I am such a cake junkie. They take forever, they’re full of stressful pitfalls, but at the end of the day, there is nothing like making a big, fancy cake to feel like you’ve really accomplished something in your kitchen.
So when Chad and I decided to have a little apartment-warming party, I thought it would be a great excuse to bake a big, yummy cake. (And, in fact, a great excuse to run out and buy a few new springform pans, because I didn’t have nearly enough for a cake this size!) And this went surprisingly smoothly — the only hitch was that I definitely needed a second batch of frosting, but fortunately I’d bought an extra box of powdered sugar.
And both boxes were used. In fact, this cake requires about a pound of flour, a pound of sugar, two boxes of confectioner’s sugar, eight sticks of butter, half a bottle of vanilla extract, a bunch of eggs, and do not expect to fit into your jeans when you’re done with it, because you will definitely be going back for seconds and thirds. You can probably imagine how good something with all those ingredients tastes.
In fact, dare I say, this might even make a good wedding cake? This cake serves 20-25, but you could easily add another layer to the bottom and serve 40-50. I’ve heard of several people making their own wedding cakes with great results, and with a little more time, practice and patience, I think this one could have been polished up enough to get to that level. If you doubled the recipe, you could use two 11″ springform pans for the bottom layer, and you’ll have a cake fit for a pretty big party!
And last, but not least, I am obsessed with the maple cinnamon flavor of this cake. It makes the cake a little trickier to cook — it takes significantly longer for a toothpick to come out clean, which is always hazardous with cake-baking. But the cake stays so moist and sweet for days, and you cannot imagine how great it is fresh out of the oven. Mapley and full of flavor, this is really truly delicious.
Maple Cinnamon Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
For the cake:
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp maple syrup (I used dark amber)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups plus 2 tbsp buttermilk
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
For the icing:
6 sticks of butter
8 cups of confectioner’s sugar (about two boxes)
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round springform pans, and two 5-inch round springform pans.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the maple syrup, cinnamon, buttermilk and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda (don’t skip this step — it makes a big texture difference!) and set it aside.
Beat in the flour mixture one third at a time, then pour the batter into the pans.
Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (the 8-inch pans will take about five minutes longer than the 5-inch pans). Allow the cakes to cool before frosting.
For the frosting, mix together the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. Take 1/3 cup and mix with 8 drops of green food coloring. Mix the rest with 6 drops of red food coloring, or to your desired shade.
Frost in between the layers and the outside of the cake with pink icing, and use a squeeze bottle to decorate the cake with green dots. Serve!
Makes 22 slices.