If you love maple and pecans, you’re going to love this stunning maple pecan cake with maple buttercream for fall and Thanksgiving! This recipe is sponsored by Maple from Canada. It’s made with delicate maple pecan cake layers, gently brushed with more maple syrup and frosted with a maple French buttercream! For this delicious dessert, I’m not using any regular sugar, just pure maple syrup for sweetening both the cake and frosting! It’s the best maple cake I’ve ever tried!
Watch My Maple Cake Video Tutorial!
Watch my YouTube video recipe for step by step instructions for making this maple pecan cake! And, watch how I put this cake together! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website emailing list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!
Ingredients for Maple Pecan Cake
Here are some of the main ingredients you’ll need for this fall cake:
- Maple Syrup: I recommend using pure maple syrup for the best results.
- Pecans: diced pecans will add lots of texture and flavor!
- Butter: I use unsalted butter for the French buttercream. Soften the butter at room temperature for about 1 hour.
- Eggs: have the eggs at room temperature for best results.
- All-Purpose Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder & Salt: the dry ingredients you’ll need for the cake batter.
- Cooking Oil: I typically use canola oil since it’s mild in flavor.
- Vanilla Extract
- Buttermilk: using soured milk in the cake batter makes it more moist and soft.
- Egg Yolks: for making the French buttercream. The egg yolks are cooked with a hot syrup.
Using Maple Syrup for Baking
This delicious maple cake recipe is sponsored by Maple from Canada. 100% pure maple syrup from Canada’s flavor is unmatched. As a natural sweetener, it can be used as an alternative to sugar in a variety of dishes, such as desserts and baked goods (pies and cakes, just to name a few). It’s even great for savory dishes! Pure maple syrup is derived directly from maple sap and is made with just one ingredient – 100% maple! I love to use maple syrup for desserts such as this cake, and for sweetening coffee, tea, fresh fruit, cereal and even ice cream! It’s my favorite natural sweetener!
Visit Maple from Canada’s website to learn more about pure maple syrup: https://www.puremaplefromcanada.com/
Making the Maple Cake Layers
This maple pecan cake recipe starts with the flavorful and aromatic cake layers! The layers are sweetened with maple syrup and dotted with crunchy pecans! I use buttermilk for this recipe, which makes the cake layers extra moist and fluffy.
- To make the cake layers, first preheat the oven to 350F/177C.
- Next, combine all the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl: buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla and pure maple syrup.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and then sift them into the batter. Fold the diced pecans in last.
- Once the cake layers are baked, allow them to cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then transfer them onto a wire rack to cool. The maple cake layers need to be completely cooled before assembling the cake! Warm cake layers will melt the buttercream, causing a dessert disaster!
Maple French Buttercream Recipe
If you’ve never tried making French buttercream, you’re in for a very pleasant surprise! This unique buttercream is silky smooth, creamy and it holds its shape very well! The frosting is made with egg yolks, hot syrup and butter. The syrup is cooked to 240F/115C and then slowly added into the egg yolks, cooking them to a safe temperature. For this maple flavored recipe, I simply replaced the usual sugar syrup with pure maple syrup! This frosting is the perfect complement to the maple pecan cake layers!
Here are a few tips for making this maple buttercream!
- Watch the maple syrup carefully as it cooks! The syrup can foam and bubble and can go over the sides of the pot! If the syrup starts to foam, remove it from the heat until it settles, then continue cooking the syrup but on a lower heat.
- Once you’ve added the hot maple syrup to the egg yolks, whisk the mixture on high speed for 7 to 9 minutes, until the egg yolks are creamy, thick and pale in color. The mixture should cool down completely and should be just barely lukewarm when you start adding the butter.
- Add the butter slowly and whisk well after each addition! When you start adding the butter a few tablespoons at a time, the frosting will look ‘wrong’, as if it’s separated. This is normal! Keep adding the butter and mixing. The buttercream will come together once all the butter has been added.
How to Make a Maple Pecan Cake
- Once the maple pecan cake layers are completely cooled and you have frosting ready to go, it’s time to assemble the cake! I recommend using a sharp, serrated knife to level the tops of layers. This will give you the best foundation for a level cake.
- Then, use a pastry brush and lightly brush more maple syrup onto each layer, followed by a dollop of the maple buttercream.
- Spread the buttercream evenly to the edges and then repeat this process for the next layers.
- Once you have the cake put together, use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake. I recommend applying a crumb coat of frosting first. This light layer of frosting will seal in any crumbs. Then apply the final layer of frosting and garnish the cake.
- I added diced pecans on the sides and dollops of frosting on the top using a French star tip #4.
Enjoying the Pecan Cake!
This beautiful and delicious maple pecan cake with maple buttercream is ready to be enjoyed right away! Just use a sharp knife to cut the cake into slices. If you want even more maple flavor, try drizzling extra maple syrup over each slice!
Want to make this cake ahead of time? It will store very well in the refrigerator. Store the cake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to enjoy it, simply remove it from the refrigerator about an hour before serving to allow the buttercream to soften.
Do you love maple syrup? Check out my other recipe with pure maple syrup you’re sure to enjoy!
- Maple Apple Streusel Cake – quick and EASY apple cake sweetened with maple syrup and topped with a crunchy almond streusel!
- Maple Pecan Pie Cheesecake – the most delicious pecan cheesecake sweetened with maple syrup, with a caramel pecan topping and maple whipped cream!
- You’ll love my ‘Maple White Russian’ cocktail, sweetened with maple syrup!
- Maple Berry Cake – delicate maple cake layers with maple mascarpone whipped cream and loads of berries!
- No-Bake Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake – perfect for summer! Made with maple rhubarb jam, loads of strawberries and maple whipped cream!
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Maple Pecan Cake with Maple Buttercream Recipe (video)
For Maple Pecan Cake:
- 1 cup whole-fat buttermilk
- ¾ cup cooking oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups pure maple syrup
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups finely diced pecans
For Maple Buttercream:
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups finely diced pecans, for cake garnish
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, for cake assembly
For Maple Pecan Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350F/177C. Line three, 8-inch (20-cm) cake pans with parchment paper and spray the sides with a baking spray, if desired.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the liquid ingredients: buttermilk, cooking oil, vanilla, eggs and pure maple syrup. Mix the ingredients together on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until the eggs are well beaten.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the liquids and mix on low speed for 1 minute, just until the flour is incorporated. Gently fold in the diced pecans last.
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the three prepared pans. Bake the cake layers in the preheated oven for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The tops should be a rich, golden color. Allow the cake layers to cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then let them cool completely on a wire rack.
For Maple French Buttercream:
- Prepare the maple buttercream next. Place the egg yolks into a mixer bowl and whisk on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until the yolks are thickened and pale. Meanwhile, pour the maple syrup into a small sauce pot and attach a candy thermometer to the side.
- Cook the maple syrup over medium heat until the temperature reaches 240F/115C. This usually takes about 5 to 7 minutes. Watch the maple syrup as it heats; it can foam up and bubble over the top of the pot. If the maple syrup foams and bubbles, remove it from heat until it settles, then continue cooking on a lower heat.
- Once the syrup comes up to temperature, immediately turn on the mixer to a medium speed and slowly pour the maple syrup into the egg yolks in a slow and steady stream. Once all the maple syrup has been added, increase the mixer speed to high and mix for 7 to 9 minutes, until the egg yolks are fluffy, thickened and pale in color. The mixture should also be cooled down until it’s barely warm.
- Slowly start to add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time. Continue adding the butter even if the frosting looks separated; the frosting will come together. Once all the butter is added, add in the vanilla. Turn the mixer up to high speed and whisk for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the frosting is creamy and smooth.
Assembling the Maple Pecan Cake:
- To assemble the cake, first make sure the cake layers are completely cooled. Use a long, serrated knife to level off the top of each layer. Using a pastry brush, lightly soak each layer with maple syrup, then top with a layer of the prepared buttercream. Use an off-set spatula to spread the frosting evenly. Watch my video recipe to see how it’s done.
- Frost the top and sides of the cake with a crumb coat of frosting, then set the cake into the refrigerator to chill for 15 to 20 minutes. Apply the final layer of frosting and smooth the sides and top of the cake. Using your hands, very gently press the remaining diced pecans into the sides of the cake and sprinkle some on top. If desired, transfer any remaining frosting and add dollops of cream on top of the cake. I used a French star tip #4 for my cake.
- The cake can be enjoyed right away or refrigerator for later. If refrigerated, remove the cake about an hour before serving to allow the buttercream and cake to soften.