Armenian Nutmeg Cake

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Where has this cake been my whole life!? Wel, Armenia I guess… but seriously! I’ve been missing out. This is one hell of a cake and thankfully it was also our Daring Bakers Challenge for April. It was chosen by Jason over at Daily Candor who is actually of Armenian descent. He gave us TWO delicious Armenian desserts- Nazook Cookies and Nutmeg Cake. Our challenge was to make either or both. I didn’t have enough time to make both so I opted for the simpler of the two- the Nutmeg Cake. BUT! I saved the Nazook cookie recipe and plan on making it in December when cookie season is at its all-time high : )

An Armenian Nutmeg Cake has a very sweet, crunchy bottom, crust-like layer and a moist and flavorful cake center with chopped walnuts sprinkled on top. The whole thing is made in a 9″ springform pan which makes for a beautiful presentation of the cake. It’s made solely with brown sugar so between that and the nutmeg it produces a lovely tan crumb and browned top. The whole thing can be whipped together in the food processor in no more than 10 minutes. A dry mixture of flour, baking powder, brown sugar, and butter are pulsed together. This mixture is then halved to make the crust from one part and the cake batter from the other. It is VERY important that you halve it almost exactly otherwise the texture won’t come out as perfectly. I took two bowls of the same size and emptied the food processor contents in between them, dumped one bowl back into the processor for the cake batter and made the crust out of the other. I may be making it sound more complicated than it is, but trust me, it’s SO easy!

And the walnuts on top were a great addition- nutty and crunchy, complementing the nutmeg spiciness perfectly. I don’t think that you would go wrong though it you made a streusel or crumble to go on top instead though. The cake, especially the crust, is pretty sweet to begin with, I just think it would be especially pretty with a streusel on top… plus I’m a streusel addict. But definitely feel free to go the chopped walnut route too because, like I said, that paired very well.

Did I mention how great this smelled baking in the oven yet? Because it did. It filled my house with the intoxicating smell of nutmeg and it was just wonderful. This would be a fantastic cake to make during the Holidays when people are craving the aroma of those homey spices. Honestly, I think that’s why oatmeal raisin cookies are best around Christmas, they just infuse your house with Holiday smells- forget about candles!

Armenian Nutmeg Cake


  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) baking soda
  • 2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm/10 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) baking powder
  • 2 cups (480 ml) (400 gm/14 oz) brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) (180 ml) (170 gm/6 oz) butter, preferably unsalted, cubed
  • ½ cup (120 ml) (55 gm/2 oz) walnut pieces, may need a little more
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons (5 to 7 ½ ml) (5 to 8 gm) ground nutmeg (try to grate it fresh yourself; the aroma is enchanting)
  • 1 egg


Preheat your oven to moderate 350°F/175°C/gas mark 4.

Mix the baking soda (not baking powder) into the milk. Set aside.

Put the flour, baking powder, and the brown sugar into your food processor. Pulse until uniformly mixed.

Toss in the cubed butter. Pulse until uniformly mixed into tan-colored crumbs.

Pour HALF of the crumbs into your springform (9”/23cm) pan. Press out a crust using your fingers and knuckles.

Crack the egg into the food processor with the rest of the crumbs still in it.

Grate 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg. Toss that into the food processor, too. Pulse until well-incorporated.

Pour in the milk and baking soda mixture. Continue to mix until a slightly lumpy tan batter is formed.

Pour the batter over the crust in the springform pan.

Gently sprinkle the walnut pieces over the batter.

Bake in a preheated moderate oven for 30-40 minutes. It’s ready when the top is golden brown, and when it passes the toothpick test (comes out clean). Cool the cake in the pan.

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