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Butter Pecan Cake recipe

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  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Nut and seed cakes
  • Pecan cake

This is a rich and delicious three-layer cake that is studded with toasted pecans. A lovely special occasion cake.

71 people made this

IngredientsServes: 16

  • 275g butter, divided
  • 240g chopped pecans
  • 375g plain flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Creamy Butter Icing
  • 50g butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  • 75ml whipping cream

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. Grease and flour bottoms of three 23cm round cake tins. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  2. Melt 50g of the butter in heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add pecans and brown 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Sift flour with baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cream remaining butter in large mixing bowl. Gradually add 400g sugar; cream at high speed of mixer until light and fluffy. At medium speed blend in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. At low speed add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk and vanilla extract, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Blend well after each addition. Stir in 150g of the pecans. Pour cake mixture evenly into tins.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched in centre. When cool, blend remaining pecans with Creamy Butter Icing; spread between layers and on top.
  5. To Make Creamy Butter Icing: Cream 50g butter in mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, salt, icing sugar and 75ml cream. Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency. If necessary, thin with additional cream.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(55)

Reviews in English (48)


This is a wonderful cake. I made it for my dad's birthday and everyone loved it. I frosted it with a caramel frosting (butter, brown sugar, conf. sugar)- the one listed didn't look very interesting to me. It was a perfect combination.-17 Apr 2000

by Lori

This turned out great. I'm a wedding cake designer and I will use this recipe again and again. If overbaked the cake can be a lil dry otherwise I really recomend the cake. Thankyou for sharing this one.-31 Jul 2006

by Amanda Tracy

I Looove this cake. I make it a lot...I am a cake decorator and once someone samples this becomes their go to cake for anything!!The only changes I suggest..for a lighter, more airy texture is to use self-rising flour and omit the backing powder...or use cake flour...i believe 1 cup AP flour = 1 cup + 1 TB of cake flour.Anyways...great cake!! I looove it with a caramel filling and butter frosting or caramel icing too...yummm~!-19 Mar 2008

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted, divided

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder and salt add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in vanilla and 1 cup toasted pecans.

Pour batter into two greased and floured 8-in round baking pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add milk and vanilla beat until light and fluffy. Add additional milk if needed. Stir in remaining toasted pecans. Spread between the layers and over the top and sides of cake.

How to Make Buttermilk Cake

The ingredients are simple:

  • butter
  • brown sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla
  • flour
  • baking soda
  • salt

Start by beating the butter with brown sugar. (No granulated sugar in this recipe!!) Then add in your room temperature eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Finally, add in the dry ingredients. Pour into a prepared (either pan release or GOOP) pan and put it in the oven for 30 minutes. That cake will actually bake for 40 minutes, but we add something pretty special to it 10 minutes before it’s done baking!

If you have ever wondered How to Make Buttermilk, check out my easy recipe. It works beautifully in this buttermilk cake recipe!

Butter Pecan Squares

These butter pecan bars are such a simple treat that starts with a box of cake mix and a bunch of tasty pecans!

My husband and I just celebrated our tenth anniversary. I know! Ten years! And I haven&rsquot killed him yet!

Or, maybe it should be: Ten years! And he hasn&rsquot killed me yet!

Or how about: Ten years! And we&rsquore both still alive!

Yeah. I think that last one sounds about right.

How about a little engagement story? Oh, I know, you don&rsquot care how I got engaged, but this is quick and it involves food. Kinda.

You see, my husband and I started dating when I was 16 and, well, I was pregnant not too long after I turned 17. A month or so after our sweet baby boy was born, my husband proposed.

We were driving home from somewhere and he just drove right past our apartment.

&ldquoUh, honey? I think you missed your turn,&rdquo I said, ever so politely to him. And, okay, maybe I was irritated. How did he forget where we lived? Also, I was barely 18 with a newborn baby. Everything irritated me.

&ldquoI&rsquom just heading to the store for some ice cream,&rdquo he replied in a weird tone of voice.

&ldquoWe don&rsquot have room in the freezer for anymore ice cream! We have lots of ice cream at home!&rdquo

&ldquoBut we don&rsquot have Butter Pecan ice cream! I want Butter Pecan!&rdquo he whined. And, okay, so maybe he didn&rsquot whine. Maybe he just stated this in his manly voice.

I proceeded to go on about how Butter Pecan was the worst ice cream flavor ever. In the midst of my rant about ice cream flavors that were not chocolate based, he turned into the parking lot of a golf course that I had worked at the previous summer and parked right where I had told him I loved him for the first time.

&ldquoUh, honey, what the heck are you doing?&rdquo

&ldquoI think we&rsquove got a flat tire.&rdquo he said in that weird tone of voice that I would one day come to realize was his LYING VOICE.

We both got out, he dropped to one knee, and he proposed.

I&rsquom sorry. That was long and boring, wasn&rsquot it? Well, let me make it up to you with these amazing Butter Pecan Squares. See? See how I tied it all together?

To see how to make this butter pecan bars recipe, watch the video below!

I have since matured a wee bit (both in terms of food and just in general) and I&rsquove come to realize that anything with the name Butter Pecan is pretty darn delicious. These bars are no exception. They are so buttery, so rich, so sweet, so full of delicious flavor that they will just blow your mind.

They might even have you running around sharing your engagement story with the internet! They&rsquore powerful, is what I&rsquom sayin&rsquo.

The original recipe called for a box of yellow cake mix, but while I was standing in front of hundreds of box mixes, the Golden Butter cake mix jumped right off the shelf and begged me to take it home. I think it knew that it would fit right in at my house full o&rsquo butter.

Enjoy these at room temperature with a fork or eat &rsquoem with your hands right out of the fridge. Either way, they&rsquore amazing.

Tips for Success

  • Use light-colored, non-reflective, metal pans. Dark pans tend to over-bake the edges and potentially lead to under-baked centers. Glass pans conduct heat differently than metal pans, so I generally don&rsquot recommend using them for most baking recipes.
  • Sift the confectioners&rsquo sugar for a smooth frosting. While it&rsquos not absolutely necessary, you&rsquoll have a much smoother and prettier frosting if you take the time to sift the sugar.
  • Use a good quality white chocolate. Choose one that tastes good out of hand and that melts well. Be sure that you&rsquore using white chocolate. Cocoa butter should be the primary ingredient. Be cautious of products labeled &ldquowhite baking chips&rdquo or something similar. If the label doesn&rsquot call it white chocolate, it&rsquos not white chocolate, and it will affect the flavor and texture of the cake.
  • Don&rsquot use self-rising cake flour. There are many brands of cake flour that are self-rising, meaning that they contain leavening agents. If you use that, then you&rsquore adding extra leavening to the cake, which can cause it to be tough or dry. If you&rsquore not sure if your cake flour has these added ingredients, just check the ingredients on the package.
  • Measure accurately. Use a scale if at all possible, especially for the flour. Otherwise, spoon and sweep! (Read more here: How to Measure Flour.)
  • Don&rsquot over-mix the batter. Too much mixing means a tough texture. Be especially cautious to mix only as much as needed when adding the egg whites.
  • Make more frosting if you like. This amount of frosting won&rsquot be overly thick between the layers and on the outside of the cake. I tend to prefer a moderate amount of frosting on cakes, but I know we all have different tastes. Take a look at these photos to see if it looks like enough for you. Simply scale the recipe if you think you&rsquod like more frosting.
  • Keep the cake refrigerated. It should keep for at least a few days tightly covered in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature for serving.

The first time I made this cake, I proclaimed it to be one of my all-time favorite cakes. And it has certainly lived up to that distinction. The flavor, the texture, the frosting&hellip It really is pretty darn fabulous!

And this lovely Butter Pecan Cake is just as delicious as it is beautiful. It&rsquos a wonderful dessert for a special occasion or to make an everyday occasion special!

I love desserts that can also double as a breakfast treat! Most people enjoy Pecan Praline Cake for breakfast as well as dessert. What? If you can eat a donut for breakfast, you can eat Pecan Praline Cake for breakfast!!

So, if you have any leftovers from this recipe, be sure to save it and serve it again the next morning with a hot pot of coffee. Yum! And yum!

Key Ingredients

Butter: For the cake itself, you’ll need a stick and a half of unsalted butter. You’ll brown this with the pecans!

Pecans: I used fresh pecans (thanks Nanny!) but any unsalted whole pecans are fine.

Sugars: You’ll need white and dark brown (light is ok!) for optimal flavor and fluffiness, like here!

Egg Whites: You’ll need three! Need some yolk-eating recipes? Try these, these, or these!

Sour Cream and Milk: I know sour cream may sound odd, but you won’t taste it whatsoever in the finished product! It’s imperative for moisture. Any milk works here.

Buttermilk: Heavy cream would probably work too, or more milk in a real pinch. You’ll use it in the frosting too (and here!)

Flour and Cornstarch: Make sure to spoon your flour into the cup and level it off, don’t scoop!! Cornstarch helps tenderize the cake.

Vanilla: I used half a vanilla bean plus extract, it adds so much flavor and you can use the other half in the icing! (It’s great here too). See recipe notes if you don’t want to use the bean.

Spices: I used just a pinch of nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon. I tested it without the spice, but the spiced version had ten times the flavor!

You’ll also need baking powder, baking soda, and salt!

Pecan Cream Pound Cake - Don't Lose This Recipe

Bring all ingredients to room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan set aside.

"Creaming" is a very important step in most cakes, especially pound cakes, so take care to follow these instructions carefully: In a large bowl or stand mixer beat butter at medium speed for 1 minute. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed, until light, fluffy and very pale yellow in color (about 5 minutes). When the mixture has almost doubled in size, everything's been properly creamed.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl set aside.

Combine sour cream, half-and-half and extracts then mix well set aside.

Alternately add flour mixture and sour cream mixture to mixing bowl with butter/sugar, mixing at low speed until combined, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan, then invert onto a serving plate. Frost with THE BEST Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting. Cover and refrigerate up to 4-5 days. Allow cake to come to room temperature before serving for best results.

THE BEST Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting

OPTIONAL but completely, totally and absolutely worth it: Toast pecans in a large skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and slightly browned. Remove pecans from skillet to cool completely.

Allow cream cheese and butter to come to room temperature and soften.

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy and well combined.

Add vanilla extract, salt and powdered sugar then continue mixing on low speed until smooth and creamy.

Frost cake then refrigerate to store. Allow frosted cake to set out a few hours before serving if possible for the best taste!

If you can’t find butter nut flavored extract, simply use vanilla extract or butter flavored extract instead.

You can use heavy cream or whole milk in place of the half-and-half if needed.

Butter Pecan Cupcakes

These Butter Pecan Cupcakes are made with a moist vanilla cupcake studded with plenty of toasted butter pecans! Topped with a lightly cinnamon frosting for a cupcake that’s ready for fall. Created by our contributor, Lindsay Conchar.

So, it’s always about this time year that I can’t decide if I am excited for fall to make its appearance or if I wish summer would hang around a little longer. I love the cooler weather, but I always miss the abundance of fresh berries and other fruit. I find solace in knowing that all things pumpkin and cinnamon are right around the corner. And even though nuts are delicious year-round and butter pecan ice cream is wonderful in the summer, I also tend to think of cinnamon-covered nuts as perfect for fall and winter.

These cupcakes are not only full of toasted butter pecans, they also have a touch of cinnamon for a nod towards the transition to fall. They are a great way to hold onto summer a bit longer while also subtly welcoming fall.

The vanilla cupcake base is a new favorite. It’s made with brown sugar in addition to regular sugar to up the flavor of the pecans and the fall feel. They are also made super moist by the addition of sour cream, which also adds flavor to cupcakes that I love.

The cupcakes are also full of pecans that are tossed with a little butter and brown sugar and then toasted before adding them. You could add pecans that aren’t toasted, but toasting them really brings out the flavor and softens them a bit, which is ideal in a cupcake.

The frosting is one of my favorite parts, naturally. It’s wonderfully buttery to complement the pecans and has just a touch of cinnamon added. It’s not at all over powering but it’s there and compliments the nutty flavor of the cupcakes perfectly.

We absolutely loved the final cupcakes! There’s an abundance of pecans but they’re not at all overpowering. The cupcakes themselves are light, fluffy and full of flavor. You could easily sit down and eat several at a time – they’re that good! Several of my taste testers declared them a new favorite!

Butter Pecan Sheet Cake Recipe Tips

How is Texas-style sheet cake made?

This is basically a super easy method of making sheet cake that will feel totally wrong if you’ve never done it before. You melt the butter with water on the stovetop, then add the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients. It’s the complete opposite of baking a traditional layer cake but it all comes together into an ultra moist, spongey, and soft cake! What kind of pan should I use for sheet cake?

What’s the best baking pan for sheet cake?

This recipe was developed for a 10 by 15-inch jelly roll baking pan. I’d highly recommend a light colored pan as opposed to one with a dark nonstick coating. That will dry out the edges more quickly. If you use a larger pan your cake will be very thin and you’ll need to decrease the baking time. If you use a smaller pan, such as 9 by 13-inches, you’ll need to increase the baking time to about 30 minutes.

How to store sheet cake

The cake can be baked, cooled, covered and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.