Butter Pecan Layer Cake Recipe
Butter Pecan Layer Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Butter Pecan Layer Cake Recipe

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4.5 19 22
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Pecans and butter give this cake the same irresistible flavor as the popular ice cream. —Becky Miller, Tallahassee, Florida
Featured In: 28 Best Fall Cakes
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES:12-16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES: 12-16 servings


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

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 821 calories, 43g fat (18g saturated fat), 127mg cholesterol, 418mg sodium, 107g carbohydrate (83g sugars, 3g fiber), 7g protein.


  1. 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.
  2. In a large bowl, cream sugar and remaining butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one 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.
  3. Pour into three 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.
  4. 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. Yield: 12-16 servings.
Originally published as Butter Pecan Cake in Country Woman November/December 1997, p31

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pafletcher User ID: 8118845 258882
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2016

"This is a good cake; however, I don't think it is worth it considering the cost of the ingredients."

kcheekers User ID: 5662753 255250
Reviewed Oct. 10, 2016

"Wow. This cake was amazing! Some reviewers noted that there was way too much frosting. After looking at the ingredients (I normally use half that amount of butter and powdered sugar to frost a 2-layer cake), I decided to make 2/3 of the frosting recipe. I'm a frosting lover, so I piled it on, and I still had leftover frosting. I agree that you could half the frosting recipe and be just fine. Anyway, everyone loved this cake! One of my friends called it a "pecan sandie in cake form." I'll definitely make this one again."

pochepus User ID: 8642231 238403
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2015

"Five stars"

Bbwilson1 User ID: 8583716 235486
Reviewed Oct. 23, 2015

"I followed the recipe exactly and floured and greased pans and the cake stuck to bottom of the pan! I've baked many layrr cakes and never had this issue. I was making it for family reunion but now it's useless and I'll never make this again. Total waster of time and ingredients"

jsfnita User ID: 8558408 234020
Reviewed Oct. 5, 2015

"The cake itself is amazing but only leave the pecans in oven 15 minutes. The icing was entirely too sweet and the recipe calls for way too much of it. I halved the icing recipe and have leftovers still. Also the icing was too thin and the pecans made it heavy so it didn't stick well to the sides of my cake and ran off (it was refridgerated overnight before icing) I would probably opt for a less sweet buttercream icing and use leftover pecans to garnish. They aren't cheap so I wouldn't buy as much pecans either Next time. I didn't have the round cake pans so used a 9x13 and added 10-15 minutes. I am definitely making this again just tweeking it to perfection."

pawsglo User ID: 8210188 218770
Reviewed Jan. 25, 2015


loreeliz User ID: 7849671 20041
Reviewed Jun. 15, 2014

"i made this for the first time the other day and thought it was the best thing on the planet. the frosting is to die for. they ate it at work so fast i only got 1 piece"

dixiedragon User ID: 7483826 16023
Reviewed Feb. 3, 2014

"easy PEASY five stars for its versatility - this is a fabulous cake BUT IMO with a few little changes it is an AWESOME cake - I agree with the too dry comments - my first "by the book" cake was not so great - the second, I did a MUCH better job of chopping the pecans -they were about the size of rice really fine (the pecan flavor saturated the cake); reduced the sugar to 1 1/2 C; used 1C milk and 1 C BUTTERmilk; added 1 SMALL pkg vanilla instant pudding mix - for the FROSTING I made a buttered rum pecan frosting: 2 1/2 sticks REAL lightly salted butter; 3 8oz packages of cream cheese; 6 cups powdered sugar; 1 cup of PULVERIZED MEGA FINE toasted pecans (just toast them with the other pecans and add a tablespoon more butter while toasting, I also put the frosting pecans on a paper towel before pulverizing them for the frosting) (OPTIONAL 2 tsp. rum FLAVORING whipped in the last minute or so of beating) blend the butter and cream cheese til light and fluffy, add the pecans next then gradually added the powdered sugar (since I use a hand mixer, I put a little in smash with a fork then blend and keep doing that til it's all in and just whip til it's soft fluffy light and totally awesome) I personally like the flavor of the rum in the frosting and I added it in my THIRD cake so it's good with or without.

To me, this is a recipe you can take as a base and do literally DOZENS of WONDERFUL things with - from lemon to coconut to banana pecan (really REALLY good and MOIST with mashed whipped bananas & banana cream cheese frosting and decorates beautifully) to chocolate swirled butter pecan - just let your imagination soar!"

roundtrip User ID: 7558814 49947
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2013

"I saw someone else wrote that it was dry so I made sure I baked it for the least amount of time recommended, but I thought mine turned out kinda dry too The icing recipe is ridiculous. Did anyone really use that much icing! I wasted 3/4 of it. While it wasn't terrible, I had a better recipe last year for pecan cake; but unfortunately, mistook this one for it."

Magnificent7 User ID: 6425596 43910
Reviewed Jul. 19, 2013

"Great reviews. People that said they were not nut fans really loved the cake."

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