Maple Cake Recipe – A Thanksgiving Dessert

maple cake

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So many of us are looking towards Thanksgiving even though this year will probably be different from the big celebrations of years past. I will admit that things haven’t been all that different here as it’s just the two of us and will be for the holiday as it has been for several years. This doesn’t mean I don’t understand how hard it’s going to be for so many of you that won’t be able to celebrate as usual. The wonderful thing about this cake is that it works for a few people or it is easily doubled to feed a crowd. It also holds over quite well and it freezes beautifully. The flavors get better as it sits. 

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maple cake

Maple Cake

adapted from Martha Stewart Cakes

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream

For the Frosting:
1/3 pure maple syrup, more if needed
3 TBS unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup raisins soaked in 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

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*I doubled this for the firemen so my photos will not match the ingredients or pan size.

Preheat oven to 350°
Butter a 9″ square pan, line with parchment, butter again and dust with flour. Tap out the excess.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attached, add the butter, granulated sugar and maple syrup. Beat until pale and fluffy about 3 – 5 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Mix in vanilla.
Change speed to low and add the flour mixture in three increments alternating with the sour cream in two; beginning and ending with the flour.


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Beat until just combined.

Transfer batter to prepared pan, smooth with an offset spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. A cake tester should come out clean.


Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.

Make the Frosting:
Combine the maple syrup and melted butter in a bowl.
Sift in the confectioners sugar.
Whisk until combined. Adjust consistency with more syrup or sugar if needed.
Spread the icing over the cake, drizzle the maple soaked raisins and maple syrup over the top.


How Was the Maple Cake Recipe?

I added the maple soaked raisins to the recipe. I had enough extra batter to make a small cake and I tried a piece and it really didn’t have a strong maple flavor. It was a very good cake, wonderfully moist but I wouldn’t call it a MAPLE cake. Same with the frosting. It just needed something.


The raisins are what did the trick. I thought it was a titch sweet with the confectioner’s sugar frosting but the hubby really enjoyed it. The maple flavor finally came through on the third day. I used a high quality maple syrup with a strong maple flavor out of the bottle so I can’t blame it for the lack. The cake itself was very moist and I liked it, I was just not finding the maple.

If you need another dessert recipe to feed a bit of a crowd try Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Marshmallow Cream or Cornmeal Orange Cookies.

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