I’m a food history nerd, and when studying food history, you can’t escape the hunt for something sweet.  It might’ve been honey in one place for a time, fruit juices rendered down, and then of course canes transformed into sugar, or, like in this case, tree resin turned into syrup, then evaporated for easier, lighter transportation.  Maple sugar has a long history in Canada and the American North East, used for trade between the native population and New World settlers. It’s twice as sweet as white sugar, and has that deep, almost smokey maple flavor that adds a uniqueness to anything it touches.  This cake without it is still a very tasty cake, but with it, the cake becomes special, filled with maple-y goodness.  I decided to totally guild the lily on this one and coat it in a maple glaze as well. Enjoy!




4 ounces unsalted butter, soft

1 1/2 cups maple sugar (or brown sugar)

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 1/2 cups flour, sifted

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

1 cup pecans, roughly chopped


2 ounces unsalted butter

2/3 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F.

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and gradually add sugar, beat until creamy (about a minute). Add beaten eggs and mix for another minute.

Meanwhile, sift together the salt, baking soda, spices, and flour.  Alternately add applesauce and dry ingredients to butter mixture on low speed, and beat well. Fold pecans into batter. Turn into buttered loaf tin and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan, then insert onto a plate.

Meanwhile, for the glaze, melt the butter in a small pot, add the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.  Let it simmer until the sugar is fully dissolved.  Pour over the cake. Slice and serve.