Maple Walnut Cake
Makes one 9 by 13 inch cake
Generally, the darker the syrup, the more flavorful it is. I like to use Grade B for cooking and baking. Maple sugar adds wonderful dimensions to this cake, but if you can't find it, use equal amount of granulated sugar, reduce the vanilla extract o 1/2 teaspoon, and add 1 teaspoon maple extract.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 by 13 inch pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Place in a liquid measuring cup and stir to blend:
3/4 cup maple syrup, preferably grade B
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In an electric mixer, beat until smooth:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup maples sugar
Add one at a time, beating after each addition:
Then add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk mixture in two parts, scraping down the bowl as necessary and beating about 20 seconds after each addition. Finally, add and stir to incorporate:
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan, then turn out onto a platter and frost with Maple buttercream frosting, below. (Alternatively, you can halve the buttercream frosting recipe, leave the cake in the pan, and just frost the top.
Maple Buttercream Frosting
Beat 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) soft unsalted butter and a pinch of slat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add 1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar adn mix until completely incorporated. With the mixer running on low, slowly add 1/2 cup maple syrup, then increase speed and continue to beat until the frosting is smooth.