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Butter Pecan Layer Cake

Pecans and butter give this cake the same irresistible flavor as the popular butter pecan ice cream flavor. —Becky Miller, Tallahassee, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 2-2/3 cups chopped pecans
  • 1-1/4 cups butter, softened, divided
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 8 to 8-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Place pecans and 1/4 cup butter in a baking pan. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream sugar and remaining butter until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1-1/3 cups of toasted pecans.
  • Pour into 3 greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, cream butter and confectioners' sugar in a large bowl. Add milk and vanilla; beat until smooth. Stir in remaining toasted pecans. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Chocolate lover? Take this over the top by drizzling with chocolate sauce or hot fudge.
  • Pecans have a higher fat content than other nuts, so they’re more prone to going rancid. They’ll stay fresh for twice as long in the freezer as they would at room temperature.
  • Check out these rich, decadent pecan desserts.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 piece: 814 calories, 42g fat (19g saturated fat), 120mg cholesterol, 375mg sodium, 107g carbohydrate (86g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.


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    Average Rating:
    • Katy's mom
      Oct 29, 2020

      TEN cups of sugar for just one cake? Why so much frosting? I could cut the frosting recipe in half, of course, but judging from the reviews, this cake has other issues as well--too many to waste time and ingredients on.

    • lailabakes
      Oct 23, 2020

      2 tsp of baking powder to lift 3 C flour (375 g) and 1 and 1/3 cups pecans seems too low. Will yield a very dense cake. Is that a typo or baking soda missing in recipe? Standard 1-2-3-4 cake uses 3 to 4 tsp baking powder and SIFTED cake flour (300 g). Adjustments needed before wasting that much ingredients.

    • S
      Sep 29, 2020

      This Cake deserves the 5 star rating. It is a bit dense, but that is what I expect from a cake with nuts. It is delicious. I made cupcakes and they turned out wonderful. The Frosting on the other hand needs to go away. Wow !! The Frosting is way toooooo sweet. I am searching for something way less sweet to enhance the flavor an texture of this cake. Any ideas?

    • Katisha
      Jul 17, 2020

      This is a great special occasion cake. It looks and tastes exquisite, but is very straightforward to make. But sure to measure ingredients precisely, that is the key to success in cake recipies.

    • Gale
      Jul 12, 2020

      The recipe from this site was a little different. Two layers, 2 eggs (room temp) and less ingredients of all the others. Followed this recipe to the letter...SO DRY. Taste was OK, but cake was dense. I like my cakes light . Made it for family gathering, but won't use it. I have made other recipes from this site with great results.

    • Mulinda
      Dec 29, 2019

      No comment left

    • Kim
      Nov 26, 2019

      I have to agree I didn’t use vanilla extract instead I used rum extract and it gave it a stronger flavor. Next time I’m going to try it with butter pecan extract

    • Brent
      Nov 18, 2019

      No shade to the Baker that used almond flavoring, BUT why would I use that when it's supposed to taste like pecans. I bought all natural pecan flavoring and put it in the cake and frosting, plus the vanilla. It's incredible and bursting with flavor.

    • Martha Chuck
      Nov 16, 2019

      To the Lady that started she used cake flour instead of plain flour that is the reason your cake was tough. Next time use the correct flour.

    • Margo
      Nov 15, 2019

      I love it! My mother used to buy a cake at to store made with walnuts and whipped cream and I can't find it anymore and I can't remember what it was called. It looked so similar to this cake. All so creamy n moist with walnuts. I wish someone knew what this was called and could tell me.