Maple walnut. A warm salty-sweet combo that practically screams autumn. And not to mention, one of my husband’s favorite ice cream flavors. Why I haven’t made a maple walnut cake before, I have no idea but, my oh my this gluten-free and dairy-free maple walnut cake was a total game-changer.
Note: This post contains affiliate links to which I earn a small commission, but don’t worry there’s no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting CAKED by Katie.
Maple Walnut Cake
Four layers of fluffy vanilla cake packed full of toasted and chopped walnuts that add a great texture to each forkful. Paired with a light whipped maple buttercream frosting that is not too sweet and not too strong.
This gluten-free and dairy-free maple walnut cake is a beautiful combination of salty and sweet with every bite and will have you coming back for seconds.
How To Make Gluten-Free Walnut Cake
The real star of this cake show is the gluten-free walnut cake layers. Toasting the walnuts beforehand gives an extra bit of warmth and depth to the flavor profile. A hint of salt elevates the natural sweetness of the vanilla cake layers and serves as a beautiful flavor base for these gluten-free walnut layers.
I used a gluten-free 1:1 baking blend with xanthan gum and love the airy and fluffy crumb it produces. Make sure whatever gluten-free flour blend you are using contains xanthan gum as that is what acts as the “glue” for gluten-free baking. And as always, double-check the baking powder to ensure it’s gluten-free as well.
How To Make Maple Frosting
My first attempt at a maple buttercream frosting ended up in a lumpy sticky mess. I thought I could boil down the maple syrup to reduce the volume while intensifying the flavor. Well, turns out it will caramelize and turn into a maple candy. Delicious, yes, but not so fabulous for a frosting.
On the second attempt, I went back to basics and simply added the maple syrup into the frosting little by little until I achieved the subtly sweet maple flavor I desired. Goes to show that sometimes simple truly is best.
Make sure you are using pure maple syrup. Imitation table syrup is far thinner and you will end up with an unstable buttercream consistency. I personally recommend going for an A or B-grade maple syrup with a deep amber color.
Easy Dairy-Free Buttercream Recipe
I’m an American buttercream-type gal. The flavor, the consistency, I love it all! That said, I was inspired to try a new frosting style and this Easy Buttercream Frosting from Sugar Geek Show encouraged me to get out of my regular buttercream box.
Using pasteurized egg whites (the kind from the carton) as the base and combining it with icing sugar and butter in a mock Swiss meringue buttercream style produced a soft, light, and subtly sweet frosting that smoothed like a dream. I adapted the recipe to make it dairy-free and maple-flavored and I think you’re really going to enjoy it!
Maple Walnut Cake (Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free)
Warm nutty cake layers packed full of toasted walnuts with texture and depth to every single bite. Stacked high and smothered with a smooth and light maple buttercream frosting that will shock you that it’s dairy-free.
This cake was delightfully easy to make and delightfully delicious to devour. I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Fun Fall Baking Recipes
Fall is not just the prettiest season, but I think it’s the yummiest too. Full of such great flavors, I hope you’ll be inspired to start baking with these awesomely-autumn recipes.
- Easy Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
- Honey Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Almond Chai Cake
- Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
- Apple Bundt Cake
- Spiced Pear Donuts
- Pumpkin Donuts
- Better Box Mix Brownie
- Salted Caramel Fudge