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5 from 3 votes

Maple Pecan Layer Cake

Sweet and tender maple pecan layer cake full of chopped pecans, frosted and filled with decadent brown butter buttercream.
Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 slices


For the Maple Pecan Cake

  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed, light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans

For the Brown Butter Buttercream

  • 2 ½ cups unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


For the Maple Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease 3 6” cake pans. Set aside.
  • Start by creaming the butter, granulated white sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer.
  • Then add in the eggs and vanilla and mix for one minute until pale in color.
  • Next add in the maple syrup and buttermilk and combine.
  • In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine.
  • Lastly mix in the finely chopped pecans.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans.
  • Bake the cakes for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick/cake tester comes out clean from the centers.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans after baking for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack to completely cool. 

For the Brown Butter Buttercream

  • Add the unsalted butter to a sauce pan and heat over medium low heat until the butter simmers. Stir the butter occasionally. The butter will bubble as it is heated and it will start to turn a light golden brown color.
  • Once you see that it has turned brown and is giving off a slightly nutty scent, remove it from the heat.
  • Transfer the brown butter to a large mixing bowl and place that bowl over a larger bowl of ice to cool the butter quickly. Stir the butter with a spatula while it is cooling to ensure it cools evenly. (Putting it over ice helps it to cool the quickest.) Cool it until it is about the same consistency as regular softened butter. You should be able to easily stir and spread the brown butter.
  • Once it is cooled add in the salt and whip the butter with an electric mixer for 5-10 minutes until it is pale in color and fluffy.
  • Sift in the powdered sugar a little at a time until it is all added.
  • Lastly add in the vanilla and mix the frosting until it is light and fluffy, about one more minute.

Assembling the Cake

  • Once the cakes are completely cooled you can assemble the cake. You can simply fill each layer with and frost the outside with brown butter buttercream. (However, if you are looking to make a really beautiful cake, follow the extra steps in the above blog post).
  • Serve the cake right away, or keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Store left overs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days for the freshest, best flavor.