These are both adaptations of mine from several recipes I've found over the years. I love how well the flavors of maple and caramel blend together so this combination of cake and frosting was a no-brainer for me. If you serve this at Christmas or at a holiday party in the coming days, be prepared to have people request it from you again next year, then the next year and so on until it becomes a tradition of it's own!
Maple Cake with Caramel Frosting
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla (or maple extract for a more intense maple flavor)
3/4 cup plain yogurt
Caramel Frosting, recipe below
In a large mixing bowl beat together butter, maple syrup and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla (or maple extract) and continue beating.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Slowly stir in the yogurt, a little bit a time. Add this mixture to the maple mixture, beating just enough to combine ingredients thoroughly.
Pour batter into a lightly greased 13x9 cake pan (or glass baking dish). Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Cool completely before frosting (you can remove from pan after 10 minutes and continue to cool on a cooling rack if desired).
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup butter (real butter, no substitutes)
1/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In a small saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, milk and salt. Cook over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and let cook for 5 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble and turns amber in color.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in vanilla and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. Using an electric mixer, beat in powdered sugar a little at a time until frosting becomes thick enough to frost cake with.