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For the past three years, our office has hosted a bakeoff the week before Thanksgiving. This year, my bake placed first! The classic autumnal flavors of maple, cinnamon and vanilla were my muses and my husband said the cake reminded him of a cinnamon pop tart, but obviously not sickeningly sweet. This recipe is modified from a Bon Appetite cake I came across when researching. If you have a holiday dinner or potluck in the next couple of weeks and want something different from the usual, give this a shot and let me know what you think.

Vermont Maple Pecan Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

INGREDIENTS

cake

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped

 

frosting

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon

 

PREPARATION

cake

  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper; butter parchment. Dust pans with flour; tap out excess. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks and egg 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions. Fold in pecans. Divide batter equally between prepared pans (about 3 1/2 cups for each); smooth tops.
  • Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 20 minutes. Run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto racks; remove parchment. Cool cakes completely.

frosting

  • Sift powdered sugar into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and maple syrup and beat just until smooth (do not overbeat or frosting may become too soft).
  • Using serrated knife, trim off domed top of each cake layer, creating flat surface. Place 1 cake layer, trimmed side up, on platter. Spoon 1 cup frosting in dollops over top of cake layer; spread evenly to edges. Top with second cake layer, trimmed side down. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. Decorate as desired.