Even though I’m in Seattle, I’ve been hearing from Twitter folks on the East Coast that it is officially maple syrup season! I even found a site, Maple Syrup Making Time, that says that Maine’s maple syrup season started on February 14th. Who knew? I never really thought about what time of year maple syrup is made. If you asked me to tell you (before now, that is), I probably would have said September. That’s harvest season, right? Why not maple syrup season? Clearly I didn’t read Girlfriend’s Toot and Puddle book closely enough. I just got it out and it’s there, plain as day: Puddle is gathering sap in March to make maple syrup. There’s snow everywhere. No way is it September (the text also says: “March meant maple syrup.”). (By the way, the Toot and Puddle books by Holly Hobbie–yes that Holly Hobbie–are among the most charming kid’s books around. Our family recommends them highly!).
Anyway, as folks were talking about maple syrup, I realized that I had a Maple Syrup Bundt cake recipe I’d been meaning to adapt. It came with a pretty bundt cake pan I found on sale this past December at Williams-Sonoma (Love Williams-Sonoma). I’ve made it the past two Fridays for our Coffee Cake Friday event. Everyone loves it. I made it once with the Bourbon Maple Glaze, and once without. Both ways are delicious.
This cake has a texture like a pound cake. It’s got a dense crumb. It’s one of those cakes where you grab a slice, thinking you’ll only eat part of it, and over the course of a few minutes, you’ve found you’ve eaten the whole thing and are contemplating another slice. The taste is delicate–not too strong or too sweet. The glaze is very nice, too, but the cake is fine without it.
Maple Bundt Cake, Gluten-Free
-adapted from Williams-Sonoma
Special Equipment Needed
-10 C Bundt pan
-a stand mixer is helpful, but a hand mixer will do
-pastry brush for brushing on the glaze
For the Cake
2 3/4 cups Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (I used freshly ground)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup maple syrup (use the real stuff)
4 extra large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar (I use dark)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
extra tapioca flour and melted butter for your pan
For the Glaze (optional)
1/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar (I use dark)
1/3 cup maple syrup
4 tsp bourbon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare your pan: with a pastry brush, brush melted butter into all the nooks and crannies of your bundt pan. Dust completely with tapioca flour. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, beat together milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until combined. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), beat butter until light and fluffy–about 5 minutes. Add brown and granulated sugars–beat 5 mins more.
-add eggs, one at a time. Beat after each addition
Beginning and ending with the dry mixture, add dry and milk mixtures to butter mixture, alternating between the two.
Scrape dough into your prepared pan. Thump pan on counter to release any trapped air bubbles.
Bake at 350 for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake for another 50-55 minutes.
While cake is baking, make the glaze if using: in a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, stir together the brown sugar, maple syrup, and bourbon (or water) until the mixture has reduced a bit and is tacky, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then turn out onto rack. If using the glaze, brush the warm cake with the glaze. Cool completely.
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