Thursday, September 15, 2011

Maple Pecan Cake

The past two years I have made a maple pecan cake for my Grandpa's birthday. Last year my sister and I met our grandparents in Laramie, WY to spend some time all together and what fun we had! We sat around the indoor pool at our hotel and played Rummikub, talked and swam. It was such a relaxing and memorable time that I sit here smiling at my computer as I reminisce. To celebrate, I had made a small, easy cake that I thought would travel well. Grandpa loved it!

This year while my sister was visiting yet again, our grandparents came down to Denver to spend a few days with us. I remembered how well he loved his cake last year and created the same one. How delightful it was to be all together two years in a row, celebrating our Grandpa and the memories we share. No matter where life takes me...when I have a bite of this cake I will be back in Laramie and Denver, gathered around the table with the one's I love.

Maple Pecan Cake
Source: Cooking for 2 magazine (Spring 2007)

Prep: 40 minutes   Bake: 20 minutes  Serves: 6


3/4    cup plus 1 tablespoon flour

1/4    cup sugar

1/4    cup packed brown sugar

1/2    teaspoon baking soda

1/4    teaspoon salt

1/2    cup buttermilk

1/4    cup butter, melted
3       tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2    teaspoon vanilla
1/3    cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

Glazed Pecans:
3       tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3    cup pecan halves

3       oz. cream cheese, softened
3       tablespoons butter, softened
1       tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars, baking soda and salt. Combine the buttermilk, butter, syrup and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Fold in chopped pecans.

Pour into two 6-inch round baking pans, greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until cake tester is clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In small saucepan, bring corn syrup to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in pecan halves until coated. Place in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

For frosting, in a small mixing bowl beat the cream cheese, butter and syrup until smooth. Beat in confectioners' sugar. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with second layer; frost top and sides of cake. Garnish with glazed pecans. Store in the refrigerator.

Harmony's Thoughts
You don't have to go out and buy special 6-inch round baking pans if you don't want to (if you do, Michael's Craft store has them in their Wilton department). An option is just to bake in one 8 or 9 inch round pan for a one layer cake. Or you could double the recipe and bake in two 8 or 9 inch pans.
I have substituted mascarpone cheese for the cream cheese and it was delicious.
Often, to save time, I don't bother with glazing the pecans. The cake is good both ways.


  1. Harmony, have you every made this cake as cupcakes? Do you mind if I try? How long do you think the cooking time would be?

  2. Bubbies' Mom ~ I haven't but think it is worth a try. I don't think the recipe would yield more than 12 cupcakes, maybe just 8? Cooking time... maybe 15 minutes? I would start at 10 minutes and check every 3 to 5 minutes after. If you do make them, please post a comment on how they worked and the amount of cooking time needed. Great idea!

  3. Hey Harmony, this is Colleen. I have been calling Nathan Bubbies since he was tiny :)

    Thank you for the advice. I am looking forward to testing it out. I just wanted to ask your permission first before I make cupcakes out of your recipe. I will let you know how they turn out.

  4. I knew it was you Colleen :) just addressing you as your tag for all readers clarity. Do whatever you want with the recipe!!! That is the beauty of creativity :)

  5. Oh okay, I didn't know if you knew or not :)