Maple syrup is one of my favorite sweet treats. I typically use it to top off stacks of pancakes or other breakfast treats, like most of us do, but I also have been known to stir it into coffee/tea drinks, ice cream and other creations. This Maple Pecan Cake is a wonderfully simple cake that is sweetened with maple syrup and accented with toasted pecans. It’s a delicious addition to brunch any day of the year and is a stellar dessert option in the fall and winter.
The cake batter includes both sugar and maple syrup. The sugar helps to create a light, fluffy crumb in this cake, giving it an almost pound cake-like texture. Maple syrup adds both sweetness and plenty of flavor. To get the most out of your maple syrup, choose a dark colored maple syrup and make sure that you are using the real thing, not pancake syrup. Dark maple syrups used to be labeled “Grade B”, but are now usually labeled “dark” or “dark amber.” You can really taste the maple syrup in the finished cake and it adds a wonderful sweetness – and a much more balanced maple flavor than you get when using maple extracts in cakes.
This cake can be baked in a tube pan or a bundt pan. I used a tube pan with a decorative base, which produced the pattern that you can see on top of the cake in my pixtures, but a plain tube pan will work just fine here. I find that this cake recipe doesn’t fill up a bundt pan quite as much as others, however you’ll still get a good sized cake and the bundt design will come through well if you opt for a bundt pan. No matter what type of pan you use, be sure to grease it before pouring in the batter to ensure that it doesn’t stick!
I served my cake without any frosting as a coffee cake, letting buttery maple flavor of the cake evoke a breakfast of pancakes or waffles alongside freshly brewed coffee. The cake is sweet enough that you can get away without frosting it easily. If you want to amp up the maple flavor, however, I recommend finishing the cake with a maple glaze, which you can make by whisking together a few tablespoons of maple syrup, water, some confectioners’ sugar and a pinch of salt.
Maple Pecan Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup chopped, toasted pecans
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Blend in maple syrup, followed by the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until fully combined.
Stir half of the flour mixture into the maple mixture, followed by the milk. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, mixing until no streaks of flour remain visible. Fold in pecans until evenly distributed.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the pan before turning it out onto a serving dish.