|Source: From The Baking Sheet, via Margaret Osha at Turkey Hill Farm|
|Prep time: 1 hour||Cooking time: 30 minutes||Total time: 1 1/2 hours|
This cake will always be associated with a magical day at the start of maple sugaring season when we took a City Market Farm Tour to Turkey Hill Farm. Farmer Margaret Osha prepared a beautiful lunch for us (maple cured ham, hard boiled eggs boiled in sap water, maple baked beans) and presented this cake for dessert. Baking it in March is truly a special way to honor spring and the traditions of maple sugaring in Vermont.
For the Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease and flour two 8-inch roudn cake pans or one 9x13-inch pan.
For the Cake: Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder; set aside. In a large bowl, melt the butter and sugar together; stir in the maple syrup, then the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the extract or flavoring, then the dry ingredients, mixing until evenly moistened. Stir in the walnuts.
Pour into the prepared pan(s). Bake the 9x13-inch cake for 30 minutes, and layers for 25-27 minutes, until the center springs back when lightly touched with your finger and the cake just begins to pull away from the edges of the pan. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool for 20 minutes. If you baked layers, take them out of the pan after 20 minutes and return to the rack to finish cooling completely. The sheet cake can either be flipped out onto a platter or frosted in its pan.
For the frosting: Beat together the butter, syrup and salt. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Assembly: if you’ve made a 9x13 inch cake, you can either frost it right in the pan, or flip it out onto a platter and frost what was the bottom. For a layer cake, trim any dome off the tops of the cooled layers. Place one layer, bottom up, on a serving plate. Tuck strips of wax or parchment paper under the edge of the layer to keep it clean while you frost. Spread the first layer with frosting to cover, then invert the second layer on top. Frost the top and sides of the cake, and decorate with walnut halves.