The Cook/Sechny Sour Cream Nutcake Recipe

People have asked about the recipe, discussed earlier on a private thread.


You need a TUBE cake pan (doesn’t work in a Bundt pan)

PREP: -Soften 1 stick of butter
-Chop 1-1/2 to 1/-3/4 cups of walnuts

-1 stick of butter (or margarine, if you must); PLUS
-1 pat of butter to grease pan
-1 cup of granulated sugar; PLUS
-1/2 cup of granulated sugar (for nut mixture)
-2 large eggs (I use XL or Jumbo–this batter ends up very thick, so the more moisture the better)
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 teaspoon lemon juice-from lemons, not extract
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1/4 cup vegetable oil – OPTIONAL
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups chopped walnuts
-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (**See NOTES following recipe)

-Grease and flour your pan (this can wait ’til you’re finished mixing the batter, if you wish–just remember it’s grease AND flour)
-Cream the softened butter in a large bowl with 1 cup of the granulated sugar;
-mix in the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, optional oil, and lemon juice until smoothly blended;
-blend in the flour, the baking powder and the baking soda.

At this point you can set that bowl aside and:

-In a smaller bowl, mix the chopped nuts with the other 1/2 cup of sugar and the cinnamon. You will need to end up dividing the resulting mixture more or less into 2/3 (for the cake “filling”) and 1/3 (sprinkled on the top); you can do this by measuring or by eye, whatever.

-If you haven’t greased and floured your tube pan yet, do it now;

-Scoop 4 or five heaping tablespoonsful of the batter into the pan, and spread batter to cover the bottom of the pan fairly evenly about 1/2″ to 2/3″ deep or so;
-sprinkle 2/3 of the walnut/sugar/cinnamon mixture over batter–you can even it out somewhat using the back of a spoon;
-Carefully scoop the remaining batter over the walnut filling, then carefully spread the batter so that it covers the filling fairly evenly. I say “carefully” because the batter tends to want to drag the nut mixture with it when you’re spreading it.
-Sprinkle remaining 1/3 of walnut mixture over top of batter; again, you can even out the mixture with the back of a spoon.

Bake on middle rack of oven at 350 for approx. 45-50 minutes–check with a toothpick, though, it can really take anywhere from 45 to 55 minutes

Cool on rack for 30 minutes–if you try to remove it from the pan too soon, the cake will break in half.


-You can increase the quantities of the ingredients proportionally if you want the cake to be a little bigger, or want more of the walnut filling. For a moister cake, add an extra dollop of sour cream, but don’t increase the optional vegetable oil. If you increase the size of the cake or increase the moisture, add at least 5 more minutes to the baking time.
-The quantity of cinnamon is really a “to taste” when mixed with the sugar and chopped walnuts–I “taste” by eye usually, so I aim for the cinnamon-sugar part of the mixture to look medium-to dark brown.
-I occasionally add ground cinnamon and/or ground nutmeg to the batter, about 1 teaspoon total

I think that’s it. If you have any questions, let me know.


5 thoughts on “The Cook/Sechny Sour Cream Nutcake Recipe

  1. Zooey, I was thinking that you might want to increase the quantity of the cinnamon/sugar mixture and add a drizzle of glaze to the filling and the top, it might make a good variation.

  2. I made oatmeal cookies last night. I use the recipe under the lid of the Quaker Oats (Old Fashioned) canister (called “Disappearing Oatmeal Cookies”), but I use Craisins instead of raisins, and add about 1/2 – 3/4 cups of roughly chopped walnuts. The “girls” at the office hate me when I bring them in, because everyone’s weight-conscious, but they LOVE these cookies!

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