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Walnut Cake with Brandy (tarta de nuez con brandy)

Claudia Roden

by Claudia Roden from The Food of Spain

A mouthwatering walnut cake, spiked with a brandy syrup. Making for a beautiful autumn dessert, this moist walnut cake recipe also works well with cognac.

From the book


The lower slopes of the Asturian mountains are covered with walnut and chestnut trees. Walnut cakes are common there. This version with a syrup poured over is sensational. It has a marvellous texture and a pure walnut taste with a touch of brandy. Make sure the walnuts you use are good and fresh without a rancid taste by trying one.

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500g walnuts
4 large eggs
200g caster sugar
75g unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp brandy or cognac
Butter, to grease the cake tin
Flour, to dust the cake tin
For the syrup:
100g sugar
250ml water
1 tbsp brandy or cognac

Essential kit

You will need a food processor, an electric mixer and a springform cake tin about 28cm in diameter.


Coarsely grind the walnuts in the food processor. Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until you have a thick, pale cream. Add the slightly cooled melted butter and the brandy or cognac and beat well. Then fold in the walnuts and pour into a greased and floured springform cake tin about 28cm in diameter. Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C/gas 4 for 45 minutes or until it feels firm.

For the syrup, heat the sugar and water in a pan so that the sugar melts and then simmer for about 5 minutes and add the brandy or cognac. Pour it hot all over the surface of the cake as it comes out of the oven. Let the syrup seep into the cake while in the tin for at least 1 hour before serving.


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