Maple Pecan Spice Cake

Last week (or maybe the week before), we received a big ol' box of pecans. 10 pounds to be exact. When G was down visiting his grandparents outside of Austin, he called to tell me they were harvesting pecans and asked if I would want some. I responded yes, not really realizing what I was in for.  So, the task has been figuring out ways to utilize the nuts. All ten pounds of them.

I immediately remembered an issue of Gourmet from 2007.  It had a towering spice cake on the cover with cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans up the side.  I knew I had to make it.  So, I did! With a few modifications, of course.  This cake would be a great addition to any holiday dinner or party.  It is fairly easy to throw together, but special enough to usurp the usual suspects.

Maple Spice Cake
( adapted from Gourmet, April 2007)
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter softened, plus more for pans
  • 2 3/4 AP flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Make sure racks are in the middle of oven.  Butter and flour 2-9 inch round cake pans, knocking out excess flour.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in large bowl.  Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar on medium-high for 3-5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add maple syrup and beat well to combine.
Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour. Mixing on low, until just combined.
Spoon batter into prepared pans and smooth. Drop pans onto counter a few times to expel air.  Bake until golden and tops are just baked and are springy to the touch. **The recipe calls for 30-35 minutes but my oven tends to bake quickly.  I would check around the 20 minute mark to gauge how quickly they are baking.
Cool in pans for 5-10 minutes, and invert on cooling rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 packages cream cheese frosting, cold
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, room temp
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped for outside of cake
Cream butter until smooth.  Add cold cream cheese and beat until combined.  Add powdered sugar one cup at a time until desired flavor and consistency are reached.  Add vanilla.

Assemble cake and enjoy!