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Butter Pecan Cake

A southern delight – this toasted butter pecan cake has toasted pecans and is made from scratch with cream cheese frosting.

This butter pecan cake is a hit at potlucks, holiday dinners, and birthdays.

Butter Pecan Cake is known for its rich cream cheese flavor, toasted pecans, and flavorful fluffy cake. This southern favorite is delicious any time of year but especially for Easter and during the summer months.

Butter Pecan Cake with a slice cut and decorated with toasted pecans.

This cake has the addition of brown sugar to the granulated sugar making this cake richer, softer, and more embodied flavor.

How to Toast Pecans

You can toast pecans in the oven or in the skillet. To toast pecans in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and add the pecans to a baking sheet evenly spaced and bake for about 8 minutes, stirring halfway through.

To toast pecans in a skillet, heat a skillet over low heat, and once the skillet is hot, add the pecans and stir occasionally.

This toasted butter pecan cake uses pecans that have been toasted in butter so butter is melted in the skillet first before adding the pecans and toasting them.

Southern Cake Tradition

This cake is a Holiday staple in the South and it’s a flavor pairing that tastes absolutely delicious served for Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert.

It’s also a great addition to Easter dessert.

Toasting the pecans for this cake maximizes the flavor of the pecans and makes this cake even more decadent.

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Slice of butter pecan cake with toasted pecans.

Ingredients in Butter Pecan Cake

Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

Slice of butter pecan cake on white dessert plate.

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Homemade Butter Pecan Cake

Sure, you can buy a boxed cake mix to skip some steps but it won’t taste like a homemade made from the heart butter pecan cake.

The family will love it and they’ll taste that amazing homemade taste and texture.

Prepare the oven- Preheat the oven to 350° and grease and flour (2) 8″ inch round pans. I use a baking spray because it makes for a better pan release.

Toast the pecans- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter over low heat in a skillet until melted. Add the chopped pecans to the skillet and lightly toast. Stir occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Combine the wet ingredients- In a large bowl, cream the softened butter and the sugars together. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then stir in the vanilla.

Combine the dry ingredients- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Mix in the dry ingredients- Mix in half of the flour, then half of the milk. Repeat with the rest of the flour and milk.

Add the toasted pecans- Gently stir in 2 cups of the toasted pecans.

Divide the batter- Pour half of the batter into one of the 8-inch cake rounds and repeat with the other 8-inch round pan.

Bake the cake pans- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Check the center of the cakes with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cakes from the pan. If this step is rushed the cake can stick and fall apart.

Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting to prevent the icing from sliding and melting.

Top view of butter pecan cake with a slice on a white saucer.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

The recipe for this cream cheese frosting makes enough to frost the 1st layer of the cake as well as the top and sides liberally.

There’s no need for scraping the bowl to get the last little bit to stretch the frosting! In a large bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese and butter.

It’s easy to make this homemade cream cheese frosting following these directions.

In a large bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese and butter. It’s important to use softened cream cheese because it’s easy to beat into the other ingredients and it’s more creamy.

Add in the vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

Slowly beat in the confectioner’s sugar.

Next, add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting is smooth and the right consistency to frost the cake.

Frost the cake using a butter knife or an icing spatula. Decorate with additional pecans if desired.

I used (2) 8″ round cake pans to make these cakes. I also used baking spray! If you’re not sure what the difference is between baking spray and cooking spray, the baking spray has flour added into it! It makes it perfect for removing baked goods!

I use a piping bag and piping tip made for cake decorating to make this process go smoother and to get a more even frosting layer.

Yield: 12 slices

Butter Pecan Cake

slice of butter pecan cake with pecans

A southern delight - this butter pecan cake has toasted pecans and made from scratch with cream cheese frosting.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, unsalted, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups pecans, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, unsalted, softened
  • 6 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease and flour (2) 8" inch round pans. I use baking spray.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of butter over low heat in a skillet until melted.
  3. Add the chopped pecans to the skillet and lightly toast. Stir occasionally, about 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. In a large bowl, cream the softened butter and the sugars together.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time.
  7. Stir in the vanilla.
  8. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  9. Mix in half of the flour, then half of the milk.
  10. Repeat with the rest of the flour and milk.
  11. Stir in 2 cups of the toasted pecans.
  12. Pour half of the batter into one of the 8-inch rounds and repeat with the other 8-inch round pan.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Check the center of the cakes with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.
  14. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
  15. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting to prevent the icing from sliding and melting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese and butter.
  2. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
  3. Slowly beat in the confectioner's sugar.
  4. Add the milk 1 tbsp at a time until the frosting is smooth and the right consistency to frost the cake.

Notes

When frosting the cake, make sure both of the cakes are completely cool.  Start by frosting the top of one of the 8 inch cakes and then lay the unfrosted layer on top.  Frost the top and sides.  Garnish with toasted pecans. 

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 761Total Fat: 30.6gSaturated Fat: 16.9gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 237mgCarbohydrates: 115.3gFiber: 1.6gSugar: 88.7gProtein: 9.2g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Veronika

Friday 25th of March 2022

This cake was so fluffy and delicious that we all had to have two slices! I made it for my friend's birthday and it disappeared the same day! I'll definitely make it again next time I need a cake for something.

Liz

Friday 25th of March 2022

This cake looks so pretty! I love your presentation of it! It also sounds delicious! I love a good pecan pie, so definitely need to try this recipe for cake!

Colleen

Thursday 30th of September 2021

Can this cake be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge?

Naomi

Saturday 12th of June 2021

Wow I just realized I forgot to add milk🤦🏼‍♀️ I’m sure the cake would’ve been perfect if I would’ve added it, please disregard my previous review. Amazing recipe though, even with my mistake it was a hit!!!!

Dana

Saturday 12th of June 2021

Hi Naomi!

Thank you so much for your review and for commenting again to share your mistake, that means a lot! I'm glad that you enjoyed the recipe!! I sure have mistakenly left out ingredients myself quite a bit, lol!

Naomi

Saturday 12th of June 2021

I tried the recipe and the taste turned out amazing, only complaint is that it was a bit on the dry and dense side. I followed the recipe exactly, next time I’ll change some of it up.

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