Return to top
featured in… The Huffington Post CookingLight Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network Healthline Shape

Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Chocolate Walnut Cake

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.

This chocolate walnut cake features a moist chocolate cake with whipped ganache and crushed walnuts! It’s a light yet decadent cake that’s easy to make and perfect for birthdays, parties, holidays, and celebrations.

Slice of chocolate walnut cake on a white plate.

This easy chocolate walnut cake recipe is to die for! The chocolate cake on its own is perfectly moist with an intense chocolate flavor. I could eat it plain with no frosting, but the magic happens when you spread on the silky smooth ganache! It’s a chocolate lover’s dream.

Since I’m a big fan of SIMPLE recipes, this chocolate and walnut cake is a breeze to whip up. Just mix the wet ingredients with the dry, stir, and bake! It’s a snack style cake, so you don’t have to slice, layer, or fuss over it. I just remove it from the pan, then spread a layer of ganache frosting over top.

I love to make it for birthday parties and celebrations, because everyone loves it! The kids (and adults) devour it quickly and I rarely have leftovers. If someone has a nut allergy, you can easily leave out the walnuts. It’s just a divine cake, plain and simple.

👩‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Rich chocolate cake base
  • Perfect for chocolate cravings!
  • Rich whipped chocolate ganache topping
  • Divine Italian chocolate walnut cake
  • Single layer cake & easy to make
  • Perfect for parties and get-togethers
  • Nice nutty flavor
  • Best nut cake recipe ever!

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

This choco walnut cake calls for simple ingredients found at your local grocery store. Here’s what you need:

Ingredients for chocolate walnut cake recipe on a white background.
  • Almond Milk: I prefer to use almond milk because it’s what I have on hand. You can use any kind of milk you commonly use, plant-based or dairy.
  • Lemon Juice: The lemon juice reacts with the baking soda to create carbon dioxide bubbles. This creates a light and tender crumb.
  • Coconut Sugar: To sweeten this choco nutty cake!
  • Salt: A small amount of salt enhances sweetness.
  • Baking Powder & Soda: Leavening agents are crucial for cake recipes. They cause the batter to rise in the oven. If you haven’t used your baking powder in ages, test it to make sure it’s still active. Drop a teaspoon in hot water to see if it bubbles. If not, throw it out and buy a new one.
  • Cocoa Powder: For that rich, chocolatey taste!
  • All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour creates a soft but sturdy nut chocolate cake. If you’re gluten-free, swap with a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend that contains xanthan gum.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla doesn’t compete with the chocolate, it accentuates it!
  • Eggs: For structure and richness. Always use large eggs for baking, unless otherwise noted.
  • Chopped Walnuts: For a nutty crunch. Walnuts and chocolate are a delicious combo, but you could also use pecans if you like. If you only have whole walnuts, you can pulse them for a few seconds in your food processor to chop them up. Make sure not to use ground walnuts for this moist nut cake recipe, as you’ll lose all the great texture of this nut!
  • Instant Coffee: If you’re not a coffee fan, don’t worry! Espresso powder isn’t for a coffee taste, but to draw out the rich flavor of the chocolate. Hot water rehydrates it before you mix it in.
  • Dark Chocolate: You can use a chopped chocolate bar or chocolate chips. I recommend using high-quality chocolate for this recipe for chocolate walnut cake. Off-brand chocolate chips don’t melt or whip as well!
  • Heavy Cream: For a silky smooth, creamy ganache!

📖 Variations

This walnut chocolate cake is easy to customize! Try one of these delicious variations:

  • Gluten-Free: Swap the all-purpose flour with gluten-free all-purpose flour. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill’s 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour. It has a gluten-like taste and texture to it.
  • Vegan: Swap the eggs with flax eggs. Use vegan chocolate and coconut cream to make the ganache.
  • Pecans: Swap the walnuts with chopped pecans!
  • Eggless Chocolate Walnut Cake: Swap the eggs with two flax eggs.
  • Chocolate Chip Walnut Cake: Stir 1 cup of chocolate chips into the cake batter before baking.

🔪 Instructions

My walnut dark chocolate cake is easy to make. Here’s step-by-step instructions with photos to guide you through it.

Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8 by 8 inch square cake pan with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk the almond milk and lemon juice together in a medium bowl, then set it aside.

Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk the coconut sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and flour until well combined.

Dry ingredients for nut cake in a mixing bowl.

Combine Wet Ingredients: Add the vanilla and eggs to the almond milk mixture and whisk.

Wet ingredients for chocolate nut cake in a mixing bowl.

Mix Wet & Dry: Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture along with 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts and mix until combined.

Wet ingredients mixed with dry ingredients in a mixing bowl for walnut brownie cake.

Add Coffee Mixture: In a separate bowl, mix the boiling water and instant coffee. Stir the hot coffee mixture into the cake batter.

Walnut cake batter in a mixing bowl.

Bake Chocolate Cake With Nuts: Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the cake tin before transferring to a wire rack.

Walnut fudge cake in a baking dish fresh out of the oven.

Chop Chocolate: While the cake is baking, finely chop the chocolate and place it into a heat-proof bowl.

Shaved chocolate in a mixing bowl.

Add Hot Cream: Heat the cream in the microwave until steaming. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth. You can also use the double boiler method to make the ganache, but I find this way to be easier, quicker and turns out just as well!

Heavy cream mixed with chocolate to create chocolate ganache in a mixing bowl.

Chill the ganache for at least 30 minutes or until it firms up.

Chocolate ganache in a mixing bowl.

Whip Ganache: Use a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer to whip the chocolate mixture until light and fluffy.

Chocolate ganache frosting in a stand mixer.

Cool, Frost, Enjoy: Make sure the walnuts chocolate cake has cooled completely. Then spread the ganache on top of the cake and top with walnuts.

Dark chocolate walnut cake topped with walnuts on a white cutting board.

❓ Recipe FAQs

What happens if you overmix cake batter?

It’s important not to overmix cake batter. When you overmix it, you work the gluten too much, which ultimately deflates the cake and makes it denser. Mix the ingredients together until just incorporated, and no further.

What kind of chocolate should I use?

I prefer dark chocolate for its deep, intense chocolatey flavor. You can use milk or semi-sweet chocolate too. For a sweeter and less intense ganache, use milk chocolate. For a slightly sweeter ganache, use semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate.

How should I store chocolate walnut cake?

Leftover cake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It’s best to let it come to room temperature before you dig in! Cold cake won’t be as soft or flavorful.

Can I freeze this walnut brownie cake?

Yes! This chocolate nut cake recipe freezes well. I like to freeze it in slices, so I don’t have to defrost the whole cake to have a slice. To do this, place the slices on a half sheet pan, then place the sheet pan in the freezer. Once the cake slices are frozen, transfer them to a zip top bag or freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw before enjoying.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Don’t boil the cream when you heat it. If you do, you will have a mess in your microwave! Once it steams, remove it from the microwave.
  • Be sure to chop the chocolate into small pieces to ensure it melts completely. I let the cream sit over the chocolate for 15 seconds to melt it before I stir.
  • To completely melt the chocolate – If the chocolate doesn’t melt fully, you can heat the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir.
  • Check for “done-ness” – Always check to make sure the cake is cooked through by inserting a skewer or cake tester into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is cooked.
  • For a lower sugar option – Use 70% or higher dark chocolate to reduce the sugar content.
  • Let the walnut fudge cake cool completely before frosting it! Otherwise the chocolate ganache will melt all over the place.
Slice of chocolate walnut cake on a white plate with a spoon.

🍰 More Crave-Worthy Cake Recipes!

LOVE THIS RECIPE? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family-friendly food, and if you have any questions, I’m here to help!

📋 Recipe Card

Slice of chocolate walnut cake on a white plate.
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Chocolate Walnut Cake

This chocolate walnut cake features a moist chocolate cake with whipped ganache and crushed walnuts! It's a light yet decadent cake that's easy to make and perfect for birthdays, parties, and celebrations.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Ganache Chill Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 318kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

For The Cake

For The Ganache

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 180 C. Line a 8×8 square baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Whisk together the almond milk and lemon juice, set aside.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the coconut sugar, salt, baking powder and soda, cocoa powder and flour until well combined.
  • Add the vanilla extract and eggs to the almond milk mixture and whisk.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients along with ½ cup chopped walnuts and mix until combined.
  • In a separate bowl mix the boiling water and instant coffee.
  • Stir the coffee mixture into the cake batter and mix until incorporated.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a cooling rack.
  • Prepare the chocolate ganache: Finely chop the dark chocolate and place into a heat proof bowl.
  • Place the cream into the microwave and heat until steaming.
  • Pour hot cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm.
  • Place the firm ganache into the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until fluffy.
  • Spread the ganache on top of the cold cake and finish with crushed walnuts.

Video

https://youtu.be/cujMzEUfzgA

Notes

  • Substitute the all-purpose flour for gluten free flour to make this recipe gluten free.
  • Do not boil the cream when heating, just heat it until it begins to steam.
  • Be sure to chop the chocolate into fine pieces to ensure it melts completely. If the chocolate doesn’t melt you can heat the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir to melt fully.
  • Always check to make sure the cake is cooked through by inserting a skewer into the center, when it comes out clean it is cooked.
  • Use 70% or higher dark chocolate to reduce the sugar content.
  • Leftover cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • To make vegan friendly: Substitute the eggs with flax eggs, use vegan chocolate and coconut cream to make the ganache.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g

Posted In…

Plant Based Desserts ·

Indulge your sweet tooth with some of my delicious, lightened-up treats! From vegan vanilla pudding to gluten-free brownies to microwave peanut butter fudge, there’s something for everyone!

All of these desserts are healthier than their traditional counterparts, and many have gluten free and/or vegan alternatives. But the most important part is that they are all so tasty, so satisfying, and are total crowd pleasers!

Be sure to try other reader favorites like this healthy hot chocolate, our healthy edible vegan cookie dough, and these peanut butter bliss balls!

6 responses to “Chocolate Walnut Cake”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




Subscribe to newsletter

Copyright 2022 The Picky Eater®, LLC. All rights reserved.