Maple Pecan Pound Cake is the ultimate fall quick bread, with layers and layers of rich, caramelized flavor from browned butter, maple syrup, toasted pecans, and brown sugar.
maple pecan pound cake doubles down on toasty fall flavors
You know when a recipe sounds so good, and you just know you’re going to love it? Well, I promise you that if you love the sound of maple pecan poundcake, this recipe will not disappoint. Why? Because I made sure to layer in a supporting cast of rich, caramel-y flavors every chance I could in this recipe, giving it a full-bodied deliciousness that lingers on the palate and will have you going back for sliver after sliver all day long. This cake is perfect for the season, we love it!
simple ingredients work together to make an unforgettable maple pecan pound cake
- browned butter, a simple step that brings a distinctive nutty flavor note to the party. (Check out the video below to see how it’s done.)
- maple syrup is a complex flavor layered into the batter and the glaze.
- brown sugar adds moistness and caramel notes to support the maple syrup.
- 3 eggs enrich the batter, adding color, height, and flavor to our pound cake.
- vanilla extract and a touch of maple extract bring out the other flavors.
- milk (I used almond milk because it was what I had on hand, but feel free to use dairy milk or a non dairy milk of your choice.)
- salt helps all the other flavors shine.
- baking powder is essential for helping the cake rise. Make sure yours is fresh, and it’s definitely worth replacing if you’re not sure.
- flour, I use all purpose. You can use cake flour, which contains a bit of cornstarch to lighten the texture.
- pecans, toasting them lightly in the oven brings out their flavor and crunch!
what is maple extract and do I really need it?
- Maple extract is a flavoring agent made from maple syrup, without without artificial flavors, dyes or corn syrup. It imparts a more intense maple flavor to baked goods than you can achieve with maple syrup or maple sugar alone.
- Maple extract plays a big part in bringing out that elusive maple flavor in this cake, and while you can definitely make this recipe without it, I recommend picking up a bottle next time you’re at the grocery store. Look for pure maple extract as opposed to artificial flavorings. As with almond extract, a little goes a long way. Half a teaspoon is usually good for quick breads, muffins, and frostings, etc. It may take some trial and error to find a brand you like.
- You can find maple extract in specialty stores, but I find McCormick brand in my supermarket, and I am happy with the flavor. I never start a fall baking season without it.
a pound cake is a super versatile recipe
A loaf cake like this is hard to categorize… is it a breakfast bread? A tea time snack? Dessert? This one is a bit of all three, and that’s the beauty of a great pound cake. I think it would be fantastic to bake if you have houseguests this fall, or have a friend or neighbor who could use a little extra love right now. If you’re back at the office these days, this is the perfect treat to bring in for the gang.
why this pound cake works
You have lots of choices for fall baking, that’s for sure. But if I have to choose one star ingredient/flavor for the season it would be maple. Maple is one of those incredibly complex flavors ~ it’s up there with fine wines, cheeses, and chocolates. But whether you’re a maple syrup connoisseur or not, you’ll appreciate the rich, warm notes in this cake. It’s a keeper!
fall quick breads and loaf cakes
- One Bowl Pumpkin Bread
- Maple Oat Nut Banana Bread
- Apple Fritter Bread
- Better than Starbucks Banana Walnut Bread
- Strawberry Buttermilk Bread
- One Banana Banana Bread!
Maple Pecan Pound Cake
- standard 9×5 loaf pan
- 1 cup unsalted butter, browned and slightly cooled Note: see video for instructions on how to make browned butter)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (I used light brown sugar, but you can also use dark brown.)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp maple extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted Note: toast pecans on a dry baking sheet in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes until fragrant.)
for the glaze
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tsp water
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- small pinch salt
- handful of chopped toasted pecans to top (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F and butter a 9×5 loaf pan. I lined mine with parchment paper for easy removal, as well.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the browned butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla and maple extracts, milk, and salt. Whisk everything together well.
- Add the baking powder and whisk again to distribute it thoroughly.
- Fold in the flour, and finally fold in the chopped pecans.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for about 55-65 minutes, until risen and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out without wet batter clinging to it.
- Allow the loaf cake to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan to a cooling rack. Let cool thoroughly before glazing.
- To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, water, maple syrup, and salt, until smooth. This is a relatively thin consistency, which makes a crackly, translucent glaze. You can use less water for a thicker glaze.
- Pour or brush the glaze over the cooled cake, and follow quickly with a handful of chopped pecans scattered on top.
- Allow the glaze to harden before slicing.