Made with pure maple syrup, rich brown sugar and real vanilla extract, this celebration cake recipe will become a fast favourite for birthdays, anniversaries and all other special occasions. Pair it with layers of hazelnut filling, cover it with lashings of classic vanilla bean buttercream and crown it with a hazelnut and mascaporne topping to claim your title as the queen or king of the kitchen!
525g unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup (180ml) maple syrup
¾ cup (165g) caster sugar
1½ cups (260g) brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3¾ cups (560g) plain flour, sifted
3½ tsp baking powder
⅓ cup (80ml) milk
300g sour cream
½ cup hazelnut spread (Nutella)
250g butter, softened
3 cups icing sugar mixture
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tbs milk
¼ cup hazelnut spread (Nutella)
250g mascarpone cheese
100g dark chocolate, grated with a vegetable peeler
1 Preheat oven to 160°C. Line two lightly greased 20cm round cake tins with non-stick baking paper and set aside. Place the butter, maple syrup, both sugars and vanilla in the mixer’s glass bowl with the flat beater attachment and beat for 8–10 minutes or until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
2 Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and fold through the flour, baking powder and milk until combined. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
3 Make hazelnut filling by combining sour cream and hazelnut spread in a bowl.
4 To assemble, trim the tops of the cakes and halve each cake horizontally. Place the bottom layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Use a palette knife to spread ½ cup of the filling onto the cake. Top with another cake layer and repeat with the filling and remaining layers. Chill until firm.
5 Meanwhile, make buttercream by beating butter in the mixer’s bowl until pale and creamy. Gradually add icing sugar then vanilla and milk until smooth. Spread the top and sides of the cake with buttercream, taking care to create a smooth finish.
6 To make hazelnut topping, combine ¼ cup hazelnut spread with mascarpone and spread over top of cake. Sprinkle with chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
7 Stand the cake at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.