Maple Nutmeg Feather Cake

Even though I’ve lived in Europe for over thirty years now, there are still some American childhood tastes and flavours that stay with me. It’s like they are engraved in my tastebud DNA. One of these is maple syrup.

My partner, Irish to his marrow, cannot understand my fondness for sweet potato.  (When I have Thanksgiving with other American-born friends he will pass on any sort of squash too, including pumpkin pie – my favourite.)

But, having a sweet tooth, he does understand my fondness for maple syrup, which to me is a sort of superior honey.

I substitute maple syrup for honey in bread making, and on cold winter days there is nothing like oatmeal with a good drizzle of maple syrup to help you face the day.

For my beloved, the real piece de resistance is my Maple Nutmeg Feather Cake. Here’s how to make it.

Our delicious maple syrup is produced in Lewis County, New York and processed by Lehman’s third generation sugarbush. We think it’s the best out there! At and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Maple Nutmeg Feather Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 cup maple syrup
3 large eggs
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 of a nutmeg, grated (or to taste)
1 cup buttermilk (or soured milk)
Toppings (optional): confectioner’s sugar, pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to a moderate 350°F/180°C.

  2. Butter and dust with flour (or line with baking parchment) a 9″x13″ pan.

  3. Melt butter and place in a medium mixing bowl. Blend in maple syrup when the butter has cooled. Beat in 3 large eggs, one at a time.

  4. In a separate bowl: Sift flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

  5. Grate nutmeg into the dry ingredients.

  6. Beat the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, beating in up to 1 cup buttermilk or soured milk to make a smooth batter. Note: I never use an electric mixer. Soon enough you will get to know how furiously or gently to beat any batter.  Don’t get mad with this batter.

  7. Pour better into pan and bake, checking after 30 minutes. It’s done when a toothpick comes out clean from the centre.

So simple and handy, it’s no wonder Amish homemakers have used these broom cake testers for years. Handmade in the USA!

Optional: You could dust sparingly with confectioner’s sugar if you think it is too plain. Or you could dot a few pecans on top if you like your cakes to look more decorated. But this is delicious as a plain square, too.

Editor’s Note: Want to make your own maple syrup? Check out Lehman’s full line of Maple Sugaring Supplies! Writer, gardener and maple lover Bee Smith was raised in the U.S. but has lived in Ireland for several decades. This recipe was first published in 2011.

Want more than 100 more great maple recipes? Check out our newest cookbook – truly mouthwatering!

About BeeSmith

I was born in Queens, N.Y, reared in Pennsylvania, did university in Washington, D.C. Then I moved to England for nineteen years. I lived first in London and then in Leeds. After my partner's sister died of cancer in 2000, we decided to take the leap of faith and move to Ireland to be nearer his family. Despite our friends thinking we were mad and feckless, it has worked out. The angels really do look after fools! We have a cottage on an acre and a quarter three miles from where the River Shannon rises. We have a polytunnel to grow vegetables and fruit organically, a small orchard of apple trees and plans to create a sacred space on the land over the rest of our lifetimes. We share our home with two tortoiseshell cats, Zelda and her daughter Zymina, and three dogs, Murphy, Pippin and Cara.

4 thoughts on “Maple Nutmeg Feather Cake

  1. I love maple, but LOVE nutmeg (it MUST be fresh grated). So looking forward to trying this. Thank you!

  2. Could someone tell me the approximate measuring-spoon equivalent of half a nutmeg? :o) I only have pre-ground in the house at the moment…

  3. Oh. Wow. This sounds like just the remedy we need today, it’s gray and thawish (muddy) out…I’m thinking of piece of this and a nice pot of tea will work magic!