Grandma's White Cake with Maple Syrup Frosting

By • October 23, 2013 16 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 cup 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 (16) Questions (2)


9 months ago Debby Jarvis

My mother (from Vermont) made this frosting often. I think she used only Grade A Fancy and a thermometer. Anything my mother made was delicious, and when she was baking, cooking, she paid close attention to what she was doing. My food will never taste like hers, but I do enjoy seeing these old recipes. I will try the maple sugar frosting with fingers crossed!


10 months ago Amaryllis

I love the story behind the frosting! Hope your grandma is well and still cooking! Thanks for the inspiration x


11 months ago Nora

though the cake was acceptable, the frosting was a failure. the texture was rather wrong and the maple syrup just separated from the eggs. I essentially drizzled the hot maple syrup over the cake adding moisture and sweetness. my husband just scraped the frosting off and enjoyed the rest. would probably not make this again.


12 months 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.


12 months 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.


12 months ago Kim Baird

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


about 1 year 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.


over 1 year 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?


over 1 year 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.


over 1 year ago Kit

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


almost 2 years 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.


almost 2 years 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...


almost 2 years 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.


over 1 year 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.


almost 2 years 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?


almost 2 years ago vvvanessa

That frosting sounds like something I need to make immediately.