Old-fashioned nut cakes bring back warm memories of family gatherings many years ago. There always seemed to be at least one nut cake – and often more – at family reunions. They were made by great aunts or other miscellaneous relatives. (I often was unsure of the relationship.) So when I saw a recipe for Maple Nut Cake in a hundred-year-old promotional cookbook published by the Royal Baking Powder Company, I decided to give it a try.
The cake is made in a loaf pan. The old recipe recommended using chopped pecans in the cake, so I went with that nut. The cake is iced with Maple Icing. It turned out wonderfully, and tasted just like those old-time cakes of memory.
Here’s the original recipe:
And, here are the original Maple Icing recipes. (The cookbook contained two icing options.):
I interpreted a “moderate oven” to be 350° F. However, the cake was not even close to being fully baked after 45 minutes, so I continued baking until a pick inserted in the center came out clean, which was about 1 hour and 10 minutes after I put the cake in the oven.
I made the first Maple Icing recipe. I softened the butter, and did not bother to heat the milk.
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
Maple Nut Cake
Maple Nut Cake
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts – preferably pecans
additional chopped nuts for top of cake
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites stiff peaks form.
In a separate mixing bowl put the flour, shortening, brown sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, baking powder, and salt; beat until combined. Then stir in the nuts, and gently fold the whipped egg whites into the mixture. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake 1 hour 10 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Frost top with Maple Icing. (If desired, the cake can be removed from the pan. A slightly thinner icing can be made, and the icing can then be drizzled over the cake and allowed to run down the sides.). While the icing is still soft, sprinkle with chopped nuts.
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
approximately 2 tablespoons milk
Put confectioners’ sugar, butter, and maple flavoring in a bowl. Add milk and beat until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add additional milk.
51 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Maple Nut Cake”
It looks wonderful 🌿
That sounds yummy. Yours is lovely in the photo.
The Maple Nut Cake is delish. It’s wonderful to hear that you liked the photo. I am still learning how to take really nice food photos – and sometimes they turn out better than other times. 🙂
I’m not very good with food pictures, but they help tell a story. I think yours are well above average.
How true – Food photos can help tell a story. Thanks for the kind words.
Oh gosh, I have a lot of maple flavouring to use up. Thanks.
This the the perfect recipe for you. Similarly to you, I often have an extract, spice, or sauce that I use a little of in a recipe – and then it just sits in my cupboard unless I find other recipes that call for it.
I like maple flavor, but have never had it in baked goods. Sounds yummy.
Maple flavoring is good in baked goods. I have several cookie and cake recipes that call for using maple flavoring, and have been pleased with how they’ve all turned out.
My mom always made an apple nut cake which the family loved. Your maple icing would be delicious even on top of my mom’s cake 🙂
mmm. . . Your mother’s apple nut cake sounds wonderful. I also think that the Maple Icing would work well on it.
That looks so good. I love loaf pan cakes. Easy slices to make. But alas, we (hubby and I) are on diets and even though one slice wont hurt I am afraid that I would not be able to contain myself with just one slice. lol
I also like how easy loaf pan cakes are to make – and they are a more reasonable size for my husband and me than larger cake recipes. That said, I have a similar problem to you when it comes to eating just one slice. 🙂
Looks absolutely delicious! Love the maple glaze too.
The cake is really tasty, and the maple glaze works well on it.
Now I’m almost tempted to head to Walgreens and buy a bag of the memories you raised: Brach’s maple nut goodies. Maple and nuts is a great combo, and I’ll bet this cake is scrumptious.
mmm. . . You’re also tempting me to head to Walgreens to buy some Maple Nut Goodies. They’re wonderful.
Looks delicious. Reminds my of my mom’s Hickory Nut Cake.
I had a similar thought when I first saw this recipe. I think that hickory nuts would work well in this recipe. An aside – A couple years ago I gathered some wild hickory nuts. And, I was shocked to discover how difficult it was to crack and get the nut meats out of them. When our ancestors made a Hickory Nut Cake, they put a lot of time and love into it.
oh my goodness, my grandmother use to make this. thank you for sharing!
It’s wonderful to hear that this recipe brought back some good food memories.
The cake looks so delicious. Maple and pecans is such a tasty combination.
I agree- maple and pecans are a wonderful combination. This cake turned out really well.
This sounds really good. My grandmother would make something that sounds similar except she used walnuts. Pecans I’m sure would taste better!!
When I first read the recipe, I thought about using walnuts, but then noticed that the recipe author recommended pecans. I wonder if walnuts would traditionally be used in this recipe in some regions of the country, while pecans would be used in other regions.
My mum used to make one just like this but she used coffee instead of maple and walnuts..Coffee and walnut has always been a favourite flavour of mine bit the maple would make a lovely change 🙂
mmm. . . coffee and walnuts also sound like a wonderful combination.
I love cakes with nuts in them..family doesn’t think so though 😢 sometimes though I put some in a corner of the cake batter than tell the rest that’s my piece.😁 it usually is left alone.
I like how you put nuts in one small section of cakes. My children didn’t care much for nuts, and I seldom made cookies or cakes with nuts when they were young. Now that it’s just my husband and me – I frequently make foods with nuts since we both love them.
Great vintage recipe. Thanks for sharing. I booked marked this one to use later.
I think that you will like this recipe.
Mmmm. Just the thought of a bite of a warm nut cake makes my mouth water. Thank you for this recipe!
You’re welcome. It’s a lovely cake.
That looks so delicious! 🙂
I’m curious about the second icing. It looks like it would take some practice to get right.
The second icing sounds very different from most modern icings (though it may be very tasty) – but somehow I wasn’t adventurous enough to try it. 🙂
This does look delicious. If I made that hubs would devour it within two days, one slither at a time.xxx
That’s what happened at my house, though I also helped make it disappear – one slither at a time. 🙂
There is something so special about “old-fashioned” recipes, they just seem so much more credible and delicious 🙂 thank you so much for sharing!
You’re welcome. I agree – there’s some special about “old-fashioned” recipes.