An overhead shot of aButter Pecan Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Butter Pecan Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Classic moist white cake with butter toasted pecans and rich buttercream frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword butter pecan cake, butter pecan cake recipe, easy pecan cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 590kcal
Author Plating Pixels


Butter Pecan Cake

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ⅓ cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup butter softened
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup whole milk

Buttercream Frosting

  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar divided
  • 5 tablespoons whole milk


Butter Pecan Cake

  • Melt butter in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add pecans and cook 4-6 minutes, stirring often, until toasted. Remove from heat and cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and lightly flour two 8-inch round cake pans. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat ⅔ cup butter with a large bowl stand or hand mixer on medium-high for 30 seconds.
  • Reduce to medium, add sugar gradually, until well combined. Scrape bowl and beat 2 minutes more.
  • Add vanilla and one egg, beating until combined. Beat in remaining egg.
  • Reduce speed to low. Alternately add in flour mixture and milk and beat just until combined.
  • Fold in 1-cup of the toasted pecans, pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans and cool on racks to room temperature. Make the butter cream and decorate.

Buttercream Frosting

  • In a mixer, beat butter and vanilla on medium until light and fluffy. Reduce to low and slowly beat in 2 cups powdered sugar.
  • Beat in 3 tablespoons milk. Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar and milk.

How to Decorate

  • Spread a thin layer of the buttercream onto the top of one cake layer.
  • Add the second cake layer evenly over the top. Frost sides and top with remaining buttercream until completely coated.
  • Sprinkle with remaining toasted butter pecans.


  • Greasing and flouring the cake pans prevents the cakes from sticking and makes removal easier. Or you could add a round cut-out piece of parchment paper to the bottom of the pan. 
  • When making the buttercream the butter must be at room temp. This will make mixing easier, create the correct texture and help to avoid any lumps.
  • Add the powdered sugar to the butter slowly in the stand mixer to avoid a mess and incorporate evenly
  • Let the cake to cool completely before frosting or the frosting will melt
  • An icing spatula works best for spreading the buttercream. If you don’t have one a regular spatula would work. 
  • If you don't have pecans, substitute with walnuts or hazelnut.
  • Once decorated the cake can be served immediately, but I find it's best to chill a bit in the fridge before serving to let the frosting firm up and make slicing easier. At least 30 minutes of chilling is recommended.
  • Leftovers must be stored in the fridge. Store cake in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days for best flavor and texture.
  • When serving from the fridge: Let the cake sit at room temp for about 15 minutes before cutting and serving.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 590kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 221mg | Potassium: 170mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 66g | Vitamin A: 610IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1.5mg