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Prize-Winning Hickory Nut Cake Recipe With Raspberry Filling

Preview: This Hickory Nut Cake Recipe With Raspberry Filling is a white cake studded with hickory nuts (or pecans), layered with raspberry filling, then iced with white buttercream frosting.

This delicate white cake is a family legend. My aunt entered the recipe into a contest—and WON! According to the family legend, she got first place, but it may have been second.

I think the prize was a new washer and dryer.  Aunt Marg, if this is wrong, please correct me.

The following was written by my aunt on a copy of the recipe given to my sister.

slice of hickory nut cake

“This recipe was Aunt Nora’s, and it is a good white cake if you don’t have hickory nuts. I have also used pecans. It is almost as good. Most people won’t know the difference. A friend who lives in Lancaster, PA sends me hickory nuts for my birthday. I use the basement vise to crack them. A hammer is nearly impossible. Apparently, the Amish have not chopped down their hickory nut trees like the Indiana people.”

Aunt Marg
Pecan Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling

As my aunt mentioned, this is an excellent white cake. When I can’t get hickory nuts, I use pecans. Hazelnuts would also be a nice substitution for the hickory nuts. 

One more thing. The raspberry filling is my addition.  It’s not necessary, but my family loves it.

How to assemble Hickory Nut Cake with Raspberry Filling:

how to slice and ice the cake

FAQ about Hickory Nut Cake:

Can you eat hickory nuts?

In general, yes. If you taste it and it’s sweet, go ahead. If it’s bitter, that’s a sign to leave them alone, but they aren’t poisonous.

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Are hickory nuts and pecans the same thing?

Pecans are a type of hickory nut. So, substituting pecans for hickory nuts is a good idea if you don’t have hickory nuts.

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Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating in the comment section below. No comment is required.

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: Paula at

Hope to see you again soon!

hickory nut cake

Hickory Nut Cake Recipe with Raspberry Filling

This contest-winning hickory nut cake is layered with raspberry filling and iced with white buttercream frosting
Paula Rhodes
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Cakes and Icing
Servings 16 servings


  • ¾ cup margarine - I use butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ to ¾ cup chopped hickory nuts - or pecans or hazelnuts
  • 6 beaten egg whites
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Whipping cream


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat egg whites in separate bowl and set aside. Cream shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together. Combine milk, water, and vanilla. Add dry and liquid ingredients alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Stir in nuts. Fold in egg whites. Pour into 2 9-inch pans. (I used 8-inch pans and split the layers with a serrated knife.) Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • Frost with a traditional butter cream icing.

Raspberry Filling

  • Place raspberries in pyrex type batter bowl and microwave 2 minutes on HIGH. Pour into a blender or food processor and puree. Strain out the seeds (or leave them in if you prefer some additional fiber.)
  • Combine raspberries,sugar and cornstarch in batter bowl and return to microwave. Cook on HIGH till thickened, approximately 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool.
  • Split layers if you used 8-inch cake pans. Spread filling on top side of one layer and buttercream icing on bottom of next layer. See picture. Do not push raspberry filling all the way to the edge as it will spread on its own. Spread too thickly or too close to the edge, the icing will end up oozing into your white frosting. Pink frosting is not gross but probably not what you want.

Buttercream Icing

  • Cream powdered sugar and butter. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of cream. Gradually add remaining cream until frosting is smooth and spreadable. I had to double the recipe to cover the cake.


Serving: 2gCalories: 401kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 5gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 346mgPotassium: 96mgFiber: 2gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 518IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 68mgIron: 1mg


Keyword buttercream icing, pecan layer cake recipe, raspberry filling recipe
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating


Sunday 18th of October 2009

Such a pretty cake! What was your technique for applying the frosting? I like the effect. Mimi


Monday 19th of October 2009

I used a small knife/spatula to make ridges adjacent to each other. If you try it yourself, plenty of icing makes it easier and prettier

Fresh Local and Best

Thursday 15th of October 2009

What a beautiful cake! I like the thin layers of raspberry filling and that it has nuts. It's quite lovely!


Thursday 15th of October 2009

I love how you frosted the cake. It looks so beautiful!

Ann Hastings

Thursday 15th of October 2009

This looks amazing! I am not a very good "baker" but I'd love to try this recipe!