Maple Walnut Cake

February 12, 2023
0 Ratings
Photo by Tina Rupp
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • makes 1 cake
Author Notes

This dense, moist cake is packed with intense maple flavor and the heady crunch of walnuts, in both the batter and the rich, creamy frosting. It’s the perfect sweet bite to take with you to your next holiday party — or to have at home for a little treat on a cozy winter afternoon.

It’s best if you use real maple syrup. Also be sure that the syrup, butter, cream cheese and eggs are all room temperature, otherwise you might end up with lumpy batter or frosting. And if you don't have any sour cream, you can use plain yogurt as a substitute. —Lisa Steele

What You'll Need
  • For the Cake
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 2.25 teaspoons baking powder
  • .25 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup butter, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, divided
  • For the Frosting
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use butter to grease the bottom of an 8” square baking pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed, about 30 seconds) until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and beat another 1 to 2 minutes, until combined. Add the maple syrup and sour cream and beat to combine. Add 1 egg at a time and beat until incorporated before adding the next, then add the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. With the mixer set to low, slowly add the flour mixture. Beat until just combined, then stir in half of the walnuts.
  4. Turn the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 40 to45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, the top of the cake is golden brown and the center is set. Remove the can from the oven and leave the temperature at 350 degrees.
  5. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan by running a knife around the edge of the pan and inverting the cake onto the rack. Remove the parchment paper and let the cake cool on the rack.
  6. Spread the remaining walnuts on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the nuts are lightly toasted and smell nutty.
  7. For the frosting, use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to beat the cream cheese and butter on medium until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the salt and confectioners sugar a little at a time, then add the maple syrup and beat until smooth and creamy.
  8. Once the cake has cooled, frost the top with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with the roasted walnuts. Cut it into squares and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lisa Steele
    Lisa Steele
  • mlsjazz
  • Joanne

3 Reviews

mlsjazz November 15, 2023
For this recipe . as shown on Season 1, Episode 1 of the “Welcome to My Farm “ television show , Lisa Steele uses 1 1/4 cups of Maple Syrup… yet this version only calls for 1 cup… which recipe version is correct?
Joanne November 15, 2023
The ingredients list does not include sour cream yet the instructions say to add sour cream with maple syrup.
Lisa S. November 15, 2023
Oh my goodness! I am so sorry! Good catch. I have added the sour cream to the recipe. It's 1/2 cup.