maravilloso Cake Stand. Y de la torta ni hablemos, que verdadera tentacion. Un saludo

  • 4 years ago

    Love your cake! How moist and rich! I was hoping to make it for the Daring Bakers this month, but it was so busy I had to skip. When I get a little more time I will have to make your version :-). Gorgeous photos, as always!
    And congratulations on being featured in Women’s Weekly :-)
    cookingrookie´s last blog post ..Low Fat Carrot Cake with Pineapple and WalnutsMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    Awesome cake Deeba!
    Poornima´s last blog post ..Another Birthday and A Tiramisu CakeMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    i love nutmeg a little more than i love star anise… and that’s a lot of love… so this cake would be right up there for me flavour wise…. on a side note… i still cant believe you have that doily! what plans for summer?
    arundati´s last blog post ..Beat the Heat Series ~ Rice Paper RollsMy Profile

    • 4 years ago

      I know your love for star anise etc. As for that doily…of course I still have it! Summer? Hmm… a short trip to Goa might come true! You?

  • Sounds super delicious and I like the contrast between the moist top layer and pressed in crust.
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen´s last blog post ..Eating in Good HealthMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    The cake looks awesome. Love that cake stand…
    indugetscooking´s last blog post ..Convert Those Overripe Bananas into BONDA!My Profile

  • 4 years ago

    OMG! this is AMAZING! i have to bake it now!
    nanocucina´s last blog post ..déjeuner sur l’herbe: scone salati con peperoncinoMy Profile

  • This looks awesome! Not too sweet, a little firm but still moist. This is the exact way
    I like my cakes!
    Julia {The Roasted Root}´s last blog post ..Hazelnut Meal BiscottiMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    so indulgent and exotic. Missed coming to your blog. congrats on being featured. You deserve this and so much more. xoxo
    Anita Menon´s last blog post ..Raspberry Brownies (Birthday Post -2)My Profile

  • Gorgeous gorgeous cake Dee..
    And I love it much more as it needs no eggs! A must must try for me….
    Love how you’ve made a rustic cake stand out of those vintage plate and cups.. creative you..

  • 4 years ago

    It looks divine, dearest Deeba! I have so missed being part of DB (and Mac Attack) the last couple of months, but now that I’ve got my kitchen up and running I can’t wait to start again. Glad you had great success with take two and your teen is not-so-terrible anymore :)

    • 4 years ago

      Oh yay, welcome back Shaz. I thought I had been the only one missing! Et tu? Happy Mothers Day. Girls fine? Hub good? Big hugs!!

  • 4 years ago

    So glad you got it right on the second try Deeba! Beautiful pictures as usual and I love that cake stand you have :)….
    Congrats for being featured on Woman’s Weekly!
    Swapna´s last blog post ..Chocolate Fudge Cupcake RecipeMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    Your cake looks gorgeous, Deeba. This cake was definitely worth a second try in my opinion. And congrats for being featured in WW.
    Thank you for joining in the photography exercise and hope you’ll be there for the next one too. :)
    Aparna´s last blog post ..Tinda Do Pyaza (Indian Apple Gourd With Double The Onions!)My Profile

  • Dimple
    4 years ago

    this i would ant to try to bake. my mom loves nutmeg! :) thanks for the recipe!

  • 4 years ago

    I haven’t done a daring bakers challenge in so long that it scares me to even think of coming back..LOl… I love the look of this cake! I’m also joining in Aparna’s photography exercise as I do think its a great way to learn!
    Simone´s last blog post ..Aperture and DOF – foodphotography exercise IMy Profile

  • 3 years ago

    You should take part in a contest for one of the
    highest quality blogs on the net. I am going to recommend this blog!
    kostenlos rezepte´s last blog post ..kostenlos rezepteMy Profile

  • Rahul Prasad
    6 months ago

    Hi Deeba,

    Just a quick note that I stumbled upon your lovely blog and this recipe a few weeks ago. Decided to make it for an Armenian friend who was visiting and got told it was the best nutmeg cake she’s ever had! It was quite easy to make and I’d definitely recommend adding eggs to make it richer. I used pistachios and sour cream as I didn’t have milk or walnuts handy and it still turned out really nice. One of the nicest cake recipes I’ve found and hope to bake this many times into the future. Thanks again.

    • 6 months ago

      Hey Rahul. WOW!! Thanks for taking the time to write. You made my day with your words. This was one of the earlier recipes I baked when I began blogging. Would love to hear of the ‘egg’ inclusion {how many etc}. You have inspired me to bake it again. Thank you. Must be getting nippy down under. Have a great day! :-)

      • Rahul Prasad
        6 months ago

        Hi Deeba,

        Thanks for your replying to my post. I just used the one egg and one cup of sour cream (the rough equivalent of 250ml of milk). The addition of sour cream or buttermilk helps keep cakes moist and they always seem to rise better – a trick my mother taught me! Thanks again and look forward to following your blog.

        • 6 months ago

          Thank you so much Rahul. Will get back home and try it your way. BTW, am Down Under on vacation. We return early tomorrow.

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