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Gluten-Free Buttermilk-Pecan-Walnut Cake

Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Hands-on time 45 mins
Total time 2 hrs, 5 mins

Makes 10 to 12 servings


  • 6 tablespoons turbinado sugar, divided
  • 4 cups pecan halves, toasted
  • 3 cups walnut halves, toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3/4 cup finely ground plain white cornmeal
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Coffee Cream

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp. turbinado sugar in a well-greased (with butter) 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Process pecans, walnuts, and almonds in a food processor until coarsely chopped; reserve 2 cups coarsely chopped nuts. Add cornmeal to remaining nuts in processor; pulse until nuts are finely chopped.

  2. Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.

  3. Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Gradually add egg mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed 2 minutes or until blended, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Gradually add cornmeal mixture to batter, beating until well blended; fold in reserved 2 cups coarsely chopped nuts. Spoon batter into prepared skillet. Level batter using an offset spatula, and sprinkle remaining 3 Tbsp. turbinado sugar over batter.

  4. Bake at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with Coffee Cream.

  5. Make-Ahead Tip Gluten-Free Goodness: This deliciously dense cake uses ground heart-healthy nuts and cornmeal for structure. It actually tastes better as it sits and can be made up to 4 days ahead. Just whip the cream and serve.