Dec 31, 2012

Vintage Monday - Lemon Walnut Macaron Cake

So, how are you going to start the new year? Any new traditions or are you sticking to old ones? I find this the best celebration of the year, because a new, filled with hope, potencialy exciting new time is opening up. That is always reason to celebrate!

Let´s take a look at food first, of course.
It turns out I made a lot of recipes from blogging friends that were a hit. I don´t post them unless they´re part of another recipe, because I usually don´t see the point in posting the same thing when it´s already been done so well.

We all heard about three or four ingredient recipes, but two? Take a look.

Today´s vintage recipe is like a giant macaron but in cake form and better. Though I might be stretching it a bit with that description, it is a great discovery.

And it´s gluten free, not on purpose, though most good recipes come that way. A few things happened at the same time and they delivered this recipe. I had a ridiculous amount of walnuts to use, still do, and I probably should´ve made a new year resolution to stop being a food hoarder of the highest order, but to promise to do that for a whole year, well, it seemed a bit much. I had this recipe dog-eared for the longest time, and I´m talking years, many years. And last, I didn´t quite read the ingredients or the recipe before starting, something I do a lot, and it should probably be the second new year resolution, but it´s not happening either.

Just remember this is a surprisingly good cake, with a tangy lemon flavor, a silky texture thanks to the cornstarch and the added bonus of being gluten-free. Don´t you feel a little bit healthier when you eat gf? I do, and know it isn´t. 


adapted from Bon Appetit, April 1984


¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, for sides of pan

1 2/3 cups ground walnuts

1 2/3 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 egg white, room tº
3 large eggs, room tº
2 teaspoons sherry or other liqueur
Zest of 1 large lemon
6 Tbs cornstarch
½ teaspoon baking powder
6 ½ Tbs butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray or butter a 9-inch springform pan, sprinkle the sides with the chopped walnuts and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a processor, fitted with the steel blade, mix powdered sugar and walnuts. Add egg white through feed tube and process until a paste forms.
Transfer to a large bowl, and with electric mixer beat in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Continue beating for 7 or 8 minutes, until mixture is very light. Add sherry and lemon zest and beat 1 more minute.
Sift cornstarch with baking powder, and add to egg mixture with a spatula, not beating. Gently fold in butter and mix well but do not overwork the mixture.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
Cool completely in pan on wire rack, invert onto platter and peel off parchment paper.
Dust with confectioners´ sugar and serve.


  1. Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! A cake made with ground walnuts is fabulous! I just bought a giant bag of walnuts at Costco and I have some lemons. Awesome Paula.

    And I hope you have a wonderful New Year! xoxo

  2. This looks wonderful, I feel like I can smell all the wonderful the flavors of this cake from the pictures: nutty, lemony goodness. Happy New Year Paula!

  3. My two favorites together! This is wonderful, Paula! Happy New Year!!! xox

  4. Paula, great recipe to start off or better to end one year and greet the next. I would like to take the opportunity to wish you and your entire family the very best for a wonderful, healthy and happy New Year! Looking forward to endless more fantatsic blog posts! Cannot wait for the new year to start! "Happy New Year! - Frohes Neues Jahr!"

  5. This looks fabulous - wish I could eat walnuts! I love macarons... Happy new year to you and yours!

  6. Yummy! I love nut-based cakes and cookies for that amazing flavour and texture. I hope you're eating this delicious cake when the clock strikes midnight and wash it down with a glass of champagne. Cheers, Paula!

  7. This recipe sounds like a homerun! I've tried several of your recipes since discovering your blog, and they were all a hit. I'm glad we were able to connect in 2012, and I look forward to more delicious posts in 2013. All the best to you, Paula!

    1. That´s good to know, about the recipes. Drop me an e-mail if you come to bs as and we can meet for coffee or something.

  8. Wow, this looks so moist and wonderful, Paula! You make the BEST cakes...I've loved stopping by this year...whether for a Dorie day or another one of your marvelous creations. Happy New Year!

  9. Okay, Paula, have you had this bookmarked since 1984? That's 18 years! Egads. It looks delicious. I don't exactly get the macaron part but I certainly can go with the walnuts and lemon. Your cake just looks so spicy and wonderfully yummy. I'm quite impressed that you posted 22 times in December. That is totally over-the-top and your food looks so gooood. It's 6:30pm here in Nevada which means it must almost be Midnight in Brazil. This has been a great year of cokking together and I look forward to 2013. Happy, Healthy New Year, Paula, to you and your family.

    1. That´s 28 years Mary! almost 29 today... I´ve had it bookmarked for about 15, when the father of a college friend gave me very old bon appetit magazines he was throwing away. That started my whole food magazine obsession! This cake starts with equal amounts of powdered sugar and ground nuts and egg whites, the way macarons are made.

  10. Love the idea of this cake! The flavor combination sounds incredible. Always looking for an excuse to make something healthy too :)

  11. Happy New Year sweet Paula! What a fun recipe...of all food magazines, I've found BonAppetit recipes consistently good. Love the simple decadence of this cake...

    To a delicious 2013!

  12. This sounds wonderful! Do you have any unusual recipes for someone who has a ton of pecans?

    As the New Year begins, I tend not to make resolutions, as many do, but instead simply revisit a credo I created one year when a friend died: be kind, be nice, be thoughtful in everything I do, be happy for others' successes, learn from my failures, and be honest – with myself and everyone else.

    Of course, I need to add "be healthful" to that list. That might be the hardest part, given my love of butter, sugar and chocolate!

    ~ David

    1. I don´t know what is a ton of pecans for you, given that I am currently nursing 7 kg (15 pounds give or take) of walnuts, a similar amount of almonds, of semolina flour and maybe 4 kg each of coconut and almond meal.
      For a `normal´ ton of pecans I would go for caramelized or sweet spicy, which go with salads, as a snack or ice cream, not to mention they make the best gift. In the meantime toast them a little in the oven and put them away, they´ll keep longer.


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