Grandma's White Cake with Maple Syrup Frosting

By • October 23, 2013 • 13 Comments

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Author Notes: My Grandmother, who is 98 years old, used to make this cake for us when we were little. She lived in Upstate New York & Montreal where they have delicious maple syrup which she used in the frosting of this cake.jvcooks

Makes one 9x13-inch cake


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups flour

Maple Syrup Frosting

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, whites only
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch cake pan.
  2. Using a standing mixer, cream together the sugar and shortening. Add in eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the salt, baking powder and flour. Add the dry ingredients into the sugar/egg mixture alternating with the milk until the flour is completely incorporated.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  5. To make the frosting, beat two egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside. In a sauce pan, bring maple syrup to a boil. Add a pinch of salt (I like to use flaky sea salt). Add hot syrup in a slow steady stream to the beaten egg whites continuing to whisk the whites while adding.
  6. Frost cooled cake.
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Comments (13) Questions (2)


6 days ago AnneHD

The frosting is a maple "mousse" a lot of people make in Quebec. The maple syrup needs to reach 245F before you pour it on the egg whites (see here [recipe in French]: http://aladistasio.telequebec...). What you get is a kind of maple italian meringue.


15 days ago Brenda

I made this cake and it turned out well for me. At 375* baking temp, the cake was a bit dry at 25 minutes, so next time I'd start checking it for doneness at 20 minutes. On the frosting, I used 3 egg whites and brought the syrup to 235* before drizzling into the whipped whites. Turned out great. I might cut back the syrup to 3/4 cup next time as it was verging on too sweet for our tastes.


6 days ago Kim Baird

I'll give it a go again and follow your directions, thanks for commenting.


3 months ago Kim Baird

The frosting doesn't work. Maybe someone who's a chef can tell us what's missing because it looks fantastic in the picture but basically liquid when you follow the recipe.


5 months ago Linda Crooks

Cake recipe is great. Made it in one large pan. 13 x 9. Frosting was a complete failure. I used real MS and drizzled it in while using the whisk attachment on my mixer. It was just a syrupy mess. I felt the recipe was missing an ingredient or proper directions?


6 months ago Sheila

All around failure for me. Cake like dry cement. Frosting was a huge syrupy mess. I followed the directions to a tee, so I am very puzzled.


9 months ago Kit

One warning I would offer is to be sure to use only real maple syrup, not maple-flavored pancake syrup.


10 months ago Sarah

I had no trouble with the frosting - I just kept my beater with the whisk attachment running on high as I drizzled in the syrup - it expanded in size by a lot and resulted in a not-too-sweet, white, meringue-like frosting. Really good. Also, I subbed butter for the vegetable shortening and it worked just fine.


10 months ago Christine

I had problems with the frosting as well. It's tan colored (not white like the pic), much to sweet, and runny. I used a good quality maple syrup. Not sure what went wrong...


10 months ago Jassy

I made this cake yesterday with buttermilk instead of whole milk and it was delightful. The frosting, on the other hand, was less successful. I was skeptical about putting in a whole cup of maple syrup and cut it down to 3/4 or so and still found it to be grossly sweet and overwhelmingly maple-y. I dont know if it could've been the type of syrup I used? Ended up using a simple chocolate buttercream and all was well.


7 months ago pam

The syrup to use is NY Grade A Light Amber or Vermont Fancy. Any other syrup will have a heavier flavor, which is great if you want a strong maple flavor, but I think it would overshadow the cake.


11 months ago Nancy Mck

Vegetable shortening has a big ick factor for me, even though my grandmother who was the best baker ever used it all the time. What would happen if I used butter?


11 months ago vvvanessa

That frosting sounds like something I need to make immediately.