I hope you all had an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving, I did and this cake was one of the highlights, it's warming, sweet and deliciously flavourful, the cake is quite dense but not at all heavy and I'm really pleased I decided to make this beauty.
This glorious cake not only features in The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook but also in Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess. Magnolia call it a maple walnut layer cake with fluffy maple frosting, Nigella calls it an autumnal birthday cake and uses pecans to decorate instead of walnuts. I omitted the nuts completely as not everyone was a fan.
The only difference between Nigella's version and Magnolia's version, is that Magnolia add a little ground ginger. It took me forever to decide whether to include it or not but in the end I went with Magnolia, the ginger added a subtle warmth that I adored. It slightly irritated me that Nigella claimed this as an adapted recipe as leaving out the ginger was her only adaptation, I love Nigella but I think it's a little naughty.
This cake tasted as unbelievable as it looks, the maple flavour is utterly sublime and I adored this marshmallowy, melt in the mouth fluffy frosting. As this was one of my Thanksgiving desserts I decided to add the pumpkins at the last minute, I think they look adorable.
Maple Layer Cake With Fluffy Maple Frosting - The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
3 3/4 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon ginger
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
3/4 cup hot water
2 egg whites
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon maple extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and lightly flour two 9x2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.
To make the cake: In a large bowl, sift together the flour and the ginger and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well combined. Beat in the maple syrup gradually. Add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the water, beating after each addition until smooth. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.
To make the frosting: In the top of a double boiler, combine first five ingredients. Cook over boiling water, beating constantly on the medium-high speed of an electric mixer, until mixture stands in peaks (about 5-7 minutes). Remove the pot from heat. Add the vanilla and the maple extracts and continue beating 1 minute more until thick enough to spread.
When cake has cooled, ice between the layers. Sprinkle about 1/3 cup chopped walnuts over the frosting. Then ice top and sides of cake, sprinkling the top with the remaining chopped walnuts.◦