Brown Butter Pecan Cake




Southern butter pecan ice cream has always been a favorite ice cream flavor of mine.  It's got that perfect salty sweet thing going on that I just adore.

I had been developing a cake recipe for a butter pecan cake, and a few weeks before the wedding, I felt like I just couldn't wait any longer to try it.  With as much as I had to do, I wasn't sure why I wanted to give myself even more work, and yet, when I'm inspired to bake something, it's hard for me not to see it through right at that moment.  Inspiration comes and goes, and when it goes, it doesn't always come back when I have the time for it.








This is a cake that celebrates butter.

Between the cake and the buttercream, there are two pounds of butter in this cake.  That's more than you'd find in a pound cake.

I browned the butter, for both the cake and the buttercream, to bring out its nutty richness.  The browned butter, the salt, and the toasted pecans...  it all came together in beautiful harmony in this decadent cake.

In fact, I loved this cake so much, that I nearly switched it out for one of the other recipes I had been planning to make for my wedding cakes.









Baker's Note:
After browning the butter, you'll find that it has reduced a little and you'll have slightly less than what you started with.  I measured out the 1 1/2 cups for the cake first , and used the remaining 2 - 2 1/2 cups for the buttercream.


Brown Butter Pecan Cake
printable


cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, browned and cooled to a room-temperature solid
  • 2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
buttercream:
  • 2 1/2 cups unsalted butter, browned and cooled to a room-temperature solid
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped pecans, lightly toasted and cooled

Prep:
To make the browned butter for both the cake and the buttercream, place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook the butter, swirling occasionally, until nutty brown solids form at the bottom of the pan.  Scrape into a bowl and refrigerate until solid, then set out to soften to room temperature before using (this step can be done a day in advance).

Bake the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms of four 8-inch pans with non-stick baking spray, line with parchment paper, then spray the paper as well.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, until fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl in 3 additions, alternating with the milk and sour cream, starting and ending with the flour, stirring just until moistened.  Fold in the pecans.

Pour batter into the pans.  Bake cakes for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool cakes in the pans on a wire rack, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.

Make the Buttercream:
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until smooth.  In a separate bowl, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  With the mixer on low, add by spoonfuls.  Add the milk/cream and vanilla and increase speed to medium high, whipping until very light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.  Fold in the chopped pecans.

Fill and frost the cooled cakes with the buttercream.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

26 comments :

  1. I love your blog and your recipes are amazing. I'm curious to know however why you disable the copy function. I love to copy and paste to Wordpad recipes I find that I want to save. This way I can keep them in a folder on my computer rather than printing them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I disable the copy function to prevent people from copying and pasting my work and then passing it off as their own. All of my recipes can be printed, though, using the "printable" link noted for each one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is pointless. ctrl-c works just fine. there really is no stopping someone from copying.

      Also, the cake looks great. I'm making it for christmas.

      Delete
  3. This is a beautiful cake! I just wanted to let you know that I have a website (Simply Creative Recipes) where I showcase recipes I find and I am linking to this post if you don't mind. Please feel free to submit any recipes to the site if you wish.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Can I use margarine in place of butter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can if you want to, but I'm not a fan of margarine or butter substitutes. Real butter is best for this recipe.

      Delete
  5. I was searching everywhere for a pecan cake without cream cheese frosting. Yours looks delicious ~ thanks for posting!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. My favorite flavor of ice cream is butter pecan, so when I stumbled across this recipe, I was intrigued! I finally got a chance to make this cake tonight and...OMG!! I have never tasted a cake like this. It was extremely rich and flavorful in the best possible way. Absolutely amazing. Thank you for this incredible recipe!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessica, I'm thrilled you love it so much! :)

      Delete
  7. Having company this weekend and making this for dessert! I'll definitely let you know how it turns out!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Having company this weekend and making this for dessert! I'll definitely let you know how it turns out!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi..... Can I use all purpose flour?..... I cant find cake flour. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cake flour will make the cake a little lighter, but all-purpose flour can certainly be used, too. If you can't find cake flour, here's a little trick: for every 1 cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, then sift together.

      Delete
    2. Hi Thank you so much... I tried my luck one last time before using AP flour..... and finally found it at an unexpected shop.... phew.... lol..... So right now the cake is in the oven as I write you this msg. It smells divine already.... Cant wait until its all done and ready.

      Thank you once again! :)

      Delete
  10. Can I use two 9" rounds instead of four 8" rounds

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can, you might just need to bake it a little longer since the pans will contain more batter.

      Delete
  11. What kind of ice cream would you serve with this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vanilla bean would probably be my choice, but whatever you like!

      Delete
  12. Please help. I only have 2 pans. Will the batter fit into the 2 pans and then I can split the cakes into layers or should I just bake 2 cakes at a time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's totally up to you, and I couldn't vouch for the results with doubling the amount of batter into two pans, since the cakes will take longer to bake and may be more dense. But you could try it!

      Delete
  13. Would this travel well frozen (to take to family vacation at Alabama beach house)?
    I'd like to totally make it, freeze it, thaw, serve, & impress everybody when we get there.
    No room to take stand mixer & I doubt there's one there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cakes travel really well while chilled, so you can definitely make it in advance and freeze it for your trip. Just last weekend, I made a cake the night before, refrigerated it overnight, and then had it in the car (in a cooler) for over 8 hours and it arrived perfectly. I love the idea of taking a homemade cake to a vacation house!

      Delete
  14. I don't like cinnamon or nutmeg. Would it be okay to admit omit these two ingredients?

    ReplyDelete
  15. I made this cake this past weekend for my dad. It was awesome! The cake was moist and the buttercream was to die for! This will definitely e added to our recipe rotation.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments, and I read and appreciate every single one.