Maple and Caramel Layered Spice Cake

Maple’s earthy richness infuses this towering pumpkin spice cake that tastes as good as it looks. Each luscious bite is filled with maple and walnuts … maple and cream cheese … maple and spicy pumpkin. Serve with a cup of dark French roast coffee.

Makes 18 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 6 eggs
  • 29 oz pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 ¼ cups (2½ sticks) butter, melted
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) butter
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp maple extract
  • 7 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Additional confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Caramel topping

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 9-inch springform pans or cake pans.

To make the layers, in a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices; incorporate ingredients using a slotted spoon. In a large mixing bowl use an electric mixer to combine eggs, pumpkin, granulated and brown sugars, syrup and melted butter. Add half the dry ingredients at a time and blend until batter is smooth. Divide the batter equally between the pans, about 3½ cups of batter in each. Use a spatula to smooth the tops so the layers are level. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the tops of the layers comes out clean. Check each layer for doneness. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and 3 sticks butter until combined. Add maple syrup and extract. Add confectioners’ sugar a few cups at a time, mixing well before adding more. For a thick layer of frosting between layers add more confectioners’ sugar as desired.

To assemble the cake, place the first layer on a cake plate. Place frosting in a decorating bag fitted with a pastry-size round tip. Pipe around the outer edge of the layer. Fill inside the circle with more circles of frosting until the surface is covered. Smooth with a knife. Repeat with additional layers. Garnish with chopped walnuts and drizzle with caramel.

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