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Grain-Free Walnut Honey Cake for Special Diets or Passover

Grain-Free Walnut Honey Cake

Grain-Free Walnut Honey Cake

Increasingly, many people avoid grains altogether. Are you one of them? While avoiding gluten grains is hard; avoiding ALL grains is extremely hard—but not impossible. Whenever I have guests, I ask ahead if they have any special diet needs (or simply detest certain foods) and I try to accommodate their requests—especially for dessert. After all, who doesn’t like dessert!!

You could also serve this cake during Passover and your Paleo friends can eat it (if you use a Paleo-friendly oil rather than butter). It freezes well, too. I particularly like walnuts for this cake because of their unique flavor but ground pecans would be equally tasty.

This cake is moist because it is sweetened with honey, which is a natural humectant (that means it draws in water). It is also easy since you grind the nuts in a food processor and blend the other ingredients into the nuts—all in the same vessel—which means fewer dishes to wash. If you can find pre-ground walnuts (or pecans) you can use 2 cups.

Grain-Free Walnut Honey Cake
By Carol Fenster
Everyone will love this cake, but it is especially nice when you have guests who are grain-free as well as gluten-free. If you use buttery spread or oil, it is also dairy-free, plus there is no soy, either and if you use a corn-free baking powder, you eliminate that culprit as well. So, it can meet the needs of many guests with different special diet needs and everyone is happy.

2 cups walnut pieces (measure before grinding)
1/2 cup honey
3 large whole eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or buttery spread, melted (or your favorite oil such as canola, coconut, etc.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, for dusting

[1] Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Generously grease; then line the bottom of an 8-inch round nonstick (gray, not black) springform pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Grease it again and set aside.

[2] Grind the walnuts in a food processor to a very fine meal. Add the honey, eggs, baking powder, butter, vanilla, and salt to the food processor and process 30 to 40 seconds. Scrape down sides of the bowl with a spatula and process another 30 seconds more or until smooth. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.

[3] Bake about 35 to 40 to minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake rises as it bakes, then falls slightly as it cools. Watch carefully toward the end because it is more likely to burn due to the honey. Cool the cake in the pan 15 minutes on a wire rack. Cut around edge of the pan with a sharp knife to loosen the cake. Release pan sides; discard paper liner. Dust with powdered sugar, cut into slices, and serve. Makes 10 servings.

Per serving: 270 calories; 8g protein; 20g total fat; 4g saturated fat; 1g fiber; 19g carbohydrates; 69mg cholesterol; 195mg sodium