22 June 2023

Maple-Walnut Snacking Cake

Maple-Walnut Snacking Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com

Maple-Walnut Snacking Cake was inspired by a cake found on the delicious blog The English Kitchen, where Marie made a recipe from The Small-Batch Snacking Cake Cookbook by Aimee Broussard. 

Looking at the ingredients list I could tell that the cake was far too sweet for my taste, and Marie described it as dense and sweet, like a brownie or blondie. If you have more of a sweet tooth than I, it might be just what you're looking for.

But I was in the mood for a cake that was light and less sweet, so decided to take the maple flavor inspiration and apply it to my Grandma's Little Yellow Cake that I call the "little black dress" of cakes because it can be "accessorized" lots of different ways to suit any occasion.

Maple-Walnut Snacking Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com

To me, "snacking cake" means a cake that is quick and easy; can be made by hand with no need for special equipment; is baked in, and often served from, the baking dish or tin; and calls for ingredients we generally have on hand.

My maple snacking cake has a subtle real maple flavor (don't try this with maple-flavored pancake syrup!) that I thought would be enhanced by a sprinkle of chopped walnuts over the icing (more of a glaze really). It was!

As my "regulars" know, I switched to blogging just once a month (second Thursday of every month). But since I already said I'll be posting a bread recipe next month, I decided to slip this post in this week as an "extra."

Need I tell you that a square of maple-walnut snacking cake goes beautifully with a cup of tea!

Maple-Walnut Snacking Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com


Maple-Walnut Snacking Cake 

(Makes one 8-inch/20-cm square layer, 9 servings)  

The Maple Cake 

1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Enough milk to make 1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml)
1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 dip-and-sweep cup (1.25 ounces/35 grams) non-GMO cornstarch
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) real maple syrup 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Maple-Walnut Icing

1/3 packed cup (1.33 ounces/38 grams) powdered sugar
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) real maple syrup
Small pinch* of salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces/57 grams) chopped walnuts, toasted or not 

* I actually have a "Pinch" measuring spoon. It holds 1/16 teaspoon. A "small" pinch is half that.

 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Grease well and lightly flour an 8x8x2-inch baking dish or tin. Measure vinegar into a 1-cup glass measure; add enough milk to make 1 cup. Stir and let stand about 5 minutes while you proceed.

 In mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter as if making biscuits (I work it in with my impeccably clean fingers). Add soured milk, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. With electric mixer (or by hand with a large spoon, as I do), mix on low speed for 30 seconds to combine, then on medium speed for 1 minute. 

 Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

 Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool. Grandma usually just served cakes like this directly from the pan, and that's what I did here. 

5 After the cake has been cooling for about 30 minutes, put the powdered sugar, soft butter, maple syrup, and salt in a 2- to 3-cup mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Scrape onto top of the warm cake and spread to cover top only. Sprinkle chopped walnuts evenly over the top and lightly press them.
 Cool completely. Cut into 9 squares.

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Angie's Recipes said...

Walnuts and maple are a great combo. This is super duper delicious cake.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie. Great to hear from you!

Rustic Pumpkin said...

you had me at Maple and Walnut! Classic combination.

Marie Rayner said...

Oh my! That looks really yummy! It turned out beautifully! I am happy I could inspire you! xoxo

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Rustic Pumpkin! It really is a classic combination!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Marie, thank you. Needed the inspiration. Maple syrup is one of those things I use in other things for a while, then it falls off the radar and just gets used on pancakes, waffles, and French toast.

Dee | GrammysGrid.com said...

Looks yummy, great combo. Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedLinkParty 117. Pinned.

Jeanie said...

I love the idea of a snacking cake!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Dee. Much appreciated.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I know, Jeanie, it sounds fun, doesn't it!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

A snacking cake sounds like a good way to improve a dull day. I do love (proper) maple syrup and walnuts, so this would make me very happy. I've always thought that the size of a pinch must vary according to finger size and so, a few years ago, I got hold of a "pinch" measuring spoon too (together with one that claims to be a "dash", which is about twice the size). Unfortunately, the pinch spoon is so small that I can never seem to find it when I need it.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Phil, I love that! You are probably the only person I am acquainted with who would give as much thought to a pinch as I have! Since you can never find your pinch spoon, just fill your 1/8 teaspoon half full.

Anonymous said...

Happy that you slipped in this recipe. This is just the kind of dessert my husband and I enjoy. Karen (Back Road Journal)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Karen. I hope you'll both enjoy this one!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

The “little black dress” of cakes – love it! And, yes, we can be sure my lusting-for-sugar tastebuds favor whatever is sweetest and gummiest and dense as a blondie. That said, your styling concoctions have me intellectually convinced that yours is the most sensible way (minus the tea). P.S. the walnuts are not just a flavor complement but a plus of texture contrast as well.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

So true, Sully. It's all about complements and contrasts in baking and cooking. And, for me, all about keeping my daily sugar intake under 25 grams.

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

This sounds like the perfect little treat with a nice cup of tea in the afternoon. My sis-in-law sent me maple syrup that she tapped from her own trees in New Hampshire for Christmas, and I've been searching for something special that I could use it in, and now I have found it! Thank you for slipping this in! x K

Sherry's Pickings said...

Walnuts and maple syrup go so well together. Nothing nicer than a quick mix in a bowl and throw in the oven kinda cake! I think my pinches tend to be - quite large :=)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Karen, thank you. What a treat to have one's own maple trees to tap! It's so expensive. I buy it by the quart and it always feels like a splurge. Let me know how the cake turns out for you.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sherry. Yep, "pinches" vary so much in size, I like to mention it once in a while! I'm appreciating quick and easy more and more.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Jean, this sure looks delicious. I have some Vermont Maple Syrup in my pantry that would love being on this cake. Thank you for checking on me, my friend. I'm trying to catch up after being away. It takes longer for me to do everything with each passing day.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Martha. Good to hear from you. I'm afraid I know what you mean—I now have that "trying to catch up" feeling all the time!

Dee | GrammysGrid.com said...

Jean, CONGRATS! Your post is FEATURED at the #UnlimitedLinkParty 118!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Dee! Much appreciated.

Peabea Scribbles said...

Nice food photography. Thanks for sharing with Pictorial Tuesday.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Peabea. It's about the only thing I ever take pictures of!

chickenruby said...

I wonder if that would work with honey instead of maple? I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for linking with #pocolo

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Suzanne. I think honey would work. It would just be a different flavour profile. I prefer the flavor of maple, but honey is good, too.

David Scott Allen said...

What a perfect recipe! Maple walnut has always been a favorite combination of mine… Ice cream comes to mind first. I’m glad to have your “little yellow cake” recipe, and I agree… The cake should not be too sweet, otherwise the sweet topping will be too much.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, David. That little cake never fails me! And maple walnut ice cream is one of my favorites.

Pauline Wiles said...

"Snacking" plus "Cake" - how wonderful to find these 2 words in a sentence together! I love your preference for treats that are not too sweet, this sounds ideal.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, Pauline. Perfect with a cup of tea!