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A white frosted cake with chopped walnuts along the top and bottom edge. Fluffy white frosting swirls are on top of the cake.

Maple Walnut Cake (Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free)

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
  • Yield: 12 Slices 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This maple walnut cake is packed full of toasted walnuts and real maple syrup. Fluffy gluten-free cake layers and a subtly sweet dairy-free buttercream frosting. The perfect autumn dessert!



Walnut Cake

  • ⅔ cup (160g) dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup (288g) brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cup (280g) gluten-free flour 1:1 baking blend *
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup (180ml) dairy-free milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup (100g) walnuts, chopped

Maple Buttercream

  • ½ cup (120g) pasteurized egg whites, room temperature
  • 4 ½ cups (540g) icing sugar
  • 2 cups (480g) dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (60ml) pure maple syrup **
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt


Walnut Cake

  1. Toast the chopped walnuts in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes or until they start to brown. Make sure to continually stir to avoid burning. Remove from the heat and allow to cool on a plate as the cake batter is prepared.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF degrees and spray and parchment line four 6-inch round cake pans.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer and with the flat beater attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and vegetable oil on high for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix on high for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and turn the mixer on low.
  6. As the mixer is on low slowly pour in the milk and allow the batter to mix until just combined. Be careful to not overmix the batter. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  7. Add the toasted walnuts into the cake batter and combine with a spatula until just incorporated.
  8. Divide the cake batter evenly into the four prepared cake pans and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs and the cake edges begin to pull away from the cake pans.
  9. Allow the cake layers to cool for 10 minutes and then invert them on a cooling rack to fully cool.

Maple Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the pasteurized egg whites and icing sugar together and whisk on low until combined.
  2. Turn the mixer up to high and allow to mix for 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the butter and mix on low until combined.
  4. Turn the mixer up to high and allow to mix for 5 minutes. If after 5 minutes the buttercream appears to be lumpy or separated, turn the mixer back on to high for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the maple syrup and salt and mix on low until fully combined and then on high for another 2 minutes.

Cake Assembly

  1. Level each fully cooled walnut cake layer with a cake leveler or knife if needed.

  2. Place one leveled layer of cake on a cake board, plate, and/or cake turntable and top with approximately 1 cup of maple buttercream.

  3. Repeat with the remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  4. Cover the cake with another layer of maple buttercream and roughly smooth the sides with a cake smoother. Using the tip of an offset sptaula or butter knife drag it from bottom to top in diagonal lines.

  5. Decorate the cake as you please. I used a Wilton 1m piping tip and piped swirls around the top and gently pressed chopped walnuts to the top and bottom edge. Enjoy!

  6. Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.


* I use Kinnikinnick all-purpose flour blend. Make sure yours has xanthan gum.

** Make sure you use pure maple syrup and not the imitation table syrup.

  • Prep Time: 90 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 801
  • Sugar: 34 grams
  • Sodium: 235 Miligrams
  • Fat: 62 Grams
  • Saturated Fat: 39 Grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 25 Grams
  • Trans Fat: 7 Grams
  • Carbohydrates: 59 Grams
  • Fiber: 8 Grams
  • Protein: 7 Grams
  • Cholesterol: 200 Miligrams