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Maple Walnut Cake

This maple-flavored cake with candied walnuts honors my grandpa, who made maple syrup. —Lori Fee, Middlesex, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavoring or maple syrup
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavoring or maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of 3 greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease parchment.
  • Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in maple flavoring. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition.
  • Transfer to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 11-13 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
  • For candied walnuts, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; saute walnuts until toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in maple syrup and salt; cook and stir 1 minute. Spread onto foil; cool completely.
  • For frosting, beat butter until creamy. Beat in maple flavoring and salt. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and enough cream to reach desired consistency.
  • Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup frosting. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup candied walnuts and drizzle with 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Repeat layers.
  • Top with remaining layer. Frost top and sides of cake. Top with remaining walnuts and syrup.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 653 calories, 38g fat (20g saturated fat), 116mg cholesterol, 275mg sodium, 75g carbohydrate (61g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • sandyc1940
    Dec 12, 2019

    I have only made this cake 1 time, but will make it many more times. The flavor was wonderful. I did change the frosting though and made a Brown Sugar maple flavored butter cream frosting. This hit the spot with everyone I served it to.

  • CrazyCatLadyForever
    Sep 25, 2019

    HELP! My husband is allergic to buttermilk! Is it possible to substitute something else?? Thanks in advance!

  • four4niers
    Feb 12, 2019

    This is such a wonderful cake! I've been making it for years, and it continues to be one of my favorite go-to layer cakes. I use maple extract for the cake, but I use pure maple syrup for the frosting. I add about 3 teaspoons of maple syrup in the frosting to get the maple flavor that I like. And to answer jessieg's question below, yes, the layers bake quickly when using three 9" cake pans. I prefer thicker cake layers, so I bake the layers in 8" pans which takes ust a little bit longer.

  • jessieg
    Feb 12, 2019

    Can someone please clarify - could it possibly be right to make the cake for only 11-13 minutes??

  • annsway1
    Nov 6, 2018

    No comment left

  • Debbie
    May 4, 2018

    No comment left

  • Jane
    Dec 31, 2017

    This cake was one of the best cakes I have ever made! So delicious, moist and creamy. Definitely will be making it again. Today, as a matter of fact; my daughter's birthday!!! Loved the maple glaze between the layers. Maple buttery frosting is to die for! Yummy all around.

  • ninarae99
    Oct 27, 2017

    This is an excellent cake. It is very buttery and sweet. I might reduce the butter in the frosting next time. I made it for my husband's bday and it was a crowd pleaser.

  • Tweetybrd5808
    Oct 24, 2015

    Great all around...perfect........I have carpotunnel , next time can I use a 9X13 pan? please let meknow cooking time, heat ? Thank you: [email protected]

  • bcrentalal
    Nov 26, 2014

    This cake looks great, but we didn't enjoy the taste. Not enough maple, not enough walnuts, icing tasted more like snow ice cream.