Is there any meal greater than breakfast? Maybe it's the endless number of options or the fact that it's the first meal of the day, but breakfast food is one of my favorite kinds. So why not take a classic breakfast food, like the infamous buttermilk waffle, and transform it into a layer cake? I thought this would be a fun way to enjoy a breakfast food for dessert, and I'm sure that Leslie Knope would agree it's the best excuse to eat cake for breakfast.
This cake takes all of the best things about a buttermilk waffle, like the sweet, yet rich flavor, and pairs it with a maple buttercream that will remind you of maple syrup without all of the stickiness.
A few important notes before you get started: It is best to use good quality Grade A Dark Color syrup to make the maple buttercream because the darker the syrup, the stronger the maple flavor. This level of syrup compliments the buttercream well without adding too much sweetness. If you have a lighter syrup you can still use it, but the maple flavor won't be as strong.
One of my favorite things about this cake is that the batter creates a delicate, rich cake, but can also be used to make a delicious waffle to top the cake with. Just be sure to set aside ½ cup of batter for the waffle topping. I used a Belgian waffle maker so that they would be sturdy enough to stand up on their sides, and I used that specific amount of batter so that they would each vary. If you are using a standard waffle maker, you might want to use a little less batter to make them smaller or cook them longer so that they are sturdy enough to stand up.
To make the maple buttercream, you'll start off with a basic Swiss Meringue style buttercream and then add the maple syrup to it. If you have any trouble while frosting, pop the bowl of buttercream in the fridge for several minutes to help it firm up. I decided to only frost the cake with a crumb coat and use the leftover buttercream to pipe swirls on top. I used an Ateco 869 tip to make the swirls, but you are welcome to use whatever tip you like. You just want to be sure to pipe enough of a base of buttercream to hold each waffle slice up. I hope you have as much fun baking and eating this cake as I did with creating it!
This Buttermilk Waffle Cake is the perfect way to enjoy a classic breakfast food in dessert form. Leslie Knope would be proud.
Prep Time:1 hour
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:1 hour and 30 minutes
Yield:8 to 12 servings
Buttermilk Waffle Cake
3 cups flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
¼ cup Grade A Dark Color maple syrup
Buttermilk Waffle Cake
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternate between adding the flour mixture and buttermilk to the batter.
Coat two 8 inch cake pans with cooking spray or butter and flour and evenly divide the batter into the pans, setting aside ½ cup of batter for the waffle topping.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10-15 minutes on a cooling rack before gently running a knife along the edge of each pan, topping the cake with another cooling rack and turning each cake out. Let cakes cool completely before frosting.
While the cakes bake, carefully pour ½ cup of batter onto a waffle maker that is lightly coated with cooking spray and cook as directed.
Divide waffle into 4 sections and set aside.
Stir together egg whites and sugar in a double boiler. Continue to stir occasionally until mixture reaches 160º F on a candy thermometer.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix with the whisk attachment on high for 8-10 minutes, until somewhat stiff peaks have formed.
Switch out the whisk for the paddle attachment and slowly add in pieces of butter on low. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add in maple syrup and mix until smooth.
Once your cake layers have cooled, carefully cut the tops off with a serrated knife so that each layer is level.
Place one layer, top side down, on a cake board and spread with frosting. Repeat this step with the next layer.
Apply a crumb coat, or a thin layer of frosting, around the cake and chill for 20-25 minutes.
Place a piping tip into a pastry bag and fill it with the remaining buttercream.
Pipe four swirls onto the top of the cake and place a waffle slice in each swirl.
It is best to use good quality Grade A Dark Color syrup to make the maple buttercream because the darker the syrup, the stronger the maple flavor.
I recommend using a Belgian waffle maker for the waffles that stand up on top of the cake. If you are using a standard waffle maker, you will need to use a little less batter and cook them longer so that they are sturdy enough to stand up.