There’s coffee and there’s cake. Both are great as a pick-me-up from an afternoon slump. But what’s even better is to have these two in one. A moist slice of cake spiked with caffeine sounds right up my street and it’s a good one! It’s not just an ordinary coffee cake, but one with an Autumnal touch by using maple and pecan nuts, brushed all over with coffee syrup, and finished with a maple mascarpone cream. There’s a little nuttiness, a little coffee, and a little maple – what’s there to not love? Seriously, this maple pecan coffee cake is definitely one you have to make ASAP.
What you can expect is a moist cake with tender crumbs, infused with coffee flavour and more seeping through at each bite, plus extra texture with the chopped pecan. The mascarpone cream adds lightness and airiness to it, with just a subtle hint of maple in there. The steps are simple. You start with baking the cake just like any other regular cake recipe. Then, using a toothpick, poke some holes in the cake and brush the cake with coffee syrup. I do it once while it’s still hot in the cake tin, then another brush after removing the cake from the tin to get the other side of the cake. Last but not least, as the cake cools down, whip up the mascarpone cream frosting and slab it on top!
How to make Maple Pecan Coffee Cake
- Unsalted Butter – softened at room temperature
- Buttermilk – to give that fine tender crumb
- Plain Flour, Baking Powder
- Instant Coffee / Espresso Powder – for both the cake and coffee syrup
- Maple Syrup – for both the cake and frosting
- Pecan Nuts – chopped for the cake and have more for garnish
- Vanilla Extract
- Heavy Cream, Mascarpone Cheese – for the frosting
To start with, make sure the butter has been softened at room temperature before you start the recipe. Typically, I would leave the butter out at room temperature for an hour. The butter should be soft to touch, e.g. creating a slight indent when poking against it but not sinking into it. Using butter that’s either too cold or too warm would hugely impact the texture of the cake. Do NOT try to soften the butter in a microwave either because 1) it warms the butter rather unevenly, and 2) you risk melting the butter which would completely ruin your cake texture.
It is also very important to not overmix the cake batter. The goal is to have all the ingredients incorporated, i.e. no more visible streaks of flour in the mixing bowl. If you overmix it, it would either lead to a toughened texture or a weak structure. After creaming together the butter & sugar and whisking in the eggs, keep it light and gentle by folding in the remaining ingredients.
Last but not least, let the cake rest for a bit before removing it from the cake tin and make sure the cake has completely cooled down before adding the frosting. Any remaining heat from the cake could melt the frosting.
For any leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
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Maple Pecan Coffee Cake
For the cake
- 180 g Unsalted Butter softened at room temperature
- 150 g White Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 cup Buttermilk 284mL
- 185 g Plain Flour
- 1½ tsp Baking Powder
- 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tbsp Instant Coffee / Espresso Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- 75 g Pecan Nuts chopped
For the coffee syrup
- 1 tsp Instant Coffee / Espresso Powder
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tbsp Water
For the mascarpone frosting
- ¾ cup Heavy Cream
- 275 g Mascarpone Cheese
- 2½ tbsp White Sugar
- 1 tsp Maple Syrup
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Beat butter and sugar together until creamy.150 g White Sugar, 180 g Unsalted Butter
- Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Then mix in the buttermilk.2 Eggs, 1 cup Buttermilk
- Sieve in flour and baking powder. Mix to combine.185 g Plain Flour, 1½ tsp Baking Powder
- Fold in chopped pecan nuts, maple syrup, instant coffee granules, vanilla extract, and sea salt.3 tbsp Maple Syrup, 1 tbsp Instant Coffee / Espresso Powder, 1 tsp Vanilla Extract, 75 g Pecan Nuts, ½ tsp Sea Salt
- Pour cake batter into a lined cake tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes until cooked through.
- While the cake is baking, mix together coffee, sugar and water until a thick syrup forms.1 tsp Instant Coffee / Espresso Powder, 2 tbsp Sugar, 1 tbsp Water
- After the cake is baked through, while still hot in the tin, use a toothpick to poke some holes across the cake. Brush some coffee syrup all over the cake.
- Allow the cake to cool down for 5-10 minutes before removing it from the tin and brush coffee syrup on the other side of the cake as well. Set the cake aside to allow it to continue to cool down completely.
- In a bowl, whisk together all the frosting ingredients until stiff peaks form.¾ cup Heavy Cream, 275 g Mascarpone Cheese, 1 tsp Maple Syrup, 2½ tbsp White Sugar
- Top the cake with the frosting and garnish with some extra pecan nuts.
- Leave the butter at room temperature for about an hour to soften it before starting the recipe. This is crucial as it would have an effect on the cake texture. Do NOT attempt to soften the butter with a microwave.
- After creaming together the butter & sugar and whisking in the eggs, do not overmix the cake batter. Keep it gentle and fold in any remaining ingredients until incorporated.
- Make sure the cake has completely cooled down before putting on frosting.
- With any leftovers, store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to five days.
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