Maple and Pecan Layer Cake
The holidays in the States left me the willing of doing something big and rich (in flavour and calories!!). So when Chiara borrowed me the wonderful book “The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days: Baking for All Occasions” by Tarek Malouf I immediately found the good recipe: a wonderful layer cake!
The colleagues in the office were a little bit overwhelmed by this “challenging” cake at 9 AM in the cafeteria…but they survived! And at the end appreciated this indulgent treat to start the week!
For the sponge:
120g unsalted butter, softened
400g white sugar
360g all purpose flour
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
360ml whole milk
40ml maple syrup
3 large eggs
100g pecans, chopped
For the frosting:
240g unsalted butter
750g icing sugar (yes, it’s true, 750g!!)
60ml whole milk
1tbsp maple syrup
Pecan halves to decorate
Preheat the oven to 170° and cover the baking pans (20 cm to make 3 layers or 24-26 to make 2 layers) with baking sheet.
Mix together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt with an electric mixer at low speed until the mixture reaches a crumb-like consistency.
In a bowl mix together the milk, maple syrup and eggs by hand. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until well combined. Stir in the chopped pecans by hand.
Divide the cake batter equally between the 2 or 3 baking pans (or just use the same 2 or 3 times) and bake for 20-25 minutes (if you make only 2 cakes it can require more time to bake) until the cakes become light brown. Leave them in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out and allow to cool completely.
For the frosting, whisk with an electric mixer the butter and icing sugar until fluffy and sandy in texture, then add milk and maple syrup, mix well and then beat at high speed until it becomes soft and fluffy.
When the sponges are completely cold, place the first layer on a plate, top with 3-4 tablespoons of the frosting, and smooth it down using a palette knife and adding a little more if needed.
Put the second layer on top and cover with frosting in the same layer. Then put the third layer, frost the sides and top of the cake and decorate with pecan halves.
You can store it in the fridge, but remember to take it out one hour before serving it.