Walnut Cake with Streusel Topping

Walnut Cake  www.scarletscorchdroppers.com

A deliciously damp walnut cake, baked with sour cream and cinnamon, and topped with a crunchy, crumbly streusel topping.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might know that I’m a teacher out here in Hong Kong. Teaching the under 3s, I’m spending my days singing nursery rhymes, and getting covered in paint, gloop, and other substances not fit for discussion in a food blog. What you might not know, is that Andy is a teacher too. He’s a sports teacher, turning his hand to any sport you care to mention: swimming, football, tennis and even, to my eternal amusement, gymnastics. Right now, however, he’s in the middle of his PGCE, training to become a classroom teacher. He’s spending a ridiculous amount of time slaving away over lesson plans, schemes of work and essays.

Walnut Cake  www.scarletscorchdroppers.com

Call me a feeder if you like (I won’t be offended, I know its probably true!), but I like to make sure Andy has something nice to nibble on while he’s plugging away at assignments. This walnut cake fits the bill perfectly. It’s simple enough for an everyday treat. Its sweet, but not overly so, just the thing for a slice with a cup of coffee mid essay writing.

Walnut Cake  www.scarletscorchdroppers.com

The cake is made with sour cream, so its incredibly moist. Its got a delicious, damp crumb that melts, rather than crumbles, in your mouth. The cake is filled with the crunch of walnuts, and just a hint of cinnamon, warming the cake in the background. The sour cream adds a tang, complimenting the walnuts perfectly.

Walnut Cake  www.scarletscorchdroppers.com

In contrast to the texture of the walnut cake is the crumbly, crunchy streusel topping. If there are any of you out there not familiar with streusel, its a wonderful sugary, crunchy topping. A little bit like taking a crumble, and switching the fruit layer for cake. Its the perfect topping to moist, tender cakes, and works beautifully with autumnal or wintery recipes. You’ll often find it topping muffins or loaf cakes. Its  a delicious addition to simple cakes.

Walnut Cake  www.scarletscorchdroppers.com


– You’ll find the cake appears to collapse after taking it after the oven. When this first happened, I though the cake would be sad and heavy. Don’t panic though, the resulting moist crumb is delicious! 

– The bake time is quite long. Ensure that the cake is cooked right through before taking it out of the oven. An inserted skewer should come out completely clean. 

Walnut Cake with Streusel Topping
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A deliciously damp walnut cake, baked with sour cream and cinnamon, and topped with a crunchy, crumbly streusel topping.
Serves: serves 8-10
  • ---- for the cake
  • 170g butter, softened to room temperature
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 170g plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250ml sour cream
  • 100g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • ----- for the streusel topping
  • 85g plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50g butter, chilled
  • 50g caster sugar
  1. Grease and line a 23cm spring form cake tin.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ 350F.
  3. Begin by making the streusel topping. In a bowl, mix together the flour and cinnamon. Add the chilled butter in small slices or cubes. Rub together using your fingers until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Stir through the sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and caster sugar.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
  6. Add one of the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, along with about half of the flour mixture, and beat together until combined. Add the remaining two eggs, and the rest of the flour and mix until completely combined.
  7. Fold through the sour cream, followed by the chopped walnuts.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, and top with an even layer of the streusel topping.
  9. Put into the centre of the preheated oven, and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  10. Cool in the tin, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack.
  11. Store in an airtight container.

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