Recipes Articles Book Reviews Shopping Forum Contact

Maple-Walnut Cake

from Sky High: Irresistable Triple Layer Cakes
by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne

Maple-Walnut Cake

1 1/3 cups walnut halves (see Baker's Note)
3 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup, preferably light amber (see Baker's Note)
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup milk
Maple Cream Frosting
Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; Serves 12 to 16

Maple Cream Frosting:
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup maple syrup
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted after measuring
Makes about 4 cups

This and many other wonderful recipes may be found in Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne's
Sky High: Irresistable Triple Layer Cakes from Chronicle Books


There's a reason maple and walnut are often married as a single flavor: the two are exceptionally compatible and have an almost synergistic effect on each other. Here maple syrup is used both to sweeten and flavor the cake as well as the frosting.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Spread out the walnuts on a small baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant and lightly toasted, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a dish and let cool. Leave the oven on. When the nuts are cool, set aside 1/3 cup for garnish. Finely chop the remaining toasted walnuts.

3. Combine the chopped walnuts, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low, blend well. Add the butter and maple syrup and beat until blended. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole egg, egg yolk, and milk. Add this liquid to the batter in 2 or 3 additions, beating until blended and scraping down the sides of the bowl well after each addition. Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans.

5. Bake for 32 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks, gently peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely.

6. To assemble the cake, place one cake layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup frosting over the layer, spreading it evenly right to the edge. Repeat with the second layer and another 2/3 cup frosting. Set the third layer on top and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting, swirling the frosting decoratively with an offset palette knife or the back of a spoon. Garnish with the reserved toasted walnut halves.

Baker's Notes:
Be sure your walnuts are impeccably fresh. It will make all the difference in the world here.

Maple Cream Frosting:
1. Place the butter in a wide medium saucepan and melt over low heat. Add the maple syrup, raise the heat to medium-low, and boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently so the syrup does not burn.

2. Pour the hot maple butter into a heatproof bowl and let cool to room temperature.

3. Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat well with an electric mixer to lighten. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth. Scrape down the bowl well and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the maple butter and mix until completely blended.

Copyright © 2007 Epicurean.com & Chronicle Books
All rights reserved