This all-butter Maple Frosting with pecans is great for any fall cake or cupcake. Maple makes for a very sweet buttercream frosting, but the pecans balance it out perfectly!
Originally posted October 23, 2014
So I’m making this frosting the other day with Charlotte, and it’s going great. There is a cloud of powdered sugar in the air, spilt maple syrup on the counter, small, buttery fingers, and all the measuring cups are being lined up and realigned just so. Typical bake-with-mom frosting session.
I taste the frosting and ask her, “What does it need Charlotte?” And she says, casually throwing a thumb over her shoulder toward the computer, “I don’t know Mom. Go check your blog.”
Seriously?? Even my 3-year-old knows that I can’t do anything without consulting a recipe. This might sound weird coming from a food blogger, but what can I say, the internet just knows too many things for me to want to take the time to guess everything. (It needed salt, btw, and yes, I figured it out ALL BY MYSELF.)
My brother Nathan was totally mocking me the other night because I looked up my own recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich. Yes, I looked up a recipe for a freaking sandwich, on my own blog. Now granted, they were these awesome Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, but still. You kinda lose some amount of cooking-cred when you have to look up a sandwich recipe. (Maybe it’s the Charlatan coming out in me?) Honestly though, that’s part of what this blog is about: cataloguing recipes I love so I don’t forget them!
Maple Buttercream Frosting
I am in looooove with this frosting. I’ve been experimenting for a couple weeks now and finally got it to optimal awesomeness. I really love the sophisticated touch the pecans add. The nuts are chopped so small that you don’t really feel like you’re eating nuts. There is no nut-crunching necessary, they just melt into the frosting perfectly and add great flavor. This frosting is very sweet without the nuts, so if pecans aren’t your thing
you’re crazy just pair it with cookies or cake that is not overly sweet.
How to make Maple Frosting
The first step is to get those delicious pecans all chopped up nice and small. You can do them by hand or in a food processor. I like them small and I like saving time so I drop them in the cuisinart and hit the pulse button until I’m happy. Take a look at the photos to see how small I like them, but you do you!
Next you roast up those pecans. Set a frying pan over medium heat. Add the pecans and stir occasionally until they start to smell delicious, or until they barely start to brown. You can let those cool while you start on the buttercream.
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter to within an inch of its life. Just kidding, beat it for a couple minutes until it’s high and fluffy. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar and maple syrup and keep beating it until well mixed. Add another cup of powdered sugar, the maple extract, and salt until it is all combine.
Lastly, you add those beautiful chopped pecans (they should be fully cooled). Then enjoy! Put them on whatever beautiful baked good you’ve got planned.
Ingredients for Maple Frosting
- Pecans (toasted, finely chopped)
- Butter (salted)
- Powdered Sugar
- Real Maple Syrup (Grade A)
- Maple Extract
Here’s the Cinnamon Cardamom Cake that I made to go with this frosting:
UPDATE: I also used a variation of this frosting to make Carrot Cake. (I added cream cheese!): Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Maple Pecan Frosting.
Other cakes and frostings to love:
Blackberry Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:
S’mores Buttercream Frosting by Wine and Glue
Apple Cider Cupcakes with Nutmeg Frosting from Eat Live Run
Honey Buttercream Frosting from The Cupcake Project
Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter
Maple Pecan Frosting
- 3/4 cup pecans, toasted, finely chopped
- 1 cup salted butter, 2 sticks
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup, I used Grade A
- 1 teaspoon maple extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Chop up the pecans. You can chop them with a knife or in a food processor. See photos to see what level of choppiness we're talking.
- Set a frying pan over medium heat. Add the pecans and stir occasionally until they start to smell delicious, or until they barely start to brown. Set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter to within an inch of its life. Just kidding, beat it for a couple minutes until it's high and fluffy.
- Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and maple syrup. Beat well.
- Add 1 cup powdered sugar, maple extract, and salt. Beat well.
- Add the chopped pecans when they are completely cooled and beat it. Try not to eat it all with a spoon.
If making a day or two in advance would it be better to hold off on adding the nuts and beat in in frosting day?
Yes! They will get soggy! Add them last minute. Great question!
Excellent! I followed the recipe exactly, frosted a two layer spice cake and put sprinkles of maple sugar and some toasted pecan halves on top. Delicious. Not an ordinary frosting. I love the complementary complex flavors.
Ooh, maple sugar! That sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing the details Richard!
This is really really good! Authentic maple syrup adds necessary maple flavour (I didnt have maple extract) and doesnt make the icing too runny or sweet. I had unsalted butter so i added more salt which balances out the flavours.
So glad you loved the frosting J! Great idea using real maple syrup :) Thanks for reviewing!
This frosting is friggin dynamite! I did add a sprinkle of a few spices to the pecans at the end of their toasting: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom & cloves.
I paired it with this delicious banana cake recipe, so it tastes a little bit like bananas foster: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/best-banana-cake/
Giving the cake to one of my coworkers tomorrow for her birthday. She’s gonna be so thrilled. 😀
Thank you for sharing the deliciousness!
Ooh I love the idea of combining this with a banana cake!!! That sounds so good! I love Sally’s recipes, she’s amazing. I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for the comment Kris!
Love the icing! Not to sweet but full of flavor!
Perfect description Virginia! I’m so glad you liked it. PS, I love you name, I’ve always wanted to name a daughter Virginia :)
This frosting recipe is excellent! Thank you for sharing. I made vanilla cupcakes with this frosting yesterday and haven’t been able to keep my hands out of the cookie jar – uh cupcake holder – ever since. Followed your directions exactly, which would be my advice to anyone reading. Don’t mess up a good thing. Thanks again!
Fantastic! The toasted pecans pair perfectly with the maple syrup and result in a divine buttercram icing. In reference to questions about whether the maple syruo would make it runny, not remotely. If anything it intesifies the creaminess.
Hooray! I’m glad you liked the frosting William! Thanks so much for the feedback.
Looking at the comments to try and decide whether the maple syrup is necessary or does it make the frosting runny. It appears that not one of the commenters has actually tried the recipe.
Hey Rita! I’ve tried the recipe :) I promise it doesn’t make the frosting runny. But if you want you could add it toward the end in increments to make sure it doesn’t make it runny. Enjoy!
I’m about to try this but I’m not gonna add the maple syrup because I’m making a brownie cake so it’ll be too sweet and I don’t want diabetes on a plate lol. I’ll let you know how it turns out :)
“Diabetes on a plate” lol!! enjoy Fay! that sounds like an awesome cake!! You’re sending me the recipe right :)
This looks so good! I bet it would be killer on carrot cake or a pumpkin cupcake!
Thanks Bri! Yeah I didn’t think of carrot cake, that sounds delicious!