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Butter Pecan Layer Cake Recipe

Butter Pecan Layer Cake Recipe

Pecans and butter give this cake the same irresistible flavor as the popular ice cream. —Becky Miller, Tallahassee, Florida
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling YIELD:12-16 servings


  • 2-2/3 cups chopped pecans
  • 1-1/4 cups butter (no substitutes), softened, divided
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
  • 8 to 8-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 1. Place pecans and 1/4 cup of butter in a baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and remaining butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in vanilla and 1-1/3 cups of toasted pecans. Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round cake pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to cool on a wire rack.
  • 2. For frosting, cream butter and sugar in a mixing 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.

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for Butter Pecan Layer Cake

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Reviewed Nov. 16, 2017

"Very sweet dessert. The pecans definitely take less than 20 minutes to toast. I only used 7 cups of confectioners' sugar in the frosting and it seemed to be fine, really sweet, but spread really nicely."

Reviewed Aug. 27, 2017

"Very boring cake. Doesn't taste like much. Honestly this needs either a cream cheese frosting or some spices in the cake batter (cinnamon/nutmeg).

It basically tastes like a plain vanilla cake covered in pecans. And I don't think it's the recipe. I looked a quite a few and they are all similar."

Reviewed Dec. 30, 2016

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

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."

Reviewed Nov. 29, 2015

"Five stars"

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"

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."

Reviewed Jan. 25, 2015


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"

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!"

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