Walnuts add a nutty dimension to this rich, decadent cake that's perfect for any fall occasion.



For the cake
For the frosting


Instructions Checklist
  • Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat two 9-inch round cake pans (2 inches deep) with cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper; lightly coat parchment with cooking spray. Flour parchment and sides (tapping out excess); set aside.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on high until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on medium-high, add maple syrup in a slow, steady stream. Add flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with milk, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl as needed. Fold in walnuts.

  • Divide batter between pans; firmly tap pans on a flat surface several times to remove air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks, 15 minutes, then invert onto racks; peel off parchment. Invert cakes again and let cool completely on racks. With a serrated knife, trim domed top from each cake to make a flat surface.

  • Make frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and brown sugar on high until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.

  • Assemble cake: Place one layer, top side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread top evenly with 1 1/2 cups frosting. Top with second layer, top side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and around sides of cake.

Cook's Notes

Use walnut halves to create a decorative trim on the top of the cake.

Cook's Notes

Refrigerate frosted cake in an airtight container, up to 1 day. Let cake sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

Cook's Notes

Grade A maple syrup is lighter in flavor than darker, more robust Grade B; both will work in this recipe.

Reviews (7)

173 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 28
  • 4 star values: 17
  • 3 star values: 74
  • 2 star values: 44
  • 1 star values: 10
Rating: 5 stars
I have been making this cake for many years and love it so much. It's a keeper!
Rating: Unrated
A little Dry and icing is way to sweet.
Rating: Unrated
Love this cake! It's dense like pound cake but moist and mapley and oh so good! I had to make a few changes, though. Instead of brown sugar I used white + 1 tsp molasses. I was short on real maple syrup, I used 2/3 real and 1/3 of the fake corn syrup kind. I use powder milk in my kitchen because it is always available, skim consistency. I never sift, who sifts? I beat the batter liquids to death to get the maple mixed in. I used a 6x3 and a baseball shape pan. This will be my graduation recipe.
Rating: Unrated
Delicious! A bit on the dry side, but very tasty. Omitted the confectioners sugar completely for the frosting and it came out great, with the acidity of the cream cheese contrasting with the sweetness of the maple & sugar
Rating: Unrated
I made this cake for Thanksgiving. Everyone loved the icing, but the cake was very dry and very dense. I threw the cake out. I felt very bad because the maple syrup cost $9.00! I love maple flavor and was looking forward to adding this recipe to my recipe box, not the trash.
Rating: 2 stars
I made this recipe 2x's and had the same problem each time. The first time the center of the cake would not get done. I ended up throwing that cake out. I thought my oven temp was off, so bought a thermometer. Next time, adjusted oven temp slightly and had same problem, I turned on convection feature after 35 minutes. Same problem again. Outside of cake dry, middle okay. Great flavor, but something in recipe is off.
Rating: Unrated
cant wait to make this!!