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!

Maple Frosting with chopped pecans

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.”

Whole pecans in food processor

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.

Sliced Carrot Cake with maple frosting

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!

Chopped pecans in cuisinart

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
  • Salt

Here’s the Cinnamon Cardamom Cake that I made to go with this frosting:

Cinnamon Cardamom Cake with Maple Pecan Frosting on cake stand

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.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Maple Pecan Frosting from The Food Charlatan

Other cakes and frostings to love:

Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake:

Blackberry Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:

Strawberry Truffle Cake

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

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Maple Pecan Frosting from TheFoodCharlatan.com
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5 from 2 votes
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Maple Pecan Frosting

This all-butter Maple Pecan Buttercream Frosting is great for any fall cake or cupcake. Maple makes for a very sweet frosting, but the pecans balance it out perfectly!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

I've never tried this with fake maple syrup. I'm sure it would work fine! Let me know if you try it out.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cupcake, Calories: 157 kcal, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Protein: 1 g, Fat: 10 g, Saturated Fat: 5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 20 mg, Sodium: 80 mg, Potassium: 23 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 17 g, Vitamin A: 238 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 8 mg, Iron: 1 mg