This never fails to please; walnut and maple syrup sponge cakes, which are frosted and sandwiched together with maple fudge frosting/icing, divine! This is NOT a light airy-fairy sponge cake, as it is made with soft brown sugar to enhance the fudge and maple flavours - and it needs to be fairly robust to hold the walnuts in the cake mixture. It is however, a soft pudding type cake with lots of texture and an amazing taste. Of course this can be made with excellent maple syrup from the USA, but I have called it a Canadian cake, as the maple syrup and maple extract was sent to me by a kind Zaar friend in Canada. The cake is baked in two cake tins; the two cakes can then be cut in two again, making a three-layer cake, (four pieces of cake = three layers) it depends on how high they rise. If you do make a three-layer cake, you may need a little more fudge frosting and filling. This cake keeps very well in an airtight container or tin for up to a week. The cake can also be frozen before icing and frosting – defrost it overnight, then assemble and ice the cake when fully defrosted. Pecans can also be used in place of walnuts – but I prefer the taste of walnuts with the maple syrup.
Maple Walnut Cake
- 6 ounces butter, softened
- 6 ounces soft brown sugar
- 8 ounces self raising flour
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 ounces walnuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Maple Fudge Frosting and Filling
- 3 ounces butter
- 4 ounces soft brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cold strong coffee
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 -2 tablespoon maple extract, to taste
- 8 ounces icing sugar
- chopped walnuts, for the filing (optional)
- walnuts, halves for decoration
- You will need two 8" (20cms) cake tins; greased and lined with baking paper. Pre-heat oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light, fluffy and pale golden brown - this is essential to make the mixture light and aids the cake to rise. It can take up to 15 minutes by hand or 5 to 10 minutes by hand-held mixer!
- Add the baking powder to the flour, and the milk and maple syrup to the beaten eggs.
- Gently fold in a large spoon of flour, followed by a spoon of egg mixture - mix gently but thoroughly between each addition of flour and egg mixture. Continue to add, fold and mix until the flour and the egg mixture is finished. If the mixture is a little stiff, add some more milk.
- Add the chopped walnuts and gently mix through the cake mixture evenly. You should have a fairly stiff consistency that drops easily.
- Put the cake mixture equally in to the prepared cake tins, smoothing slightly on top, with a slight indent in the middle, then bake for between 25 and 35 minutes in a pre-heated oven. Different ovens vary; these cakes normally take 30 minutes to bake in my oven. (They are cooked when they are well-risen, golden brown and when a wooden skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the middle of the cake.).
- Allow them to cook in the tins for 5 minutes, before carefully taking them out of the tins and allowing them to cool completely on a wire cooling tray/rack.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the fudge frosting/icing. Place all of the ingredients, except the icing sugar, into a saucepan and gently them all together until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool slightly and then add the icing sugar, beating to a smooth and glossy finish.
- Place one of the cakes on to a serving plate or tray, if you wish, you can cut each cake in half to make a multi layer cake. Spread some of the frosting/icing on top of the cake and scatter some chopped walnuts over the top if using. Place the other cake on top and pour the remaining fudge frosting/icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Decorate the top of the cake with walnut halves.
- Serve cut into slices - this cake makes about 8 to 10 slices. Preparation time includes the time to make the fudge frosting/icing.