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Recipe: Greek walnut spice cake

| Healthy You | Eating Right | Recipes

Walnut spice cake recipe

Sweet and seasonal dessert.

This dessert is filled with all the flavors of the season like nutmeg, cinnamon and orange. To avoid a last-minute dessert rush, you can make it up to one day ahead and store in an airtight container.

Serves 12



1 ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, divided
1 ½ cups white whole-wheat flour
½ cup barley flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup packed dark or light brown sugar
2/3 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil


1/3 cup orange juice
¼ cup packed dark or light brown sugar
1 small strip orange zest (1x1 inch)
2 whole cloves


To prepare cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray and dust with flour, shaking out the excess.

Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast, stirring once halfway, until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Watch closely as they can burn quickly. Transfer to a plate to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Whisk whole-wheat flour, barley flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until thoroughly blended. Combine yogurt with orange zest and juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth; gradually whisk into the egg mixture along with oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 2 additions, stirring well in between until just blended. Fold in 1 cup of the walnuts. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake until a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 45 minutes.

To prepare syrup

Combine 1/3 cup orange juice, ¼ cup brown sugar, orange zest strip and cloves in a small heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring a few times. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. You’ll have a scant 1/3 cup of syrup. Remove the zest and cloves. Let cool.

When the cake is done, transfer the pan to a wire rack. Using a toothpick, pierce the top in about 18 places and brush the syrup over the take to 3 or 4 times, allowing it to seep in each time. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup walnuts and let cool for 30 minutes; loosen the edges with a knife; cut into 12 squares. 

Enjoy warm or room temperature.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):
294 calories, 14g fat (2g saturated fat), 39g carbohydrates, 7g protein, 3g fiber, 20g total sugar (18g added sugar)

Adapted from: EatingWell
Reviewed by PeaceHealth dietitians and nutritionists.