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Maple Gooey Butter Cake

5 from 1 vote
Try my sweet, maple version of a classic Southern gooey butter cake. This Maple Gooey Butter Cake recipe leans on the sweeter side, making it perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth this fall.
Three pieces of maple gooey butter cake on individual plates with forks, on a floral tablecloth.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHAT YOU GET: A simple, non-yeasted maple version of the classic St. Louis gooey butter cake. My Maple Gooey Butter Cake recipe is just as the name suggests – ooey-gooey and packed with maple flavors perfect for Autumn. 

There’s nothing quite like the taste of warm, maple-flavored goodies to kick off the fall season. I don’t know about you, but maple has become the staple fall flavor for many of us who enjoy sweet and savory treats. Especially if you live on the east coast of the United States, you’re probably already seeing the maple trees turn gorgeous deep red and purple colors (jealous!). 

If you want to enjoy some warmth in your kitchen away from the growing chilliness, my Maple Gooey Butter Cake recipe should do the trick. It’s got two delectable layers of maple butter cake and ooey-gooey maple cream cheese topping for some double maple action! 

Unlike other cakes with distinctive visible layers, the layers in this cake meld into one another creating one warm, melt-in-your-mouth dessert. Round up a few tools and ingredients, and you’ll have a fresh cake to dig into in about an hour!

Three pieces of maple gooey butter cake on individual white plates with a fork, on top of pink napkins and a floral tablecloth.

What Is Maple Gooey Butter Cake?

Not to be confused with maple butter in a cake, Maple Gooey Butter Cake is my maple-flavored rendition of the classic St. Louis butter cake. This cake originates in the 1930s and is traditionally made with a yeasted sweet dough on the bottom.

However, my Maple Butter Cake is non-yeasted and maple-flavored. You will still achieve that buttery, dense texture of a traditional butter cake, with the added sweetness and flavor from maple syrup. 

Why Add Maple Syrup To Cakes?

Besides being flat-out delicious, adding maple syrup to cakes elevates the dessert tenfold. Maple syrup adds natural sweetness without added sugar and a you get a touch of caramel flavor once baked. It also helps to moisten your cakes, which is great for a dense butter cake like this one.

Light Versus Dark Maple Syrup

In this recipe, I recommend using dark maple syrup because it has a stronger and heavier flavor over lighter syrup.

The biggest difference in the maple syrup grades (Golden to Very Dark) primarily refers to when the maple syrup was made. The lighter the syrup, the earlier it was made in the season. The darker syrups are made from older sap which contains a stronger maple flavor. We want all of the maple-flavored power we can get, so using dark maple syrup while baking is key to a delicious Maple Gooey Butter Cake.

Tools To Make Maple Gooey Butter Cake:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 9×13-inch (23×33 cm) baking pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Stand mixer with a paddle attachment or electric hand mixer
  • Silicone spatula

Two pieces of maple gooey butter cake on white plates with silver forks, on pink linen napkins on a floral tablecloth.

How Do I Know When My Cake Is Ready?

It can be difficult to know when your cake is ready because of the cream cheese’s pale color in the topping layer. Take a look at your cake, and if the edges are firm but the center still jiggles slightly when shaken, your cake is ready to come out of the oven.

Don’t worry if it seems like your cake is too jiggly. Once it cools for about 2 hours, the top layer should set a bit.

How To Store Maple Gooey Butter Cake

To keep your Maple Gooey Butter Cake fresh or, if you’re making ahead, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making The Best Maple Gooey Butter Cake:

  • Butter, parchment, and flour will keep this cake from sticking to the pan or the paper, so be sure to use all three!
  • Because of the cream cheese, this cake is still quite pale when it’s done. Take care not to overbake or you will lose the gooey top texture.
  • The grades of maple syrup have to do with when the sap was collected – it gets darker and more flavorful as it gets later in the season. Use Dark or Very Dark (Robust) maple syrup (formerly known as Grade B) for the best flavor.
  • You can add mix-ins to the top layer, like 1 cup (5 oz/142 g) of toasted and chopped walnuts or 1 cup (6 oz/170) of chocolate chips.

A close-up overhead shot of one piece of maple gooey butter cake on a vintage plate with a fork, on a pink napkin and floral tablecloth.

Try More Maple-Flavored Recipes Here:

Gooey Maple Butter Cake

5 from 1 vote
Try my sweet, maple version of a classic Southern gooey butter cake. This Maple Gooey Butter Cake recipe leans on the sweeter side, making it perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth this fall.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 people
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Try my sweet, maple version of a classic Southern gooey butter cake. This Maple Gooey Butter Cake recipe leans on the sweeter side, making it perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth this fall.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 people

Ingredients

For the Bottom Layer

  • cups (13¾ oz/389 g) all-purpose flour
  • cup (5 oz/142 g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (4½ oz/128 g) dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (8 oz/225 g) butter, melted
  • cup (4 oz/115 g) dark maple syrup
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Topping

  • 1 cup (8 oz/225 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (3 oz/85 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (5 oz/142 g) dark maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon maple extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) and butter and line with parchment a 9x13-inch (23x33-cm) baking pan. Butter the parchment, then sprinkle in a little flour and tap out the excess. Set aside.

To Make the Bottom Layer

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla extract.
  • Combine the wet with the dry ingredients until well incorporated, then spread evenly in the prepared pan.

To Make the Topping

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and lump free.
  • Lower the speed to low and mix in the powdered sugar until blended.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and scraping down the sides after each addition, then add the maple syrup and the maple or vanilla extract.
  • Pour the top layer over the bottom layer and bake until the edges are set and firm but the center still jiggles when it’s shaken, 45-50 minutes.
  • Let cool to room temperature (about 2 hours) before cutting into squares and serving.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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Daniyal Khizar
Daniyal Khizar
1 month ago

Hi Gemma, is it possible that we make this with pancake syrup? It has a caramel warm taste.
😊

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook