Save on Pinterest

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.


    Click stars to rate
    Average Rating:
    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Neek
      Nov 13, 2019

      I see a lot ppl complaining about the lack of flavor. I have a Similar recipe that I made myself that always gets rave reviews. I use almond flavoring as opposed to vanilla and I also use a cream cheese frosting w a touch of almond flavor. I toast my pecans I BUTTER on the stove top. Lightly just to get the flavor released. Always delicious.

    • Meredith
      Oct 13, 2019

      I thought this cake was better than I expected. I made a half recipe and used Half-and-Half instead of whole milk (it was all I had). I toasted my pecans in an 8" X 8" glass pan for 15 minutes while I assembled the cake. Once out of the oven, I added my pecans and poured the batter into the same glass pan. Perhaps because I used Half-and-Half, my bake time became 45 minutes. I didn't make the frosting; the cake was sweet enough.

    • Remenec
      Nov 17, 2018

      Delicious cake recipe! As other reviewers suggested, I cut the icing recipe in half. I would probably replace some of the confectioners sugar with brown sugar next time to deepen the flavor a tad.

    • Michelle
      Feb 11, 2018

      I made the cake just like the recipe but it turned out to tuff it wasn't flakey at all . Idk what happened. I used cake flour and fresh ingredients idk but it tasted good