Maple-Pecan Apple Cake with Maple Buttercream

To give this cake a richer maple flavor, we used Grade B maple syrup, which has a stronger profile than Grade A. 

Maple-Pecan Apple Cake
Makes 1 (13x9-inch) cake
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (110 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (13 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 cup (336 grams) Grade B maple syrup
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) sour cream
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple (200 grams), peeled and chopped (about 1¼ cups)
  • ¾ cup (85 grams) finely chopped pecans
  • Maple Buttercream (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Butter a 13x9-inch baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup and sour cream. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with maple syrup mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Fold in apple and pecans. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan. Spread Maple Buttercream onto cooled cake. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.



Maple Buttercream
Makes 5 cups
  • 6 large egg whites (180 grams)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (124 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (336 grams) Grade B maple syrup
  • 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (425 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until medium peaks form.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat maple syrup over medium heat until a candy thermometer registers 240°F (116°C).
  3. Slowly pour hot maple syrup into egg white mixture, beating until bowl is cool to the touch. Add butter, 2 tablespoons (28 grams) at a time, beating until combined. (Buttercream may look slightly runny at this point, but continue whipping until fluffy.) Add salt and vanilla, beating to combine. Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If refrigerating, let frosting come to room temperature before using.
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