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Ingredients

For the cake
For the frosting
For decorating

Directions

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.

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  • 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 two 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.

  • Use walnut halves to create a decorative trim on the top of the cake, if desired.

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