This walnut cake has moist layers of rum-soaked yellow cake nestled between rich coffee frosting. Roasted walnuts add crunch, flavor and presentation to this incredible dessert.
Bake the yellow cake: Bake the 2 portions of the Yellow Sponge cake according to directions (the ingredients listed above are for 2 portions). Allow to cool completely.
Then using a long serrated knife (I use this one, then I use these knife fixators to help with making perfectly leveled layers), cut the cakes horizontally into 8 thin layers total. Set the bottoms of 2 cakes aside. They will make up the top and bottom of the finished cake.
Using a cake lifter like this one makes it easy to transfer delicate, thin layers from one place to another.
Roast nuts: On a baking sheet roast 4 cups of walnuts at 325F for 20 minutes. Toss every 5 min to prevent burning. Allow to cool, then chop into pieces. Sift the chopped nuts through a large-holed sieve to remove the tiny pieces, leaving the larger ones behind. Use the sifted tiny pieces for something else, we won't need them for this recipe.
Make the syrup: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tbsp Bacardi Rum and 1 1/2 cups water for the syrup until the sugar is dissolved. Pour it into a squeeze bottle if available and set aside. Otherwise, you can use a pastry brush or a spoon to soak the cake layers.
Combine the Cool whip with sour cream: Stir 1 cup of sour cream with ¼ cup of sifted cocoa powder and 2 Tbsp instant coffee or 2 Starbucks Via packet until well combined and smooth. Fold in 8 oz of cool whip and continue folding carefully until the no streaks are seen.
Whip butter & combine with other ingredients: Whip 12 oz room temperature butter in a stand mixer for about 5-7 minutes or until pale in color and very fluffy, scraping down the sides often. Add 1 1/2 cans of dulce de leche in two additions and whip until combined and fluffy. Carefully fold in the whipped cream.
Reserve cream: Reserve and refrigerate 2 cups of frosting. This will be used for the outside of the cake and decorating.
Layer the cake: Now, spread a dab of frosting onto the middle of the serving platter. Place one of the bottoms of the split yellow cakes bottom side down on top and press to adhere. Drizzle or brush on some sugar syrup, then add 1/7th of the coffee cream filling and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with couple tablespoons of the chopped, roasted walnuts. Top with the next cake layer and press firmly to adhere.
Finish the layering: Continue layering the cake in the manner described above, finishing with the upside-down bottom layer that we reserved earlier. Soak the top with the remaining syrup, then cover the whole cake in a thin layer of the coffee cream using some of the reserved 2 cups from the fridge.
Press the remaining roasted and chopped walnuts all over the sides of the cake.
Pipe Stars: Now add the remaining coffee cream to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe 8 stars around the border of the cake. Add 1 coffee bean inside each piped star. Use any remaining chopped walnuts to sprinkle on the inside perimeter of the piped stars. Refrigerate the cake for 12 hours or overnight before serving.
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