Maple Pecan Cake
The weekend is over, meaning it’s Monday.. again. But it’s not just any Monday, today is FOUR layer cake Monday! I think I could get use to eating cake on Mondays, and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and all the other days of the week that end with Y :)
This Maple Pecan Cake all started with a 8 inch cake stand. I stopped in to Pier 1 looking for cake stands. I happened to pick the worst day to stop in because the associates were telling me that a customer came in the night before and bought 11 cake stands! The other lady pretty much cleaned them out of cake stands (who buys 11 cake stands anyways?!) which left me with 2 options – a bejeweled cake stand (not my thing) and this cute white one with frilly ends.
I was worried that the white one was too small but I had them measure it and it was 8 inches. Perfect. Or so I thought. I bought it, brought it home, and then realized I only have 8 inch springform pans. I can’t put an 8 inch cake on an 8 inch cake stand.. that doesn’t even account for the frosting! It would have looked like a floating cake with a ceramic tube coming out from the bottom. Besides because of the frilly edges, I knew the cake wouldn’t sit evenly on the stand. It just wasn’t going to work.
So I bought a set of 6 inch springform pans from Amazon, which arrived in 2 days because I love Amazon Prime. But I realize that I bought one thing which created a problem which lead to buying another thing to solve the problem. Oh goodness, but problem solved!
And now I have fallen in love with tall skinny cakes. And maple buttercream. And my frilly white cake stand.
Maple Pecan Cake
For the cake (make this recipe 4 times, once for each layer)
- 1 ½ sticks butter at room temperature (3/4 cup)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- 1 ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup pecans chopped
- 3 sticks butter room temperature (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 ½ cups vegetable shortening
- 6-8 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 9-12 cups powdered sugar
- Pecans to top the cake with
To bake the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of an 6 inch round cake pan or springform pan and line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper. To ensure even baking, place a bake even strip around the pan. You can make your own homemade bake even strip by cutting a towel or shirt to fit the size of your pan. Get the fabric really wet, then squeeze out the dripping water but do not squeeze it too dry. Secure the fabric around the pan with a safety pin.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, lightly beating after each one.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, gently mix with a spoon. Gradually add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, do not dump it in, rather take spoonfuls of the flour mixture and gently shake it over the wet ingredients, as if you were sifting in the flour. Fold in the mixture until no flour remains. Repeat with the other half of the flour, folding it in and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything.
- Add in the chopped pecans, and mix.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, using a spatula to evenly spread it out.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Using a bake even strip will slow down the baking time, so if your cake is still wobbly in the center, allow it to bake longer.
- Once the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the cake from the pan. If using a springform pan, remove the sides and bottom. Allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cool, remove the parchment paper round from the bottom of the cake. If you need to level the top of your cake, do so now using either a cake lever or knife. Wrap the cake really good in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator, which is good for up to one week.
- Repeat the above steps, making enough layers for your cake.
- 30 minutes to 1 hour before you plan to assemble the cake, place the cake layers in the freezer. This will make them easier to frost.
To make the buttercream
- In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and vegetable shortening, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in maple syrup and gently mix by hand with a spatula. Begin to add the powdered sugar, about 2-3 cups at a time, mixing by hand. Continue adding powdered sugar until the frosting no longer looks wet and tastes good to you. Then I use my electric mixer once last time to make sure the powdered sugar is really incorporated and ready to go.
To frost the cake
- I like to assemble my cakes on a turntable. Spread a small amount of buttercream on a 6 inch round cardboard circle. Place your first layer on top of the cardboard. Put buttercream on top of the layer and spread it as even as possible with an offset spatula. Repeat for each layer of cake. Once all of the layers are stacked, it’s time to do a crumb coat. The crumb coat will help seal the crumbs in. Using your offset spatula, spread a thin layer of buttercream around the sides and top of the cake, making sure the entire cake is covered in a thin layer.
- Place the entire cake on the turntable in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- To finish frosting the cake, spread another layer of buttercream around the sides and top of the cake. Make sure to spread on enough frosting so you can’t see the cake through the frosting. Do you best to make the frosting smooth. I used my spatula to create a pattern in the frosting.
- Place some buttercream in a piping bag fit with a wilton 2D tip. Pipe buttercream swirls on top of the cake and around the bottom of the cake.
- Place pecans in the buttercream swirls that are on top of the cake.
- The cake can be left at room temperature if you’ll be serving it that day. If not, loosely cover the cake in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge.