Walnut crunch cake donuts
Baking,  Donuts

Walnut Crunch

I don’t recall where I found this recipe but I know one thing for sure, it makes a near identical recipe to the walnut crunch cake donuts that were commercially available here in Canada. No one knows for sure why its no longer made commercially. Luckily, we have a recipe that will allow people to make them at home.

[Footnote: I will add more pictures and a youtube video in the next week or so.]

I will start with the recipe, then I’ll talk about how to make them. I use the cups and tablespoons for measuring, so the grams calculations is estimated.

WoodchuckCanuck Walnut Crunch

Part A:

30 g (2 T) butter

45 g (1/2 cup) walnuts, chopped

Part B:

2 Whole eggs (large)

150g (3/4 cup) white sugar

Part C:

1/4 cup buttermilk (or sub with 3/4 tsp lemon juice and top up with milk, set aside for 15 min before using)

1 tsp Vanilla flavouring

Part D:

180 g (1-1/2 cup) all purpose flour

42g (6 T) cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 tsp dry instant coffee grounds, crushed (simply crush in palm of your hand with finger)

Sift these ingredients together.

Part E:


3-1/2 cups icing sugar

1/4 cup boiling water (more will be needed to adjust)

2 tsp corn syrup

pinch of salt


Step 1: Combine Part A. Melt the butter on the stove in a small pan, cook with walnuts until brown. Set aside to cool.

Step 2: Combine Part B. Whip eggs and sugar until pale and thickened. Should take 2-3 minutes. I used a whip on the 5qt KitchenAid mixer.

Step 3: Add Part C. Add buttermilk and flavouring to the eggs and sugar mixture. Stir to combine well.

Step 4: Change out the whip on the mixer for the paddle. Add Part D to the mixed ingredients and also add Part A. Mix to a semi stiff dough for about 20 seconds on medium speed.

Step 5: If the dough appears a bit soft on the bottom, use a plastic scraper to fold in the dough while still in the bowl. Then turn out onto a flour surface on the counter top. Knead about 6 times using a little more flour if necessary. Remember that the more flour you use, the more dry the donut will become.

Step 6: Set the kneaded dough on a plate in the fridge for about 20 minutes. It will be soft and slightly sticky.

walnut crunch recipe
Walnut Crunch recipe – Use parchment paper if you want, as shown.

Update: In subsequent batches I abandoned the parchment paper method and simply put it on a dinner plate and spread it out into a rectangle type shape as shown below.

walnut crunch recipe
Walnut Crunch recipe – This photo is actually when I made it the very first time.

Step 7: While dough is setting in the fridge, make the glaze. Using a 5qt mixer with paddle, insert the icing sugar. Blend the hot water, corn syrup and salt together then add to the icing sugar. Stir slowly. Add more hot water to suit the thickness of glaze you want. When making glaze, less is better when adding extra water. So once you have the walnut crunch ready to dip in glaze, do a test and if the glaze is too thick, blend in a wee bit more hot water.

Step 8: Prepare the dough. Either cut them evenly and pre-shape individually, or roll out to a rectangular shape on a floured surface countertop. I generally like the individual pieces to be 5-6 inches long and 2 inches wide. Sometimes I like to make 12, sometimes 16 from a batch.

Update: Subsequent batches have proved that 12 is the ideal quantity, makes a nice donut. I roll it out 12 inches long and 8 inches wide.

Either way, the rectangle is 10-12 inches wide and then roll it out long enough to get the quantity desired. Cut out the shapes. Pick up each one and brush off the excess flour, I use a natural bristle BBQ brush. Then set the pieces aside to sit while you prep the fryer. This sitting time will allow the baking power to work some.

Walnut Crunch donut recipe
Walnut Crunch donut recipe – individual shapes
Home made walnut crunch.
Walnut Crunch home made recipe – rolled out.

Step 9: Now plug in your fryer to bring it up to temperature. Our fryer maxes out at 374ºF on the dial. The true temp is likely 350º to 360º. It’s close enough. Usually takes about 15 minutes to warm up. The oil I use is generally canola oil, sometimes its vegetable oil. Sometimes it’s a mix of both. You will want some means to flip the donuts, I use two forks. And you will want some means to extract the donuts from the hot oil, I use the basket that comes with the fryer. The picture shows 4 in the fryer but it’s better to cook 3 at a time.

Fry for 1 min 15 seconds per side. You may have to adjust that frying time depending on your method. It definitely should not take any longer than 1 min 30 seconds per side.

Lemon Crunch home made recipes
Lemon Crunch – different recipe but similar scenario.

Step 10: As soon as those 3 or 4 donuts come out of the fryer, dip them in glaze and set them on a rack for cooling.

Home made walnut crunch.
Home made walnut crunch.
Walnut crunch
Walnut crunch

Enjoy! We welcome your comments and feedback below. Meanwhile, here are few more photos where we took the recipe and changed a few things to make Lemon Crunch donuts. Also delicious!

Home made Lemon Crunch Cake Donuts.
Home made Lemon Crunch Cake Donuts.
Home made Lemon Crunch Cake Donuts.
Home made Lemon Crunch Cake Donuts. Some dressed with coconut, and one with graham crumbs as a test.
Home made Lemon Crunch Cake Donuts.
Home made Lemon Crunch Cake Donuts.
Home made Lemon Crunch Cake Donuts.
Home made Lemon Crunch Cake Donut Eclairs.
Home made Lemon Crunch Cake Donut Eclairs.
Home made Lemon Crunch Cake Donut Eclairs.

A Newfoundland born Canadian with a life long interest in woodworking, baking and anything else that peaks my curiosity.


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