Albanian Walnut Cake Recipe: A Delightful Dessert from Albania

Albanian Walnut Cake

Albanian Walnut Cake Recipe: A Delightful Dessert from Albania
Region / culture: Albania | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes | Servings: 12


Albanian Walnut Cake
Albanian Walnut Cake

Albanian Walnut Cake is a delightful dessert that combines the rich, earthy flavors of walnuts with the zest of fresh lemon, all wrapped up in a moist, tender cake. This recipe is a celebration of simple ingredients coming together to create a dessert that's both comforting and sophisticated. Whether you're new to Albanian cuisine or looking to expand your baking repertoire, this walnut cake is sure to impress.


The tradition of walnut cake in Albania can be traced back to the country's rich history of using nuts in their cuisine. Walnuts, in particular, have been a staple in Albanian cooking due to their abundance. This cake is often prepared for special occasions and family gatherings, symbolizing hospitality and generosity. Over the years, it has evolved, with each family adding their own touch, but the essence of using fresh, quality ingredients remains the same.


How to prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then mix in the eggs.
  3. Blend the yogurt with the buttermilk.
  4. Sift together the dry ingredients for the cake and add them alternately with the yogurt mixture into the egg mixture.
  5. Stir in the lemon rind and walnuts.
  6. Pour the batter into a buttered 9X13 baking pan and bake for 30–40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake will still be moist.
  7. Make the glaze by simmering all the ingredients together, covered, for about 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  9. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven, turn off the oven, pour the glaze over the hot cake, and return it to the oven for about 10 minutes.
  10. Cut the cake into squares and serve it warm or cool.


  • For a twist on the traditional recipe, try adding orange zest instead of lemon, or mix in some chopped dried fruits like figs or dates for added texture and sweetness.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Albanian Walnut Cake turns out perfectly, consider these tips:

- Use room temperature ingredients to ensure a smooth batter.

- Toasting the walnuts before adding them to the batter will enhance their flavor.

- Be careful not to overmix the batter to keep the cake tender.

- Allow the cake to cool slightly before applying the glaze so it absorbs evenly.

Serving Suggestions

This cake is delightful on its own but can be served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra special touch. A cup of strong coffee or tea complements its rich flavors beautifully.

Cooking Techniques

Creaming the butter and sugar thoroughly is key to achieving the light, fluffy texture of the cake. Additionally, gently folding in the dry ingredients helps maintain the cake's tender crumb.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you're out of plain yogurt, sour cream makes a good substitute. For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free flour blend in place of regular flour.

Make Ahead Tips

This cake can be made a day in advance. The flavors meld and deepen overnight, making it even more delicious the next day.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the cake on a decorative platter and garnish with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and some whole walnuts for an elegant presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

A sweet dessert wine or a robust espresso makes excellent pairings with this walnut cake, balancing its richness and enhancing its flavors.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. It can also be refrigerated for up to a week. Warm individual slices gently in the microwave if desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A typical serving of Albanian Walnut Cake contains approximately 350 calories. This makes it a hearty dessert option, perfect for special occasions.


A single serving of Albanian Walnut Cake contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates. The primary sources of carbohydrates in this recipe are flour and sugar, providing energy to fuel your body.


This cake is rich in fats, with about 20 grams per serving, mainly from butter and walnuts. These ingredients contribute to the cake's moist texture and provide essential fatty acids.


Each serving of the cake offers around 6 grams of protein, coming from eggs, yogurt, and walnuts. Protein is crucial for building and repairing tissues in your body.

Vitamins and minerals

Walnuts are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus, contributing to the nutritional value of this cake. Lemon rind adds vitamin C, enhancing the overall nutritional profile.


Key allergens in this recipe include nuts (walnuts), dairy (butter, yogurt), and eggs. Those with allergies to these ingredients should exercise caution.


Albanian Walnut Cake is a nutrient-dense dessert, offering a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals. However, it's also calorie-rich and contains common allergens.


Albanian Walnut Cake is a testament to the beauty of simple, quality ingredients coming together to create a dessert that's both nourishing and indulgent. Its rich history, combined with the versatility and nutritional benefits, makes it a wonderful addition to any baker's repertoire. Whether enjoyed at a special celebration or as a comforting treat, this cake is sure to delight.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was captivated by its simplicity. It was given to me by a dear friend who had just returned from a trip to Albania. She raved about this delicious cake she had tried while she was there, and was kind enough to share the recipe with me.

I remember sitting in my kitchen, the sun streaming in through the window, as I carefully read over the ingredients and instructions. It seemed so easy, yet so exotic at the same time. I was eager to try my hand at making it, to see if I could recreate the flavors that my friend had described.

I gathered the necessary ingredients - walnuts, sugar, flour, eggs, and a few other simple items. As I began to mix everything together, I could already smell the sweet aroma of the cake starting to fill the air. The sound of the walnuts being crushed under my rolling pin was music to my ears.

As the cake baked in the oven, I couldn't help but feel a sense of anticipation. Would it turn out as delicious as my friend had promised? Would it transport me to a faraway land with just one bite? I couldn't wait to find out.

When the cake was finally ready, I pulled it out of the oven and let it cool on the counter. The scent that wafted through my kitchen was intoxicating - a mix of warm nuts and sugar that made my mouth water.

I took a bite of the cake, and it was everything I had hoped for and more. The texture was light and fluffy, with a perfect balance of sweetness from the sugar and richness from the walnuts. Each bite was a journey to Albania, a taste of a place I had never been but now felt intimately connected to.

I shared the cake with my family and friends, who all marveled at its unique flavor and asked for the recipe. I was proud to pass it on, knowing that this simple yet delicious cake had the power to bring people together and create lasting memories.

Since that day, Albanian Walnut Cake has become a staple in my kitchen. I make it whenever I want to transport myself back to that sunny afternoon when I first discovered its magic. It's a reminder of the power of food to connect us to different cultures and experiences, and a testament to the joy that cooking can bring.

As I sit here now, reflecting on that fateful day when I first tried my hand at making Albanian Walnut Cake, I am filled with gratitude for the friend who shared the recipe with me. It has become a treasured part of my culinary repertoire, a symbol of the endless possibilities that come from exploring new flavors and techniques.

I may never make it to Albania myself, but every time I bake this cake, I feel a little piece of that distant land in my own home. And for that, I am forever grateful.


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