This Chocolate Maple Cake is a 4-layer rich chocolate cake paired with amazing maple buttercream. It is a delight to the senses! If you are a fan of fall flavors this is the cake for you. The deep rich chocolate cake is perfectly matched with the sweet maple frosting. Check 50 Best Cake Recipes if you want more amazing recipes!
Chocolate Maple Cake
This is by far the best chocolate maple cake you will ever have, hands down. What makes this recipe the best? First off, it is inspired by my grandma’s favorite recipe. She added coffee to her cake which does magical things to chocolate. Second, this is truly a MOIST and flavorful chocolate cake. Is there anything worse than dry cake? Nope. You will never have that problem with this recipe!
I wanted to make sure that the frosting had a real maple flavor so I not only added maple syrup, but I added McCormick Maple Extract. The beauty of using the extract in the recipe is that I was able to maintain the consistency and flavor I wanted without turning the frosting into a runny mess. Just be sure to follow the recipe exactly!
How to Stack a Layer Cake
Chill your layers before assembly. I find that working with chilled or partially frozen cakes really helps. There is nothing worse than trying to assemble a layer cake and having it fall into pieces in your hands. And you totally know I am speaking from experience.
There are many methods to torting or using frosting in between the layers of your cake. I like to do what is easiest and whatever method requires as few tools as necessary.
Place your first layer on your cake stand. Apply the frosting and use a small offset spatula to make the frosting an even layer.
Place your next layer on top. Some frosting should “spill out” the sides and that is exactly what you want. Repeat this process; frosting, a layer of cake, frosting, a layer of cake, until you have added all your layers.
When making a layer cake it is important to do a crumb coat, which is simply a thin layer of frosting applied to a cake. The crumb coat is intended to seal in crumbs, hence the name, crumb coat. Maybe too much frosting spilled out, or your layers may not be perfectly aligned, or maybe your cake is slightly lopsided. Doing a crumb coat is a great opportunity to fill in any problem areas.
Use an offset spatula. I put a dollop on top of the cake and then use the spatula to bring it down over the sides, making sure to get the frosting all the way to bottom.
If you have a rotating cake stand, you can place your spatula flat against the cake and slowly turn the stand. This will help smooth out the frosting and create an even coat. If you see any uneven spots, simply add more frosting to those areas and then repeat with the offset spatula.
Once your cake is covered in the crumb coat, I usually chill it for at least 10 minutes. I like the cake to settle and the frosting to set.
To decorate a cake, I start by putting a smooth layer of frosting on. This is done the same way as the crumb coat. Place a dollop on top of the cake and pull it down over the sides using an offset spatula.
To smooth out the sides, make sure the cake is covered in an even layer of frosting, then place spatula (or bench scraper) flat against the side of the cake. Slowly turning cake, smooth out the layer of frosting until you have polished, even coat. This step takes practice, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t look perfect. Just keep at it until you are comfortable with how your cake looks!
Once you have the sides done, use your spatula to smooth out the top. Starting at the edge, gently press your spatula against the frosting and move in, towards the center of the cake. Repeat this around the entire cake until you have removed excess frosting. You can use the small offset spatula to go around the cake to make the top crisp and clean.
Can I Use a Different Size Pan?
Of course. I recommend cutting the cake recipe and the frosting in half if you want to use a 9×13 pan. This Maple Cake is based on my Perfect Chocolate Cake, and if you follow that link, the recipe is already the smaller portion.
Chocolate Maple Cake
Chocolate Cake (My original Chocolate Cake recipe that has been doubled)
- 3 ½ cups (420 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup (224 g) vegetable oil
- 2 cup (480 g) buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ cups (180 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 cups (800 g) granulated sugar
- 2 cups (474 g) freshly brewed hot coffee
- 2 cups (4 sticks / 452 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6-8 cups (750 g-1000 g) confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Maple Extract
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Vanilla Extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease 4, 8-inch round cake pans.
- Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl and mix until combined.
- In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out mostly clean (not wet).
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
- Add the butter to a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, beat until lighter in color and fluffy. Add in the confectioner’s sugar a couple cups at a time.
- With the mixer off, add in the vanilla and maple extracts and then add in the syrup.
- Beat on low speed until syrup and sugar are incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Increase speed to high and beat until mixture is light and whipped, about 5 minutes.
- Use immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.
Did you make this recipe?
Thank you for making my recipe! You took pictures, right? Well go ahead and post them on Instagram! Be sure to mention me @iambaker and use the hashtag #YouAreBaker.
It was an absolute delight to create this Chocolate Maple Cake with McCormick. I love creating fall-inspired ideas with them!! Thank you so, so much for supporting the brands that support this blog. I only work with the best, and I am thankful that McCormick is willing to partner with me!
My family love this cake!!! Thank you😊🎉
Haven’t made it yet.
You detailed the frosting method but didn’t mention slicing the cakes to make four layers as the picture indicates.
One can use sewing thread or dental floss.
I believe it’s 4 layers to start. If you slice them you would have 8 layers.
Must this cake be refrigerated?
I have left it on the counter for a day or two. But generally speaking, refrigeration is good. Just let it come to room temperature before serving.
Can’t wait to bake this cake 😊
You are, by far, my favorite to follow!
Excellent moist cake. Delicious taste in cake and icing!
Can I just make this as a two layer cake?
I can’t wait to bake this cake. One quick question. Is it a typo with 4 cups of sugar ? And if not can I use maple sugar instead and would the measurements be different? Ok that was 2 questions 😀
I’ve made this once before and it was great but this time the centers dropped, would you have any idea why that could happen?
How long would the cake layers last in the freezer?