Walnut Cups + Roasted Maple Walnuts

Maple Roasted Walnuts | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comI am always finding ways to pack healthy, whole snacks in my kids lunch boxes. Chips and most foods that are processed are a thing of the past. Instead, it’s always something warm (generally leftovers from the night before – kept warm in a thermos) cut up veggies, a fruit or two, cheese, maybe some rice crackers, and nuts (for the crunch). Pistachios, in their shells, are a favorite, as well as shelled sunflower seeds. Lately, it is these nuts that have won my boys hearts.

So many recipes to create with California Walnuts | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comA while back (embarrassingly, a long while back), I received this gorgeous bag of walnuts from  California Walnuts. They had reached out to me and offered me a bag to try. I stuck the nuts in the freezer, as I do all of my nuts, and it wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when cleaning out the freezer, that I stumbled upon this unopened, burlap sac.

Roasted maple almonds have become a Sunday ritual and this past weekend, I decided to swap out the almonds for walnuts. So glad I had. I love almost everything almond, but these walnuts, roasted this way, is now my new front runner for a staple pantry snack.

Traditional Composition Books keeps all of my inspiration in one place | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comI still had some nuts to spare so I pulled out my “journal” of ideas. For years, I have been filling up composition books with articles, recipes, graphics, photo inspiration, and resources from my favorite magazines. I found this to be way more effective than shoving paperwork into a binder or a file that gets buried in the filing cabinet. The size of a composition book is perfect for the purse and is always taken with me when the kids have either dentist or ortho appointments. It’s my favorite resource.

Walnut Cup Tart Shells | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comI had originally found this recipe in an issue of Bon Apetit and knew I wanted to make this crust for more recipes than what it was intended for. When I first read about them and then cut them out to put in my inspiration book, I had always envisioned them filled with homemade ice cream or a no bake cheesecake filling. Such a great alternative to an ice cream cone, something my kids have kind of missed since cutting gluten out of our diet.

Walnut Crusted Tartlettes with Pumpkin Ice Cream, Homemade Caramel Sauce, + Maple Roasted Walnuts | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comWith lots of individual, little balls of homemade boozy pumpkin pie ice cream on hand, this is exactly how we initially consumed them. Filling the cups with two scoops of ice cream and then drizzling a bit of homemade caramel sauce on top, this was the perfect little treat at the end of a wholesome and hearty meal (Shepherd’s pie was on the menu that night). Chopping up a few of the roasted maple walnuts and sprinkling them on top was the perfect accessory to an already stylish dessert. I have since made this recipe using toasted pecans and it was so good that it has inspired me for an upcoming dessert for our Thanksgiving table.


Walnut Cups


2 tsp coconut oil
2 cups walnuts, toasted
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons gluten free flour blend
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt


• in the work bowl of a food processor, pulse nuts until coarsely ground.
• add coconut oil,honey, gluten free flour blend, cinnamon, nutmeg, and Celtic sea salt.
• pulse until dough comes together.
• pinching 1 tablespoon of dough, form into a ball and press into silicone mini muffin cups. pressing your thumb into
the center of the dough, bring the dough up the sides of muffin cup. repeat, using up all the dough.
• chill in the fridge for one hour.
• preheat oven to 350*.
• place prepared silicone muffin cups on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet.
• bake 8 – 12 minutes. cool completely on a wire rack until completely cool.
• fill with ice cream and top with favorite toppings.
• nut cups can be made one day ahead and stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
note: these would be great filled with pastry cream and topped with fruit or lemon curd, or a no bake cheesecake filling. so many ways to make something delicious even more delicious.
makes 16 small tartlettes.

Roasted Maple Walnuts


3 cups raw walnuts
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


• preheat oven to 300*
• line a quarter sheet pan (rimmed) with heavy duty foil. brush with coconut oil. set aside.
• in a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients until nuts are well coated.
• spread, in a single layer, on prepared baking sheet.
• bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until nuts are golden brown and caramelized.
• let cool completely before removing from the baking sheet.
• store in an air tight, glass jar for up to one week (they won’t last that long).
• makes 3 cups

The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com

More Nut Recipes around the Web:
Roasted Chestnuts – Just One Cookbook
Chocolate Dipped Nut Bites – Gourmande in the Kitchen
Sugar and Spice Candied Nuts – Smitten Kitchen

Showing 21 comments
  • marla

    I often do a crust like that ~ an absolute favorite 🙂

  • Reply

    These look like the perfect afternoon work snack. Full of protein, healthy fat and a little sweet. Plus, I love the flavor of maple! Mmmm. Great post, Susan!

    • Susan

      They are so addicting, Allison! When they hit the back of your throat you can taste the cayenne and it is such a great balance between the sweet and sour!

  • HeatherChristo

    Are you kidding me with that last shot of that “sundae”!? That looks absolutely unbelievable. pphhhhwww, who needs gluten when you could have THAT!!??

    • Susan

      My sentiments exactly. So not missing the gluten and so loving finding new ways to find that “carb” feeling!

  • Lucy Lean

    I woke up to that photo of the walnut cup. Filled with boozy ice cream and I NEED it for breakfast!

    • Susan

      Breakfast – yes indeed. I like the way you think!

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

    Walnuts are my favorite! I love the cups and the maple roasted ones! Yum!

    • Susan

      Recently, I have grown to really like walnuts. In the past they were a bit too bitter for my palate, but knowing how good they are for me, I have introduced them into so many more dishes.

  • Deliciously Organic

    What a lovely dessert! And filled with boozy ice cream. Must try!

  • TidyMom

    Susan these look Amazing!! especially that last shot!! wish that was in front of me right now!

    • Susan

      Thanks, Cheryl! I am kind of glad it’s all gone and out of my freezer! It was way too tempting!

  • Adair @ Lentil Breakdown

    Wow, I found a pastry I can eat! Just found out I’m allergic to wheat and eggs, and a lot of the gluten-free recipes have eggs and GMOs like xanthan gum. This is a winner with your homemade mix! And thanks for the comment on my GMO post at Eating Rules. : )

    • Susan

      Hi Adair – I so love your writing and I LOVED your article. We cut out gluten about 10 months ago as my 6 year old was struggling with excema( I grew up with it my whole life). His excema was cleared up within 2 months! There are a lot of alternatives for eggs, which I have been experimenting with. Once you figure out what works, it gets easier. Good luck with your new diet – I am sure you will find yourself not missing most of what you think you may miss!

  • Reply

    I love that you put ice cream in there! Looks absolutely delicious…

    • Susan

      Thanks, Loretta!

  • Reply

    Those walnuts.. those little cups.. look amazing! Sweet, adorable, full of flavor!! I love this idea!

    • Susan

      Thanks, Barb! This holiday season, I have lots of new ideas inspired from this little, tiny cup!

  • Reply

    Susan these are stunning, I love walnuts I must make those cups!

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

    omg YES PLEASE!

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