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Apple And Orange Walnut Cake With Orange Calvados Glaze Or Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes one (8½-inch / 21.2-cm) cake
Level of Difficulty: Medium
Adapted from the More from ACE Bakery cookbook

Breadcrumbs and ground walnuts take the place of flour in this moist, dense confection. The grated apple helps the cake to stay fresh for 4 to 5 days. I’ve given you two ideas for topping—an Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, sure to please the kids in the group, and an Orange Calvados Glaze. It is also very good served plain with just a dusting of icing sugar.


1 cup (240 mL) fine sugar
1 ⅓ cups (320 mL) very fine dried breadcrumbs
1 cup (240 mL) ground walnuts, approximately 2 cups (475 mL) walnut halves (See Cook’s Tip 1)
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) baking powder
½ cup (120 mL) cubed, cold unsalted butter
1 tsp. (5 mL) grated orange zest
1 peeled and coarsely grated Granny Smith apple, about 1 scant cup (240 mL)
6 egg whites
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting or 3 to 4 Tbsp. (45 to 60 mL) Orange

Calvados Glaze
Orange Calvados Glaze
½ cup (120 mL) icing sugar
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 ½ tsp (12.5 mL) Calvados liqueur

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
6 Tbsp. (90 mL) softened unsalted butter
½ lb. (225 g) cream cheese, cut into ½- to 1-inch (1.2- to 2.5-cm) chunks
1 tsp. (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. (5 mL) grated orange zest
pinch kosher salt
1 cup (240 mL) icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC).

Lightly grease an 8½- to 9-inch (21.2- to 23-cm) spring-form pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Put parchment paper in the pan and grease it as well.

Place the sugar, breadcrumbs, ground walnuts, and baking powder in a food processor and pulse to combine.

Add the cubed butter to the breadcrumb mixture and continue pulsing until well combined and the mixture has the consistency of moist brown sugar.

Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the orange zest and the apple.

In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until very stiff peaks form.

Fold 1 cup (240 mL) of the beaten egg whites into the breadcrumb mixture to lighten it up. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites in two additions.

Pour the batter into the prepared spring-form pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer, inserted into the middle of the cake, comes out glistening but clean.

Remove from the oven onto a cooling rack and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and remove the sides. Let the cake finish cooling before removing the bottom of the pan and parchment paper. Transfer to a serving plate. Frost with the icing or drizzle with 3 to 4 Tbsp. (45 to 60 mL) warm glaze.

Orange Calvados Glaze
Spoon the sugar into a small mixing bowl and whisk in the two juices. Transfer to a saucepan and quickly bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and spoon over the cake while still hot; discard any remaining glaze.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream the butter with an electric mixer or standing mixer in a mixing bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients. Add the cream cheese, vanilla, orange zest, and salt; continue mixing until just combined. Gently mix in half the icing sugar, and, when just combined, mix in the remaining half. Spread over the sides and top of the cooled cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cook’s Tips
1. Grind the walnuts with ¼ cup (60 mL) of the 1 cup (240 mL) of sugar called for in the recipe. The ground nuts will stay fluffy and not disintegrate into a paste.
2. Once you have opened a package of shelled walnuts, wrap what you haven’t used and store in the refrigerator or freezer. Walnuts will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 months and in the freezer for almost a year.

Linda Haynes is the co-founder of ACE Bakery and the award-winning author of the bestseller, "The ACE Bakery Cookbook". All royalties from this cookbook are given to organizations in support of food and nutrition programs that assist low-income members of the community, to culinary scholarships, and to organic farming initiatives. Royalties from "More from ACE Bakery" cookbook are donated to organizations that work with women and children in crisis.

Established in 1993, ACE Bakery is now one of North America's leading artisan bakeries, providing fresh and partially baked breads to customers across Canada, New York State, the Midwest and Northeast U.S.A., Louisiana and the Bahamas, as well as on Air Canada and Air France flights.

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