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Makeover Pecan Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Makeover Pecan Upside-Down Cake Recipe

This moist and tender pecan upside-down cake is packed with pecans and sweetness. Although still not a "light" dessert, it has nearly a third fewer calories and 43 percent less fat than the original! —Mae Johnson, De Ridder, Louisiana
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling YIELD:20 servings


  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1-1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 package butter pecan cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1. In a small bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and pecans. Spread evenly into a 13x9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • 2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Transfer to prepared pan.
  • 3. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 20 servings.
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested with Land O'Lakes light stick butter.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 238 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 31mg cholesterol, 236mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (20g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

Reviews for Makeover Pecan Upside-Down Cake

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mama_z User ID: 453056 119637
Reviewed Aug. 10, 2014

"Tasty! We use this as a coffee cake."

ConnieK User ID: 282614 143152
Reviewed Feb. 16, 2013

"Very, very good. Wasn't sure I'd be able to find butter pecan cake mix but found at Walmart. The cake mix really does make the cake. Might try chopped pecans in the future as others have stated since it was hard to cut but taste was so good and I actually liked bites of pecan halves. Will be making again and recommend trying to anyone who hasn't yet."

wilkayed User ID: 1929276 165824
Reviewed Sep. 26, 2011

"I used the light corn syrup because I didn't have any dark on hand. Also, I whipped the egg whites and then blended them into the batter which made it more like a sponge cake. Delicious!"

meha6 User ID: 5932014 178499
Reviewed Sep. 21, 2011

"This was a delicious, easy and perfect for Fall. Be sure to use 1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans unless you want "spaces in places".

The butter pecan cake mix makes it. They are available at Wal-Mart. Carefully spread the batter to the edge of the dish so that the pecan mixture is completely covered. This should prevent any bubbling over. This is perfect with a little whip cream and a glass of wine."

vaedmiston User ID: 4549843 210474
Reviewed Apr. 24, 2011

"I made the cake without using the reduced fat ingredients and of course, it was good. Unfortunately, the topping rose and went over in the oven. It was still good though."

smlcarol User ID: 760926 95702
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2011

"Texture was too tender and it was impossible to slice it decently, BUT it tasted great and my family loved it. I also used chopped pecans instead of halves."

DessertGal User ID: 5598938 95701
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2011

"Definitely going to make this again! One cup is plenty of pecans. I loved the texture of the cake. The top (once you flip it) isn't too sweet or gooey. Not sure about being healthy though."

goocharoo User ID: 5803828 160941
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2011

"My Hubby & I alter recipes for a lower carb lifestyle. Instead of putting the top on the bottom, I mix it INTO the batter. MMM! easy too!"

ltning7 User ID: 3036357 110637
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2011

"I'm afraid I re-made this made over cake because I wanted to use items I had on hand. So--regular butter, regular sour cream, and a yellow cake mix because I can't find butter pecan cake mixes any more. But--it's absolutely wonderful, anyway. My mother-in-law thought it was the best dessert I've ever made--and that's high praise. The idea of coarsely chopping the pecans was a good one--it was difficult to cut with whole halves. I added a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh raspberries when I servied it. A magnificent dessert."

tonyjoy User ID: 300667 160940
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2011

"This cake was awesome, HOWEVER, next time I will use chopped pecans to make it easier to cut and will bake cake on the middle rack of the oven! Be sure to put foil on the rack below the cake because it did boil over a little. This cake was sure a great hit for an anniversary party! tonyjoy"

Kayrone1 User ID: 5913676 143151
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2011

"This cake was absolutely delicious. I even made it healthier with splenda brown sugar."

MMMelinsky User ID: 5911284 97588
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2011

"easy to make, and delicious to eat (esp. when it's warm, right out of the oven)! My family loved it! This one's a 'keeper' :)"

avatar-it User ID: 2484859 178626
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2011

"I am usually the baker in the house, but since it was my birthday my wife insisted on making a cake. I picked this recipe, and it was great!"

Lissa2086 User ID: 5894627 178625
Reviewed Apr. 19, 2011

"Awesome and very easy to make, you will love it!"

Carollizc User ID: 2124672 179182
Reviewed Apr. 17, 2011

"Like Netizen, I would like to try making this from scratch. I would also probably serve it for breakfast, rather than dessert, where it would add calories on top of calories. Instead, it would make a great start to the day, along with coffee or tea. In fact, if I were to make this from scratch, I would probably substitute oat flour or oat bran for part of the flour, just to make sure that my loved ones got some extra goodness in it."

Netizen User ID: 4154355 104049
Reviewed Apr. 15, 2011

"Boxed mixes have partially hydrogenated oils/trans fats. They are NOT healthy. I might try making this totally from scratch."

Judy Belville User ID: 3365000 182328
Reviewed Apr. 14, 2011

"This was a big hit at my small group meeting. The only thing I would do differently is to chop the pecans. It was hard to cut with the whole pecans--it did not make nice smooth cuts. Otherwise it was wonderful and I will definitely make it again."

lcook1 User ID: 5441971 95699
Reviewed Apr. 14, 2011

"I coarsely chopped the pecans and toasted them on the stove. Only used about a cup and it was wonderful!!"

harland User ID: 2510912 179171
Reviewed Apr. 14, 2011

"I haven't made this, yet, but I imagine you could reduce the calorie and fat count a bit by chopping the nuts first and using less of them (maybe a cup or so)"

justcuzz User ID: 1371720 165821
Reviewed Nov. 16, 2009

"All 20 or so people at our potluck Thanksgiving this last weekend gave this an outstanding and can I have the recipe. I will absolutely will make this again and again"

diann2715 User ID: 1806 165819
Reviewed Oct. 11, 2009

"I'm not sure how low fat this is, but everyone loved it. We thought it would taste great by adding some thinly sliced apples on the pecan layer. Yummy"

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