Butter Pecan Cake

Butter Pecan Cake is a delightful dessert perfect for any occasion, from family gatherings to special celebrations. This cake features layers of moist, pecan-studded cake complemented by a rich and creamy buttercream icing. The browned butter adds a unique nutty flavor that enhances the overall taste, making this cake irresistible. Whether you are a seasoned baker or a beginner, this recipe will guide you to create a show-stopping cake that will impress your guests.


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


Brown the Butter:

  1. Melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  2. Increase the heat and cook until golden brown specks form.
  3. Cool completely.

Prepare the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Grease and line three 8-inch round baking pans.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the browned butter to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  6. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  7. Stir in the finely chopped pecans.
  8. Divide the batter among the prepared pans.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool the cakes completely.

Make the Icing:

  1. Beat the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar and heavy cream, beating until fluffy.

Assemble the Cake:

  1. Level the cakes if necessary.
  2. Stack the cake layers with icing between each layer.
  3. Frost the outside of the cake.
  4. Decorate with chopped pecans and piped frosting swirls if desired.


  • Ensure the butter is completely cooled before adding it to the dry ingredients to prevent any melting issues.
  • Room temperature ingredients mix more evenly, so it’s recommended to let the buttermilk and eggs come to room temperature before starting.
  • If you prefer a more pronounced pecan flavor, toast the pecans before chopping them.


Q: Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour?
A: Yes, you can use all-purpose flour, but the texture might be slightly denser. For best results, substitute 1 cup of cake flour with 1 cup of all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons, then add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

Q: Can I make this cake in advance?
A: Absolutely! You can bake the cake layers a day ahead and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Store the frosting in the refrigerator and assemble the cake the next day.

Q: How should I store leftovers?
A: Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bring it to room temperature before serving.


This Butter Pecan Cake is a true delight, combining the rich flavors of browned butter and pecans with a luscious cream cheese icing. It’s a perfect dessert for any celebration or simply to enjoy with a cup of coffee. Follow this recipe to create a memorable cake that will have everyone asking for seconds!


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