Celebrating Food! Celebrating Life!

Simple Eats – Walnut Sponge Cake

Walnut Cake

Walnut Cake on 大年初一!My family loves Walnut Butter Cake from Bengawan Solo. Over the last few years, we would order a large walnut cake from BS to share with relatives and friends when they come visiting. Having caught the baking bug, I’d decided to make one this year! This is a very simple cake modified from Aunty Yochana’s banana cake recipe. It took only slight more than an hour all in all. And 80% of the time, the cake was in the oven!

Here’s the recipe for Aunty Yochana’s Banana Cake


180 gm. Butter
180 gm. Fine sugar
2 nos. Extra large Eggs – beaten lightly
250 gm. Cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Bicarbonate of Soda
220 gm. Bananas – mashed
50 gm. Dairy whip cream (can substitute with evaporated milk)
1/2 tsp. Banana essence
2 bananas – slice


(1) Cream butter and sugar till light and creamy.
(2) Pour in eggs gradually and beat till creamy.
(3) Add in whip cream, mashed bananas and banana essence and mix well.
(4) Add in cake flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and beat for a while only.
(5) Pour into an 8″ round tray, and arrange sliced bananas on top.
(6) Bake at 175C for about 50 to 60 mins. or until cooked.

Here’s alist of modifications I’d made for the walnut cake:

(1) I substituted bananas for about 150g of finely chopped walnuts. I didn’t have the patience to chop ’em, so I blitz them in a blender into coarse bits.
(2) I increased the recipe from 180 g butter to 250 g, so that I could use up a whole block of SIS unsalted butter. Likewise, ingredient quantities for the rest of the recipe is increased proportionally.
(3) I substituted banana essence with vanilla extract for the aroma.
(4) Instead of a round cake tin, I used my kueh lapis 9″ x 9″ square tin, hence justifying the increase in recipe quantity.
(5) Instead of 2 extra large eggs, I used 4 small eggs for the cake, bearing in mind that I’d increased the quantities of the other ingredients as well.
(6) I added one tsp of ovalette as a cake stabiliser. This gives the cake more lift making it very spongy and light.
(2) I covered the top of the cake with an aluminium foil for the first 3/4 of the baking time and only unveiling it during the last 15 mins or so. This is to prevent the top from overbrowning.

Walnut Cake

The recipe uses whipped cream which gave it a very fluffy and light texture while the crust remained rather crisp! No too-oily buttery sensation despite adding one whole block of it into the batter! I guess ovalette also helped in the rising process making the cake more airy and lighter. If a denser cake is desired, ignore the ovalette.

Walnut Cake

The walnuts I’d used are probably the wrong walnuts. My dad likes to put walnuts into his daily oatmeal breakfast. He said the walnuts were bought from one of those Chinese medicinal shops. The walnuts are probably not of the Californian variety I suppose, which is favoured for baking. I remembered reading somewhere that Chinese walnuts taste somewhat bitter. The cake doesn’t taste and smell as aromatic with all that nuttiness than I had wanted it to be. Perhaps I should have roasted the walnuts before blitzing them. I should try to use californian walnuts next time.

Anyone who has or knows of a good recipe for walnut cake please let me know!


10 responses

  1. wow this looks really soft and spongy! hmm as for really good walnut cake recipe I will help u to take a look 🙂

    February 5, 2011 at 11:55 pm

  2. A pretty & soft cake. Well done! *^_^*

    February 6, 2011 at 9:33 am

  3. Min

    Nice pictures, I love walnut very much, can I have a slice please?

    February 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm

  4. firebirdie

    hi ladies! thanks for dropping by!

    Jess: yeah, its real soft and spongy indeed. A bit TOO spongy when it first came out of the oven. I like how the texture and flavours develop after one day though. Thanks for helping me look for a walnut cake recipe!

    Cathy: Thanks! Maybe I should try a DDL sponge cake like yours! 🙂

    Min: I love walnut cake too! Just that I used the wrong walnuts this them round. You may most certainly try ’em! Just have to find a means to get it across the causeway! 🙂

    February 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm

  5. This recipe probably tastes as good as it looks. I love the idea of walnuts in a cake. I have this carrot cake recipe that I love to make and chopped walnuts for crunch is always a plus:)

    February 8, 2011 at 5:07 am

    • firebirdie

      your carrot cake recipe looks good too! thanks for sharing. 🙂

      February 8, 2011 at 11:08 pm

  6. jo


    cake looks perfect, just one question when did you add the ovalette to cake , which steps 1 to 3,, is it before beating egg or with egg we need to beat ovalette, please confirm i wanted to make it for my husband b’day, pls reply at the earliest

    June 24, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      hi Jo. Ovalette can be added to cream with the butter at the very beginning.

      Actually, ovalette is not a necessity as I’d just wanted to try it out. I bought a small container of it and used it only once since. Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda should be just suffice to make your cake soft and spongy.

      Let me know how your cake goes!

      June 24, 2011 at 11:59 pm

  7. jo


    Can u pls teach us how to make perfect sponge cake with ovellate and without ovalette.

    I tried searching some recipe in goodle with ovalette as i have a 4 packets. It all says adding the melted butter at the end of the procedure and just mix it, i tried and and cake was not good at all.

    so i thought of requesting you to teach us the osnge cake recipe, as your cake looks so perfect. if you know the recipe please post to my email id or in your blog plssss.

    June 27, 2011 at 6:50 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      thanks for your kind words! I’m still learning how to make a perfect cake too, if it can ever become perfect that is! haha

      I think the key to a good sponge cake is the folding technique. Do not mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture too much. Once you are certain that all the flour-powder mixture is well incorporated and without lumps, stop mixing. And mix gently to avoid glutenising the batter which would give you a very tough cake.

      Also, bring all your fridge ingredients to room temperature before using them, especially butter and eggs. That helps in the beating process to get them really light and fluffy. You know you are there when the egg-butter mixture becomes really creamy and pale, with its volume increasing significantly. Ovalette is not really a necessity as the softness is achievable without adding additional chemicals.

      for an orange cake recipe, you can try substituting the whip cream with same volume of orange juice and then also the zest of one orange.

      Hope this helps!

      June 29, 2011 at 11:55 pm

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