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Walnut Sponge Cake

Light Walnut Sponge Cake pairs beautifully with fluffy vanilla bean flour (Ermine) buttercream.

Cake decorated with thick chocolate drips, chocolate diamonds, and silver leaf on a white cake stand.

updated from 2016


I first made this cake as a fancier sheet cake years ago, following the recipe from my husband’s grandmother. It comes from my husband’s side of the family, and what’s interesting is the original name of this sheet cake. It’s called Nanukove rezy (in Slovak). Word-to-word translation is popsicle bars. I know. It sounds a little strange but delicious, nevertheless.

I was playing with the idea of using the same recipe to make a cake for a while. And today, I’ll share with you how to make a Walnut Sponge Cake with Flour Buttercream decorated with ganache drips and molded chocolate decorations.

Cake with chocolate drip on a cake stand, showing the inside of the cake.


This light walnut sponge cake doesn’t contain any butter, or oil. It’s very airy and delicious.


Flour buttercream doesn’t contain any eggs, so if you are short on eggs or are following an egg-free diet this is a good alternative to its cousin German Buttercream. These two buttercream recipes are very similar, except German Buttercream uses eggs and flour buttercream doesn’t. And both, are also less sweet than American Buttercream.


I used chocolate ganache to make the drips. Very thick drips, indeed. I adjusted the chocolate-to-cream ratio in the recipe so, ganache comes out thinner and your drips will be nicer.


I love making chocolate decorations. I used dipping chocolate by Merckens, along with several molds to make brooches, diamonds and honeycomb decorations.

To give chocolate sparkle I used silver leaf and dry luster dusts and brushed either the mold before pouring in the melted chocolate or I brushed already molded chocolate with dry brush dipped with luster dust.

Close up of chocolate decorations on top of the cake.


Merckens Chocolate: Dark Chocolate, Pink Chocolate
Edible Silver Leaf
Button/Brooch Silicone Mold
Honeycomb silicone mat
Diamond Silicone Mold
Pink Edible Luster Dust
Almond Paste
Pink Non Pareils
Chocolate Pearls

Cake slice on a white cake stand.


Walnut Sponge Cake

Makes 2 – 6 inch cakes or can be baked as a sheet cake
Course Cake, cupcake, Dessert, Frosting, icing
Cuisine French, Slovak
Keyword ermine buttercream, flour buttercream, walnut cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chilling 40 minutes
Servings 10
Author Hani


  • 1 handheld mixer or stand mixer
  • 3 mixing bowls
  • 1 spatula
  • baking pans



  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar or vinegar/lemon juice (optional)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (260g rams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 tbsp warm water (120 ml)
  • 1 cup ground walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (215 grams)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine table salt


  • 2 1/2 cup milk (600ml)
  • 10 tbsp all-purpose flour (90 grams)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (260 grams)
  • 4 sticks room temperature unsalted butter (2cups, 452 grams)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste or Vanilla Extract


  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chip, chopped chocolate (180grams)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (120ml, 120grams)



  • Preheat oven to 350F.
    Butter, and flour cake pans or a rimmed baking sheet. Line the bottom with parchment.
  • Combine flour, ground walnuts, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  • At medium speed, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks are formed. Gradually add about half of the powdered sugar, increase the speed to medium-high, and beat until stiff and glossy peaks are formed, don't overbeat, or the meringue will become grainy and dry.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with the remaining sugar, for about 5 minutes, until thick and pale in color. Gradually add warm water and vanilla extract.
  • Gradually, into the egg yolk mixture, gently fold in the dry mixture, and meringue, until you can't see any more white streaks.
  • Divide cake batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the cakes from the pan and onto a cooling rack.


  • Add flour to 1 cup of milk, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the remaining milk. Pour the flour mixture into a pot.
  • Cook on medium-high heat, and bring the mixture to a slow boil, continuously stirring; it will start to thicken and look like a thick pudding. To cook off the flour taste continue cooking additional 2 minutes, stirring.
    Strain the flour pudding through a fine mesh sieve. Cover hot pudding with plastic wrap and let it cool to room temperature. Speed up the cooling with a cold water bath.
  • Beat room temperature butter, add powdered sugar, beat until smooth, and gradually add room temperature flour pudding.
  • Beat until fluffy and creamy. Beat in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract.


  • Heat heavy cream until it is hot and tiny bubbles form on the surface; pour it over small pieces of chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Gently whisk until smooth. Don't move the whisk in multiple directions; this can lead to too many air bubbles.
    Let it cool to room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. Pour on a well-chilled cake.

This recipe was originally published on April 14th, 2016. On February 2nd, 2023 I updated this recipe with written instructions, pictures, recipe card and a video.

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  1. I love all your work! Wish I could actually replicate them… Do you mind telling me the colour brand you use? Thanks. The colours by Wilton I have aren't vibrant at all! ?

  2. Hi hani what will the butter taste like if it has flour is is self raising or plain do you sift it?
    Trying to come with some ideas for my brother doing funrasing for cancer he wants me to make some dessert and i have no idea what to make could you help me pls thsnk you

  3. Another winner Hani! I love walnut cakes and meringues.
    I wish I'd seen your demonstration making flour buttercream, it would've saved a lot of frustrated tears. I can't wait to try it again. Thanks Hani.

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