Oh so delicious Classic Southern Butter Pecan Pound Cake is a moist and tender pound cake recipe with all the butter flavor of the classic cake and a nutty crunch from buttered pecans.
If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know I’ve become obsessed with freezer meals, and frankly, any recipe with a freezer option. I love the idea of having one of these amazing butter pecan pound cakes at the ready in the freezer. So I made two, one for now and one to freeze for later. Both came out perfect.
Classic Southern Butter Pecan Pound Cake Recipe
If you travel through much of the southern states, you are familiar with the pecan tree and the South’s booming pecan industry. It’s huge, with over 80% of the world’s pecans coming from the the United States. It makes perfect sense then why our favorite pecan recipes originated in the south.
- A stand mixer is what I use to mix all my cake batters, but if you don’t own one, you can definitely use a hand mixer with great results.
- I started with pecan halves for this butter pecan pound cake. When purchased they have less surface area than chopped pecans, so I feel they stay fresh longer. I pulse the pecans my mini food processor to chop up right before toasting.
- Use real unsalted butter for this recipe. No substitutions.
- For the best flavor, try to use pure vanilla extract or the more affordable baking vanilla. You only need a small amount, but it’s a big part of the butter pecan flavor, so it’s totally worth it if you can.
- I used milk for the liquid in this pound cake recipe, which is based off our super popular Perfect Pound Cake recipe. Milk’s the liquid ingredient that’s works well for me in pounds cakes, I used milk in our Glazed Lemon Pound Cake recipe too. Buttermilk or half and half can be substituted; baking time may vary slightly.
- Nutmeg is listed as an optional ingredient, but I like to use it in my pound cake recipes, and lots of other recipes too. It adds that little something that you miss when it’s not there.
- When you bake a cake, a good rule of thumb is to fill the pan to only 2/3 full. That leaves enough room for the cake to rise during baking. If you find you have more batter than the pan can hold, use the extra to make cupcakes. It’s also a good idea to put the cake pan on a baking sheet in the oven, to catch any spills.
- This already delicious pound cake was glazed, but it’s optional. This recipe is definitely tasty enough to stand on it’s own. You can make this simple glaze without the flavoring, or change it to your liking.
What is Butter Pecan?
The super popular “Butter Pecan”flavor is a combination of pecans, butter and vanilla and is used in ice creams, cakes, coffee, cookies, and quick breads.
Making Butter Pecan Pound Cake
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Start by generously buttering and flouring the cake pan. Don’t worry, the butter will absorb the flour during baking so the cake will not look like it has flour all over it when you release it after baking.
Heat some butter in a skillet, then add the chopped pecans to toast. I like to keep stirring the whole time so I can watch the pecans and remove them from the heat right away if they start to overcook.
Have a parchment lined baking sheet ready for the nuts. Pour them out of the hot skillet right away so the nuts will stop cooking. Let the nuts cool while you’re making the cake batter!
Pro Tip – crack the eggs into a separate container before adding them to the batter. This way, if you happen to get a bad egg, it won’t get into the batter and ruin it.
This method also makes it clean and easy to add the eggs one at a time to the batter.
This is what the finished batter looks like. Now, all you need to do is pour it into the pan you already greased and floured. I used a 12-cup bundt pan that was big enough to hold the batter. Remember to leave that room at the top of the pan for the cake to rise. Bake any leftover batter into cupcakes. They won’t last long, I promise.
The cake gets cooled in the pan for 15 minutes, then inverted onto a plate to finish cooling. I wanted to show you what the pound cake looks like right after it came out of the pan. This photo was taken after dark, so the lighting wasn’t the best in my kitchen. The cake looks kinda orange, but it’s really not.
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- Disposable/Reusable Foil Deep-Dish Pie Pans – sturdy pan for freezing and gift giving.
- Glass Nesting Bowls – the bowls I use all the time for mixing recipe ingredients, whipping cream and the large one is great for serving salad too!
- 12-cup Bundt Pan – perfect cake release every time. An affordable pan that I’ve used for years.
- Stand Mixer – classic bowl-lift style where the attachment moves around the bowl for better mixing. I own this in red, but it comes in over 10 colors to match your kitchen.
Classic Southern Butter Pecan Pound Cake
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- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups pecans, chopped + extra for garnish
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp maple extract, or rum extract
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt cake or tube pan. Line rmmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter. Toss in chopped pecans and stir to coat. Heat pecans until fragrant and slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn nuts out onto parchment lined baking sheet. Spread into a single layer to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar. On medium speed using paddle attachment or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time. Beat 45 seconds after each addition.
- Stir in vanilla and mix 30 more seconds.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
- At low speed, add 1/2 the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just blended. Pour in half the milk and beat on low until just blended.Scrape down the sides of the bowl then repeat the steps of adding the remaining flour mixture and milk.
- Fold toasted pecans into batter until well evenly dispersed.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan and fill no more than 2/3 full, leaving 2 inches of room for the cake to rise. Smooth the top with a spoon or spatula.
- Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes, or until toothpick insert comes out clean and cake is starting to pull away from sides of pan.
- Remove form oven and allow to cool 15 minutes before inverting and removing cake from pan.
Make the Glaze
- In a small bowl, use a fork to stir the powdered sugar with milk and maple extract. Continue stirring until smooth and glossy. Drizzle over cool cake. Garnish with pecans.
- Cool baked cake completely. For best results, do not glaze. Wrap cake in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil. Place in a plastic freezer bag and seal. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thawing: Thaw wrapped cake on the counter overnight. Condensation will gather on the outside due to the temperature difference, so keep cake wrapped until completely thawed.Glaze and serve.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING
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