Butter Pecan Layer Cake

Layer Cake With Pecans
Pecan Layer Cake. Lauri Patterson E+/Getty Images
  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 12 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
541 Calories
31g Fat
64g Carbs
6g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 Servings
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.


  • 1 1/2 cups pecans (chopped)
  • 2/3 cup plus 3 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:
  • 6 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk (or light cream)

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch round layer cake pans.

  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.

  4. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt; whisk to blend thoroughly. Set aside.

  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.

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

  7. Beat in the 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla.

  8. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with the 2/3 cup of milk. Beat well after each addition. Fold in half — 3/4 cup — of the toasted pecans.

  9. Divide the batter between the two prepared layer cake pans. Spread evenly.

  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.

  11. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool thoroughly before frosting.

Make the Frosting

  1. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, blend the 3 cups of confectioners' sugar with the 6 tablespoons of softened butter, a pinch of salt, 1 1.2 teaspoons of vanilla, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk or light cream. If the frosting is too thin, add more confectioners' sugar.. 

  2. Stir in the remaining chopped toasted pecans.

  3. Spread the frosting between layers and then over the top and sides of the cake.

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