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Maple Sticky Bun Cake

35 mins
10 mins
Gesine Bullock-Prado
Nathan Congleton/TODAY
35 mins
10 mins


Cinnamon-sugar ribbon
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Cake
  • Unsalted butter or nonstick cooking spray, to grease pans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • cups buttermilk
  • Chef notes

    Who doesn't love a maple-infused sticky bun? I know I do. But sometimes it's fun to indulge in a little mashup, inviting the breakfast treat to the cake party. This sweet and rich cake is delicious on its own. You can bake it in a large baking pan, top with crumble and you've got a brilliant coffee cake for breakfast. Or you can layer it with maple butter pecan frosting and top it with an ooey-gooey caramel topping studded with roasted pecans and you've got a celebration.


    For the cinnamon-sugar ribbon:

    Place the brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until combined and very fine. Set aside.

    For the cake:


    Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 325°F for a convection oven). Butter or spray the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment. Set aside.


    In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk for 30 seconds. Set aside.


    Place the butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and maple sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla bean paste and then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.


    With the mixer on low speed, add a third of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk, and then continue to alternate between the flour and buttermilk until just combined. Take the bowl from the mixer stand and then, using a large rubber spatula, fold the batter a few times to ensure everything is well incorporated.


    Add a quarter of the batter to each of the prepared pans and then divide the cinnamon-sugar ribbon mixture between the two pans, sprinkling evenly over the top of the batter. Divide the remainder of the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake springs back when gently poked.