A tender, delicate cake with good walnut flavor enhanced by overtones of orange. Garnish each slice with fresh berries or orange segments and a spoonful of whipped cream, if you wish.
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground, if desired
- 2/3 cup California walnuts, chopped (to be divided)
- 1/2 cup sugar (to be divided)
- 1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons orange zest, grated (the zest of 1 large orange)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8-inch square or a 9-inch round cake pan. If you wish to unmold the cake for serving, line the bottom of the greased pan with a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit, then grease the paper. Otherwise, the cake may be served directly from the pan.
- Combine the brown rice flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and cloves if using, then sift them together into a bowl or onto a sheet of waxed paper. Set aside.
- In a food processor, combine 1/3 cup of the walnuts with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and process until the walnuts are finely ground. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the remaining sugar with the butter and beat them together until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in the orange zest and vanilla. Stir in the ground walnut and sugar mixture. Add the sifted flour mixture and beat just until the batter is smooth and blended. Stir in the remaining 1/3 cup of walnuts. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
- Bake 22 – 25 minutes, until the cake looks dry on top, and it springs back when touched gently in the center. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean.
- If you are unmolding the cake, let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack and peel away the parchment paper. Cool completely, then transfer to a plate for serving.