Most of us are very familiar with how good maple syrup is on top of pancakes. But you can use maple syrup for so much more than just pancakes. It is perfect for baking cakes or pies too. I often use it on my sweet potatoes as well. To me, anything maple is a sign that fall is in the air, or at least will soon be on its way. Though technically, the calendar still says it is only summer, I know it won’t be too much longer to wait. Fall is my absolute favorite season. I look forward to it every year. I think it is the most colorful time of year, and it is so inviting to share with good friends and good food. The nights are already beginning to darken a little earlier than they were just a couple of weeks ago, and we have had some cooler weather as well. In fact, for it being only mid-August, we have had some really cool days, and particularly cool mornings already. We will not have to wait to much longer before the leaves start to change colors and the air will be crisp and refreshing. I say bring it on, and let the wonders of fall and fall cooking begin. In fact, I did some early, pre-fall cooking today, with of course, maple syrup. We are having some friends come over for dinner tonight, and I thought this would be a perfect time to make a cake with maple syrup.
This cake is both like a cake and a cookie with the crust on the bottom. I made my crust with cold butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and mix well with the flour, sugar and cinnamon, (I find using my hands works best, but you can use a pastry cutter as well) until it is all crumbled together. Then firmly press it all into the bottom of a 9×9 baking pan. Bake at 350* for 5-7 minutes, or until set, and remove from the oven.
Once the cake batter is made, spoon it evenly over the crust and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake is set and no longer jiggles and is golden brown in color.
Let the cake cool completely before cutting into squares, then dust with powdered sugar.
Rich Syrup and Butter Cake
Preheat oven to 350* F
1 cup flour
3 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup cold butter
Really mash everything together, either by using a pastry cutter or by hand until everything is crumbled and starts to cling together. Then press it all down firmly on the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish. Bake at 350*F for 5-7 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and let cool.
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup half & half
Mix the butter and sugar together then add the egg and mix again. Add the maple syrup and continue to mix. Add the flour and the half & half, 1/2 at a time and mix well in between. Once everything is well combined and incorporated, spoon the cake mixture over the crust. Make sure the batter is evenly distributed over the crust. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the cake is golden brown in color and is set. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Dust with powdered sugar. I served it with a maple, cinnamon whipped cream on the side. Delicious! This can be used a dessert or as a mid-morning snack with a warm cup of coffee or tea.