Butter Pecan Cake

Indulge in the rich flavors of our Butter Pecan Cake—a decadent treat that combines the nutty goodness of pecans with creamy buttery goodness. Perfect for any occasion, this cake is sure to impress with its moist layers and luscious icing.


Prepare for baking bliss with these ingredients:

  • For the Cake:
    • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter
    • 3 cups (333g) cake flour
    • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
    • 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar, firmly packed
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 ½ cups (354ml) buttermilk, room temperature preferred
    • 2 large eggs, room temperature preferred
    • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 ½ cups (160g) pecan halves, very finely chopped
  • For the Icing:
    • 1 ½ cups (340g) unsalted butter, softened
    • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
    • ⅓ cup (66g) light brown sugar, firmly packed
    • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 4 ½ cups (562g) powdered sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
    • ⅓ cup (35g) pecan halves, very finely chopped (optional)


Here’s how to bake up a storm:

  1. Brown the Butter: Begin by melting butter over medium-low heat until golden brown specks appear. Let it cool completely.
  2. Prepare the Cake: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease and line three 8-inch round baking pans.
  3. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together cake flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until fully combined.
  4. Combine with Butter: Add the cooled browned butter to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Gradually add this mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Fold in the finely chopped pecans.
  6. Bake: Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
  7. Make the Icing: For the icing, beat together softened butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth and creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and heavy cream, beating until fluffy.
  8. Assemble the Cake: If needed, level the cakes. Stack the cake layers with icing between each layer and frost the outside. Optionally, decorate with additional chopped pecans and piped frosting swirls for a beautiful finish.

Additional Information:

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Calories: Approximately 975 kcal per serving
  • Servings: 12 servings

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

Enhance your enjoyment of the Butter Pecan Cake with these serving tips:

  1. Room Temperature: For the best texture and flavor, allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving. This allows the flavors to develop fully and ensures a moist cake.
  2. Garnish: Sprinkle extra finely chopped pecans on top of the frosted cake for added crunch and visual appeal.
  3. Pairings: Serve slices of Butter Pecan Cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for a delightful dessert experience.
  4. Coffee or Tea: Enjoy a slice with your favorite hot beverage, such as coffee or tea, to complement the rich flavors of the cake.
  5. Special Occasions: This cake is perfect for birthdays, holidays, or any special occasion where you want to impress guests with a homemade treat.

Storage Tips :

Keep your Butter Pecan Cake fresh and delicious with these storage recommendations:

  1. Refrigeration: Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. This helps maintain its moisture and prevents the icing from melting.
  2. Freezing: If you need to store the cake for longer, wrap individual slices tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil before placing them in a freezer-safe container. Frozen cake can be stored for up to 1 month.
  3. Thawing: When ready to enjoy frozen cake, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving for the best taste and texture.
  4. Icing Sensitivity: Note that cream cheese icing can become softer when stored in the fridge. To firm it up before serving, briefly chill the frosted cake in the fridge.
  5. Freshness Check: Before serving leftover cake, check for any signs of spoilage or changes in texture. Freshly baked cakes are best enjoyed within a few days of baking.

Variations :

Explore creative twists on the classic Butter Pecan Cake recipe with these delightful variations:

  1. Chocolate Swirl Butter Pecan Cake:
    • Incorporate swirls of melted chocolate into the cake batter before baking for a decadent chocolatey twist. Drizzle additional melted chocolate on top of the icing for extra indulgence.
  2. Maple Butter Pecan Cake:
    • Substitute part of the granulated sugar in the cake batter with pure maple syrup for a subtle maple flavor. Use maple extract in the icing instead of vanilla for a cohesive maple theme.
  3. Salted Caramel Butter Pecan Cake:
    • Add a layer of salted caramel sauce between the cake layers along with the icing. Drizzle more salted caramel sauce on top and sprinkle sea salt flakes for a sweet and salty contrast.
  4. Nutella Butter Pecan Cake:
    • Swirl Nutella into the cake batter before baking for a nutty chocolate flavor. Use Nutella in the icing or as a filling between the cake layers for an extra dose of richness.
  5. Coconut Butter Pecan Cake:
    • Mix shredded coconut into the cake batter for added texture and a hint of coconut flavor. Use coconut milk instead of buttermilk for a more pronounced coconut taste.
  6. Citrus Butter Pecan Cake:
    • Add finely grated zest of lemon or orange to the cake batter for a refreshing citrus twist. Use citrus juice in the icing or incorporate lemon or orange curd between the layers for a bright flavor profile.
  7. Rum Butter Pecan Cake:
    • Infuse the cake batter with a splash of rum or rum extract for a subtle boozy flavor. Brush each cake layer with a rum syrup before frosting to keep the cake moist and enhance the flavor.
  8. Berry Butter Pecan Cake:
    • Fold fresh or frozen berries (such as raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries) into the cake batter for bursts of fruity sweetness. Pair with a cream cheese and berry preserve filling for a delightful variation.
  9. Pumpkin Spice Butter Pecan Cake:
    • Add pumpkin puree and warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to the cake batter for a cozy autumn-inspired treat. Top with a cinnamon cream cheese icing for a perfect seasonal dessert.
  10. Gluten-Free Butter Pecan Cake:
    • Use a gluten-free flour blend instead of cake flour to make the cake gluten-free. Ensure all other ingredients, including baking powder and baking soda, are also gluten-free. Adjust baking time and temperature as needed.

FAQs :

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about making and enjoying Butter Pecan Cake:

  1. Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter? Yes, you can use salted butter, but adjust the amount of added salt in the recipe accordingly to balance the flavors.
  2. What can I use if I don’t have cake flour? You can make a substitute for cake flour by combining all-purpose flour with cornstarch. For 1 cup of cake flour, use 1 cup of all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons, then add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
  3. Can I use a different type of nut instead of pecans? Certainly! Walnuts or almonds can be substituted for pecans in this recipe, providing a different flavor and texture.
  4. How do I know when the butter is browned enough for the cake? Browned butter should have a nutty aroma and golden brown specks at the bottom of the pan. Be careful not to burn it; remove from heat as soon as it turns brown.
  5. Can I make this cake without buttermilk? Yes, you can make a substitute for buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 ½ cups of milk and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes before using.
  6. How do I prevent my cake layers from sticking to the pans? Ensure your cake pans are properly greased and lined with parchment paper. Allow the cakes to cool for a few minutes before gently running a knife around the edges to loosen them.
  7. Can I prepare the cake layers in advance? Yes, you can bake the cake layers ahead of time and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, or freeze them for longer storage. Thaw frozen layers overnight in the refrigerator before assembling the cake.
  8. How should I store leftover Butter Pecan Cake? Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. This helps maintain freshness and prevents the icing from becoming too soft.
  9. Can I omit the cream cheese in the icing? Yes, you can omit the cream cheese if desired. Increase the amount of butter slightly to maintain the icing’s consistency.
  10. How can I adjust the sweetness of the icing? If you prefer a less sweet icing, reduce the amount of powdered sugar in the icing recipe. Taste and adjust until it reaches your desired level of sweetness.

Embrace the warmth and richness of our Butter Pecan Cake recipe, perfect for celebrations or a delightful indulgence any day of the week. Follow these steps to create a masterpiece that will leave your guests asking for seconds!