Butter Pecan Layer Cake

Butter pecan cake

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
541 Calories
31g Fat
64g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 541
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 39%
Saturated Fat 13g 64%
Cholesterol 124mg 41%
Sodium 252mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 6g
Calcium 119mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This butter pecan cake is made with lots of toasted, buttery pecans. It's a two-layer cake frosted with a buttery pecan frosting. A small amount of brown sugar goes into the cake, along with butter, pecans, and eggs. It's an easy classic layer cake. If you really enjoy butter pecan try making it into some ice cream as well.


  • For the Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans (chopped)
  • 2/3 cup, plus 4 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • For the Butter Pecan Frosting:
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk (or light cream)

Steps to Make It

Make the Cake

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F.

    Ingredients for butter pecan cake
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch round layer cake pans.

    Grease and flour cake pan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. In a baking pan, combine the chopped pecans with the 4 tablespoons of butter. Bake for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, ​or until the pecans are toasted and aromatic. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.

    Combine chopped pecans
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt; whisk to blend thoroughly. Set aside.

    Combine flour, baking powder
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the granulated sugar and brown sugar with the remaining 2/3 cup of softened butter for 4 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

    Eggs being beaten
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  7. Beat in the 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla.

    Beat these
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  8. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with the 2/3 cup of milk. Beat well after each addition. Fold in 3/4 cup of the toasted pecans.

    Add nuts
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  9. Divide the batter between the two prepared layer cake pans. Spread evenly.

    Baking batter
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  10. Bake the butter pecan cake layers in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center of a cake.

    Baked butter pecan cake
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  11. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool thoroughly before frosting.

    Let cakes cool
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Make the Frosting

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for frosting
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  2. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, blend 3 cups of the confectioners' sugar with the softened butter, salt, vanilla, and milk or light cream. If the frosting is too thin, add more confectioners' sugar.

    Blend frosting
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Stir in the remaining chopped toasted pecans.

    Stir in pecans
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  4. Spread the frosting between layers and then over the top and sides of the cake.

    Spread frosting on cake
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack