Torta od oraha (Butterscotch Walnut Cake)

This is a super moist walnut cake layered with butterscotch pudding.

This recipe is inspired by the kitchens of Serbia, but I adapted it to be vegan.

Normally I only like desserts with chocolate in them, but the sweet, gooey richness of this torta was very happily satisfying!


Walnut Cake

  • 3/4 cup ground walnuts
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Butterscotch Pudding

  • 2 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 of a 400mL can of coconut cream (or just don’t shake a can of full-fat coconut milk, leave it in the fridge overnight, and scrape all the coconut cream off the top)
  • 2 Tbsp plant-based butter or margarine


  • 3/4 cup ground walnuts, to sprinkle on top


Make the cakes
In a large bowl, mix the cake ingredients: first the dry ingredients, then add the wet ones and mix just until combined. Do not overmix.

Pour the batter evenly into 2 greased 9″ cake pans. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in the pans for 5 minutes, then gently loosen the edges and flip the pans over to turn the cakes out. Cool completely before assembling. You could even make the cake and the pudding the day before and store them in the fridge overnight.

Make the pudding
Warm a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add and whisk together the coconut sugar, cornstarch, flour, and a little bit of the soy milk. Pour in the rest of the soy milk while whisking continuously, and keep stirring until it starts to bubble and thickens.

After the pudding thickens, remove from the heat and mix in the vanilla, vinegar, coconut cream and plant-based butter. It should be lovely and glossy and thick. Cover it and put in the fridge while the cakes are cooling to thicken it up a bit more.

Assemble and decorate
Put one cake on a serving plate and spread half of the pudding over it, right to the edges. Gently lay the second cake on top and spread the rest of the pudding on top. Sprinkle with ground walnuts as a fun decoration.

Cool in the fridge if you have time, or cut into it gently and enjoy your little slice of heaven!


Life has left her footprints on my forehead.
But I have become a child again this morning.
The smile, seen through leaves and flowers,
is back to smooth away the wrinkles,
as the rains wipe away footprints on the beach.

Again a cycle of birth and death begins.
I walk on thorns, but firmly, as among flowers.
I keep my head high.
Rhymes bloom among the sounds of bombs and mortars.

The tears I shed yesterday have become rain.
I feel calm hearing its sound on the thatched roof.
Childhood, my birthland, is calling me,
and the rains melt my despair.

I am still here alive, able to smile quietly.
O sweet fruit brought forth by the tree of suffering!
Carrying the dead body of my brother,
I go across the rice field in the darkness.
Earth will keep you tight within her arms, my dear,
so that tomorrow you will be reborn as flowers,
those flowers smiling quietly in the morning field.

This moment you weep no more, my dear.
We have gone through too deep a night.
This morning,
I kneel down on the grass,
when I notice your presence.

Flowers that carry the marvelous smile of ineffability
speak to me in silence.
The message,
the message of love
and understanding,
has indeed come to us.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

7 responses to “Torta od oraha (Butterscotch Walnut Cake)”

  1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    So moist and delicious!

  2. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Facebook comment from Sara: ::DROOL:: 🙂

  3. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Facebook comment from Sylvia: Looks DELISH – sadly to many ingredients I can not have

  4. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Facebook comment from Regena: this looks amazing! I’m going to have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  5. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Facebook comment from Janine: It looks soooo good. 🙂

  6. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Facebook comment from Carola: Oooh – I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight, that looks sooo delicious! (I thought it was condensed milk caramel or a vegan version of it. That would really keep me awake!)

  7. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Instagram comment from Helen: This looks amazing 😍😍

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