Foraging for nuts is part of my childhood. My little tree house used to be in a Chestnut Tree. Chestnuts were not my favorite. They lined the path to the pool and the spiny husks littered the way and I would inevitably stomp on one. The driveway was littered with hickory nuts. Somewhat friendlier nut in most cases. Except planting hickory nuts along a driveway not the smartest move. Every fall my father would cringe every time he heard a crash upon the hood of his Jeep. The shells littered the driveway and my parents continually cleaned the driveway off. We have four hickory trees at our new house. One tree is a giant of a Hickory Tree. The size of the nut is double the size of the ones I grew up with.
A hickory nut tastes like a walnut but a bit sweeter. Also, I have no allergic tendencies with a hickory nut. I love walnuts but my body rejects them after a while. I can only eat them in small doses. We had a pretty big harvest of nuts so I decided to search for a recipe to utilize our harvest. You can substitute must recipes that call for walnuts for a Hickory Nut. I found Grandma’s Hickory Nut Cake on the tasteofhome.com site. I made a slight change with the vanilla.
I warned Bruce that gathering the nuts is fun to do but the actual husking of the hickory nut is a whole other ball o wax. To get 1 cup of nuts expect to spend 1 hour husking the shells with a hammer. So last night our roles were set… he hammered and I dug the meat out. Be very careful not to get the shell mixed in with your nuts or you’ll be spending some time in the dentist chair.
A nice harvest cake with not as many calories because you just spent an hour hammering all those nuts out!
The cake is a very moist cake and the brown sugar frosting is extra sweet. I thought about doubling the frosting so I had more in the middle but I’m glad I didn’t. It would have been a sweet coma.
We plan to start selling our hickory nuts online soon. So if you need a hickory nut source we can help!
Hickory Nut Cake
- 2 cups Sugar
- 2/3 cup Butter
- 3 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 2-1/2 cup Flour
- 1 cup Milk
- 1 cup Hickory nuts Chopped – reserve a handful of halves for decoration
- 1/2 cup Butter
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Half and Half
- 2 cups Confectionery Sugar Sifted
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract