Maple Pecan Cake with Caramel Frosting (video)

maple pecan cake with caramelized sugar

You need to have this maple pecan cake with caramel frosting in your life right now! It really is one of the best fall desserts I’ve ever had! The richly flavored maple cake layers are dotted with crunchy pecans and the salted caramel frosting is the perfect finish to this cake! And let’s talk about that garnish! I topped the cake with caramelized sugar garnish to take the cake to another level! Not only is this fall cake stunning but it’s also delicious!

My Maple Cake Video Tutorial!

Watch my YouTube video recipe for step-by-step instructions and learn how to make the sugar garnish! 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 the main ingredients you’ll need to make this amazing fall dessert:

  • Butter: for making the cake layers and for making the caramel buttercream.
  • Maple Syrup Extract: using this flavorful extract is the best way to add the most maple flavor without adding too much liquids to the recipe.
  • Pecans: use diced pecans for adding crunchy texture and nutty flavor to the cake layers.
  • Dulce de Leche: this thick caramel is actually cooked sweetened condensed milk. It’s the perfect consistency for making my caramel frosting.
  • Eggs, Milk, Flour, Sugar
  • Sugar: use white granulated sugar for making caramelized sugar to make the cool garnish.
maple cake with caramelized sugar garnishes

How to Make a Maple Pecan Cake

This delicious fall dessert is easy to make and will have your kitchen smelling heavenly! Here’s how to put this cake together:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2, 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and extracts until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs until well combined, then mix in the milk and maple syrup. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Use a sifter to add the flour into the cake batter; mix in the flour just until combined. Fold in the chopped pecans at the end.
  3. Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven 35-40 or until completely set. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center; it needs to come out clean. Remove cake layers from pans and set onto wire rack to cool completely.
  4. While the cake is cooling, prepare a batch of my Salted Caramel Buttercream. And if you want to make this cake extra special, prepare the caramelized sugar garnish, too!
  5. This maple pecan cake can be assembled as a 2-layer or 4-layer. For four layers, simply split the cake layers in half using a long, serrated knife. Spread a generous amount of frosting between each layer and over the top and sides of cake. Use a flat spatula to even off the top and sides of the cake, then set into refrigerator for 20 minutes to allow the frosting to set.
  6. Add the caramelized sugar on top when you’re ready to enjoy!

The Salted Caramel Frosting

This maple cake wouldn’t be complete without the incredible ‘Salted Caramel Buttercream’ I used to frost the cake layers. The silky and slightly salted frosting is the perfect complement to the sweet maple and pecan cake layers! I have a new video recipe for this frosting, from my ‘Back to Cake Basics’ series. Make sure to check out my in-depth tutorial for more tips! Want a European-style buttercream instead? Check out my ‘French Buttercream’ recipe and add 8 ounces of caramel to the recipe.

salted caramel frosting

Making the Caramelized Sugar Garnish

The caramelized sugar garnish was so much fun to make! It’s a really easy technique but it makes this cake look like a million dollars! When making this cake ahead of time, leave the sugar garnish off, until ready to serve. If left on for too long, the sugar will eventually start to soft and dissolve, making the garnish lose its shape. You can use this garnish for just about any type of cake or dessert!

More Recipes!

Looking for more delicious fall recipes? Check out these other recipes that I have on my blog:

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Maple Pecan Caramel Cake video recipe
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maple pecan cake with caramelized sugar
5 from 1 vote

Maple Pecan Cake with Caramel Frosting (video)

1 hr 30 mins prep + 40 mins cook
16 servings
Stunning and delicious maple pecan cake with salted caramel buttercream, maple pecan cake layers with maple syrup extract, and eye catching caramelized sugar as a garnish!

Ingredients 

For Maple Pecan Cake Layers:

  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons maple extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For Caramel Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 13 ounce dulce de leche caramel
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

For Sugar Garnish:

  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water

Instructions

For Maple Pecan Cake Layers:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2, 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and extracts until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs until well combined, then mix in the milk and maple syrup. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Use a sifter to add the flour into the cake batter; mix in the flour just until combined. Fold in the chopped pecans at the end.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven 35-40 or until completely set. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center; it needs to come out clean. Remove cake layers from pans and set onto wire rack to cool completely.

For Caramelized Sugar:

  • Meanwhile, work on sugar garnish. Wrap 2 large water glasses with parchment paper and set onto baking sheet. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup white granulated sugar with 3 tablespoons water. Cook the mixture, not stirring, over medium-low heat until the sugar caramelizes and turns a dark amber color. Remove the sugar from heat and let cool for about a minute until the sugar thickens slightly. Using a spoon, drizzle the sugar syrup over the wrapped glasses, building up the layers. If sugar hardens too quickly, return to heat for 30 seconds. Let the sugar harden, then carefully slide the parchment paper off the water glass and peel away from sugar. Break sugar into desired pieces.

For Caramel Frosting:

  • For the frosting: place the butter, dulce de leche and salt into a mixer bowl and whisk until light and fluffy, scrapping down sides of bowl often. Add the cream, then start adding powdered sugar until frosting reaches desired thickness. If frosting starts to melt, place into refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Assembling the Cake:

  • Cake can be assembled as a 2-layer or 4-layer. For four layers, simply split the cake layers in half using a long, serrated knife. Spread a generous amount of frosting between each layer and over the top and sides of cake. Use a flat spatula to even off the top and sides of the cake, then set into refrigerator for 20 minutes to allow the frosting to set.
  • Garnish with caramelized sugar, then set cake into refrigerator for a few hours to set completely.

Nutrition

Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 437IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg