Ingredients for cake:
1 cup (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cup (350g) caster sugar
4 whole eggs
1½ cup (400ml) buttermilk
3½ cup (450g) plain, sieved flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ cup (50 ml) maple syrup
1½ cup (250g) mixed dates, walnuts, and pecans (may be substituted with other dry nuts)
2 nine-inch sandwich cake tins (may use 1 nine-inch cake tin and cut the cake in half when icing)
Directions for cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C) Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is a fluffy consistency, roughly 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add an egg to the mixture and mix at a high speed until incorporated, repeat for each egg.
3. Fold the buttermilk into the mixture. Add in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate and fold gently. Folding will give you fluffy mixture.
4. Pour in the maple syrup and nut mixture and fold in well.
5. Pour half of the cake mixture into each tin, smoothing the top until it is even and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The cake is ready when it can be pierced with a wooden skewer and the skewer comes out clean.
Directions for icing:
1. Cream the butter on a high speed until it is smooth.
2. Add the icing sugar and beat using an electric whisk until the mixture forms a pale, creamy buttercream icing.
3. Add the whole milk and whisk until the buttercream is the consistency of a thick whipped cream. You can make the icing cream lighter by adding more milk.
4. Add the vanilla extract and maple syrup and whisk until incorporated.
5. Place the rounded edge of one of the cakes on the bottom of your cake stand. Place a tennis ball-sized amount of icing in the middle of the cake and evenly spread using a palette knife.
6. Place the other cake onto the icing, rounded side facing downwards. Gently press the top of the cake.
7. First, make a base layer of icing. Place two large scoops of icing on the top of the cake and spread evenly on the top and around the edges. Add more of the icing to cover the sides. Leave the icing to solidify for 10 to 15 minutes.
8. Place one large scoop of icing on the top of the cake and spread with a palette knife. Spread some of the icing around the edge and smooth with the palette knife.
9. Decorate with the pecan nuts, leaving one nut per slice and enjoy!
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