Maple Cake

Last month my husband and I had a lovely vacation in Quebec City, Quebec.  Most of the bakeries and patisseries there have a great selection of maple flavored cookies, chocolate, and candy. Since we’ve been back, I’ve been craving maple flavored desserts so this maple cake is just want I wanted.

This maple cake is a lightly sweetened maple cake covered with a sweet layer of maple icing.

03Maple Cake

Maple Cake Recipe
(Makes 16 servings)

Ingredients for Cake:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour Measure your flour correctly!
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (equivalent to 2 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup light sour cream

Ingredients for Maple Icing:

  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Directions for Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9 inch round baking pan with parchment paper and grease the pan. (* See Note below)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set the dry ingredients aside.
  4. Cream the butter, maple syrup, and white sugar until pale and fluffy.
  5. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  7. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of the sour cream.  Mix until just combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake it for 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Let the cake cool completely and cover with the maple icing.

Directions for Maple Icing:

  1. In a medium bowl, melt the butter.
  2. Whisk together the melted butter, maple syrup, and powdered sugar until combined.


* In the round pan the cake will overflow slightly.  You can also line the bottom of a 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper and grease the pan.  Bake the cake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.


You’ve got your typical cake batter deal going on here.  It’s pretty thick and smells amazing already.  All that maple syrup, butter, and sugar…yeah, this is not healthy at all!

01Maple Cake

Does this cake look gorgeous and perfect?  (I hope you think so.)  Well, you almost didn’t see this post.  Let me start at the beginning…

05Maple Cake

I don’t bake cakes often because they intimidate me.  I’m not sure why, but it could be that I’m scarred from my first cake experience.  I didn’t let the cake cool enough before frosting it and it turned into a disaster.  I ended up throwing that cake away.  That was about 6 years ago and my husband still wishes he could have eaten it instead of discovering it in the trash can.

However, I’ve been wanting to try this maple cake for a while.  We were invited to my mother-in-law’s for dinner so I thought it was the perfect occasion to bake it.

12Maple Cake

When I took a closer look at the ingredients, I realized that the recipe called for two sticks of butter.  Two sticks of butter for a one layer cake?  That can’t be right.  I was convinced that it would not come out well.  Did I mention that this venture started at 6:30 pm on a Saturday, I’d been up since 8 am, and on my feet all day in the kitchen?  At this point I’m tired and cranky, which is not a good combination for baking.  My husband and younger sister convinced me to make the cake.  It’s a Martha Stewart recipe, so how bad could it be?  Crisis averted…or so I thought.

07Maple Cake

The original recipe called for a 9 inch square pan, but I don’t have that size pan.  I have a 9 inch round pan so I’m good, right?  (Hold that thought.)  I placed the cake in the oven and I started to peek at it about 3/4 of the way through the baking process.  It looks like a ginormous muffin!  If you didn’t already know, a 9 inch round is not the same size as a 9 in square pan.  Oye.  I rushed to my husband asking a question about squares and circles, got a quick geometry lesson from him and wandered off grumbling.

This cake is a monstrosity!  I literally must have called it that 20 times.  My husband heard me and yelled from his office “Whatever you do, DO NOT throw the cake away.”  I’m tired and now super annoyed.  Fine, then I’ll bring an ugly huge muffin cake to my mother-in-law’s.  My sister brilliantly suggested, “Just cut off the edges.”  Hey, she may be on to something.

02Maple Cake

For those of you who want a round cake, then simply follow these additional directions to avoid serving a muffin cake: (If you make this cake according to Martha Stewart’s directions (using a 9 inch square pan) then you can skip this part.)

Once the cake has cooled completely, invert it onto a platter and remove the parchment paper.  Take a sharp knife around the outer edges of the cake and cut off any cake that spilled out past the edges of the circle pan.  You’ll recognize them partially by the fact that they are likely to be a bit toasted.  You will see the inside of the cake, but don’t worry because you’ll cover it with frosting and you’ll never see those imperfections.

08Maple Cake

Sorry for rambling.  Bottom line is that this maple cake was a hit with the family and no one could tell from looking at it that I suffered through some crazy moments.  Yes, I might have been slightly crazy for a little while.     😉

Putting my ordeal aside, this cake tastes awesome!   The cake is super moist.  It’s not as sweet as you might expect and the maple flavor is pleasant and mild.  Taste wise, it reminds me of a pound cake.

I think the maple frosting is the shining star here.  I could be partial because I could eat frosting on pretty much anything.  If you frequent this blog you know frosting is right up there with powdered sugar for me.  Maybe that’s because of all the powdered sugar in frosting.  Hmm.  The frosting is very sweet and you can definitely taste that wonderful maple flavor.  Speaking of maple flavors, please use pure maple syrup for this cake.  If you use the fake stuff, your cake is likely to taste horrible.

04Maple Cake

This cake has a lovely light brown color that comes from the pure maple syrup.  The darker the grade that you use, the more brownish your cake will look and the more maple flavor it will have.  I didn’t have immediate access to grade B maple syrup, but the original recipe recommends it and if you want more maple flavor, that’s how you get it.  Don’t think you can get more maple flavor by adding more maple syrup.  That will throw off all the ratios and you won’t end up with what you were hoping for.

I couldn’t stop testing the sample piece while I was photographing it.  (I took pictures of it in the morning so essentially it was my breakfast).  I ate cake for breakfast and I’m okay with that.     🙂

11Maple Cake

Is there a moral to my story?  Several actually.  I learned a 9 inch round pan is not the same size as a 9 inch square pan.  I shouldn’t bake when I’m tired.  And sometimes things work out in the end even when they don’t seem like they are going to.     🙂



4 Hats

Slightly adapted from: Martha Stewart


Here are some other great desserts to bring over to someone’s house.

Blueberry Pie

06Blueberry Pie



Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies

04Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies



Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

20Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie


  1. Maple cake sounds SO good. I love maple flavor but it never occurs to me to bake maple desserts. Obviously I need to change that! And good PSA about the difference in 9″ pans–although it sounds like it’s not such a tragedy after all–if you bake in a 9″ round pan, you end up with cake scraps to nibble on, right? That seems like a good deal! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe, you are so right! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  2. I guess I will have to brush up on my geometry as I thought it would have been A ok too. Good save and love anything with maple in it. A great dessert for an afternoon tea.

    1. Tina says:

      Cake and tea sounds perfect to me! 🙂

  3. That frosting looks sooooo dreamy!

    1. Tina says:

      Tastes dreamy too! 🙂

  4. Ashley says:

    This cake sounds sooooo good. Maple is one of my favorite flavors – I love it. But for some reason I don’t use it enough in baked goods! I’m glad it all worked out in the end! My husband would freak if I threw a cake out! haha He’ll eat it no matter what : ) He gets a tad bit annoyed with my own high standards for food … I don’t think he quite gets it! lol

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! Hehe, I have high standards too…we love our men, but they don’t quite get it. 😉

  5. Welcome to Canada where everything is maple flavoured! And the real stuff too. I cringe when I see aunt jemima! This looks absolutely divine and my boyfriend will love me forever if I make it. He’s an American who is totally hooked on canadian maple syrup 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Canada, bring on the maple flavor…love it!

  6. I’ve always been a sucker for a good maple cake…and this one looks delicious! It might need to make an appearance in my kitchen soon. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! Thanks so much. 🙂

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