A LONG time ago, I made a maple cake at my mom’s house and it was DELICIOUS! I decided to make another one but this time, I wanted to mix it up a bit. I added toasted walnuts, a maple bourbon glaze, and maple candied walnuts. So rich and intense! I’m glad I chose a light and creamy Italian buttercream to balance it all out. I love that this cake looks so traditional. It’s almost like my grandmother could have made it for a special occasion (Thanksgiving??). I almost forgot to mention! The middle layers are sandwiched between cream cheese frosting. The toasted walnuts give it a great texture. I may even try adding them to more cakes, now. How does a chocolate walnut cake sound?
A rich walnut maple cake complemented by a maple bourbon glaze, creamcheese frosting, Italian buttercream and maple candied walnuts.
- 2 cups walnut halves
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt For sprinkling to taste
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temp
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 2 eggs large
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1/3 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 oz cream cheese room temp
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar plus extra if needed for consistency
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temp
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup egg whites room temp
- 1 cup sugar plus one tablespoon
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla optional
- 1 pound unsalted butter room temp
- 1/4 tsp salt
Add waluts to pan and set on medium-high heat. Toss the walnuts a few times while the pan warms up.
Add the maple syrup. Move the walnuts around frequently. Cook for about three minutes.
Arrange on parchement paper, while hot (using tongs), make sure to separate all of the walnut halves. Sprinkle with salt.
Melt the butter in a sauce pan.
Whisk in the water, maple syrup and sugar and bring to a boil. Don't stop stirring.
Remove from heat, stir in bourbon and set aside to cool.
Butter and flour three 8" pans. I also use cake strips for even baking.
Heat oven to 350F
Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Whisk to combine.
Mix the milk and buttermilk together in a glass
In an electric stand mixer beat the butter an d sugar together for about 5 minutes. You want the sugar well-incorporated into the creamed butter.
Beat in the eggs, allowing the first one to mix in before adding the second.
Slowly add the maple syrup while the mixer is on medium-high.
Add the flour and milk mixtures in two alternating batches. You should scrape the side of the bowl down to ensure thourogh mixing.
Fold in the walnuts.
Distribute batter evenly to the three pans. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes of until a wooden skewer comed out clean from the center.
Cool cakes in pans for about ten minutes before inverting to cool on wire racks.
Beat the cream cheese butter and brown sugar together on high for about 5 minutes. The mixture should be light and fluffy and not grainy from the brown sugar.
Slowly add the confectioner's sugar. The frosting needs to support the cake layers and the powdered sugar is adding body to the mixture so be mindful of the consistency as to add the sugar.
Add the egg whites to a stand mixer with a whisk attachemnt and start on low speed. Gradually increase speed and add 1/4 cup of the sugar.
The remaining sugar, water and maple syrup are added to a sauce pan set to medium-high heat. This is done at the same time as the egg whites are being mixed. The sugar syrup should reach 240F at the same time as the egg whites reach the soft peak stage.
Slowly drizzle the sugar syrup into the running mixer. Allow mixer to run 10-15 munites until the meringue has cooled.
While the mixer is at medium speed add in the butter a tablespoon at a time. If your buttercream sits for a while you might need to turn the mixer back on for a few seconds to wake it back up and return it to the porper consistency.
While the cakes are cooling on the rack brush or drizzle the glaze on. You can also poke holes in the cake beforehand to encourage absorbtion.
Add the cream cheese frosting between each layer and then add the crumb coat. Allow to set in the refrigerator for about 10 or 15 minutes.
Coat with the italian buttercream. Pipe dollops on top using a ___ tip. Place a candied walnut on top of each dollow and all along the bottom edge of the cake. The walnuts are really tasty so don't be afraid to add more, otherwise you can use the excess for snacking 🙂
Chop your walnuts after toasting.
Love a moody cake shot.
The richness of teh cake is balanced by the Italian buttercream, which I’ve made with less sugar than usual.
Hope you enjoy!
How to Make Walnut Cake