Manly Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 3-layer 8-inch cake
For the Brown Sugar Walnut Cake:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped and lightly coated in flour
For the Brown Sugar Frosting:
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 8-ounce packages (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 to 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • Brown sugar coated bacon (for garnish)
To make the Brown Sugar Walnut Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with baking spray. Set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In another bowl, combine sour cream and baking soda.
  5. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream mixture in 2 additions, starting and ending with flour mixture.Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Fold in the chopped walnuts.
  6. Divide batter between pans and smooth the batter with an off set spatula. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out mostly clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans, about 15 minutes then invert cakes cool completely on a wire rack. In the meantime, make the frosting.
To Make the Brown Sugar Frosting:
  1. Use an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to cream together the butter and cream cheese until silky smooth, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  2. Add the brown sugar and vanilla. Turn the speed to high and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. On the lowest speed, add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, until frosting is thick, smooth and spread-able.
To assemble the Cake:
  1. Level off the cakes so each layer is flat.
  2. Frost each layer with the brown sugar frosting and stack the next layer on top.
  3. Do a light crumb coating on the outside of the cake and let the cake chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  4. Frost the cake with a final coat of frosting. Let the cake chill for a final 15 minutes.
  5. Top with candied bacon.
Cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart, Frosting recipe adapted from the Baker Chick
Recipe by Layer Cake Parade at