One of my favorite cakes to make during the fall! This maple cake tastes like a richer and more indulgent pancake. With a combination of good quality maple syrup and maple extract in both the cake layers and frosting, this cake packs some serious cozy flavor in every bite!
maple cake ingredients:
• baking powder + baking soda
• sugar: brown sugar for the cake and powdered sugar for the frosting
• maple syrup: now's the time to bust out the fancy, pure maple syrup! Other syrups (like the kind you may put on your pancakes) doesn't taste quite as authentically maple-y
• maple extract: unlike with vanilla extract (which you can just eyeball when measuring) it's important to be relatively exact when measuring maple extract. A little less is fine, but a little too much maple extract and it can totally take over your cake's flavor! I know it's a tough ingredient to get your hands on depending on where you are in the world, so it's totally fine to leave out - the maple flavor will be much more subtle, but the cake still tastes amazing!
• sour cream
• pecans: they're optional, but I love the added crunch they bring to the table! You can also swap out the pecans for any other nuts you like - another popular choice are walnuts!
how to make maple cake:
Make the maple cake batter:
1. Whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.
2. Cream butter and sugar together.
3. Mix eggs in one at a time.
4. Mix in maple syrup, extract, and sour cream.
5. Alternate mixing in dry ingredients and milk.
6. Portion batter into cake pans & bake!
7. Cool cakes in pans, then turn onto wire rack and set aside to cool completely.
Make the maple frosting:
1. Cream butter until smooth.
2. Mix in powdered sugar and salt.
3. Whip until fluffy.
4. Mix in maple syrup and extract. If needed, gradually mix in more maple syrup until it reaches a frost-able consistency.
5. Assemble cake!. Layer on one cake, ⅓ of the frosting, and ⅓ of the pecans. Continue layering until all of the cakes are stacked.
You can spread the frosting on however you like - I decided to pipe little frosting dots along the edges of the cake for decoration and just spread some frosting in the center normally before topping with the pecans.
maple cake storage:
Keep your cake covered and stored in your fridge until ready to serve. To cover, you can use a cake server lid (if you have one) or plastic wrap. If you end up using plastic wrap and you want to preserve your frosting design, chill the cake for about 1 hour or until the frosting has firmed before wrapping with plastic wrap.
This cake will keep for 5 to 7 days in the fridge. It's best enjoyed at room temperature, so I'd recommend taking it out of the fridge 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
Check out these other fall recipes!
Maple Cake Recipe with Maple Buttercream Frosting
For the maple cake:
- 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour, spoon and leveled
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks / 225g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) packed brown sugar, light or dark
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (180mL) pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons maple extract * see notes
- ¾ cup (180g) full-fat sour cream
- ½ cup (120mL) milk
For the maple buttercream frosting:
- 1 & ½ cups (3 sticks / 340g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 5 & ½ cups (715g) powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 to 8 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons maple extract
- ¾ cup (100g) chopped pecans (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease 3 (8 inch) cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment rounds. Lightly dust the sides of the pans with flour, and set aside.
- Make the maple cake: In a medium bowl, add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine, and set aside to prep the wet ingredients.
- Add butter and brown sugar to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer fitted with the beater attachment, or a whisk by hand, cream the butter and sugar together until it's smooth, fluffy and lightens in color (about 1 minute with a mixer set to medium speed or 2 minutes by hand).
- Whisk the eggs into the butter / sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition, until they're all incorporated. The final mixture may be a bit grainy, but that's totally fine! Whisk in the maple syrup, maple extract, and sour cream until combined.
- Alternate mixing your dry ingredients and milk into the butter mixture. Start by mixing in about half of the dry ingredients, followed by all of the milk. Finish off by whisking in the remaining half of the dry ingredients. Take care not to over mix!
- Divide the cake batter into your prepared cake pans, and spread into an even layer. Bake the maple cake in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes for about 10 minutes in the pan, then turn onto wire racks. Peel off the parchment paper, and set aside the cakes to cool completely to room temperature before frosting.
- Make the maple buttercream frosting: Add your butter to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer fitted with the beater attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, or until smooth and airy. You can do this by hand, but it's a real workout!!
- Add your powdered sugar and salt to the butter, and mix together on low speed to incorporate. Once the powdered sugar is dissolved, increase the speed to high and beat together for another 2 minutes, or until fluffy and pale in color.
- Add in 6 tablespoons of maple syrup and your maple extract. Mix together until incorporated. The frosting will be slightly thicker and stickier than regular buttercream frosting because of the maple syrup, but it should be smooth, fluffy, and spreadable. If the frosting is too thick, gradually mix in more maple syrup, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches a frost-able consistency.
- Assembly: Before you start, note that the buttercream listed here is enough to frost a naked or semi-naked cake (depending on how much frosting you put in between each cake layer). I decided to make mine a full naked cake, but you can add a bit of frosting on the sides if you like!
- Lay one cake layer onto your cake stand or serving plate. Top with about ⅓ of your frosting (you can spread it on or pipe it to create a pattern), and sprinkle over ⅓ of the chopped pecans. Lay on another cake layer, and top with another ⅓ of the frosting and pecans. Layer on the final cake, remaining frosting, and pecans.
- Slice and serve!