Butter Pecan Cake

butter pecan cake with browned butter cream cheese frosting

Buttery, nutty, roasted, and warm in flavor and depth, this butter pecan cake with browned butter cream cheese frosting has all of the elements of butter pecan ice cream in a fluffy and flavorful layer cake.

I have a list of my favorite ice cream flavors and butter pecan is definitely in my top 3, along with mint chip and chocolate. Hence why I have made Stretchy Chocolate Booza Ice Cream and Homemade Rolled Ice Cream.

I remember going to Baskin Robins as a kid and relishing in a good butter pecan scoop. In fact, butter pecan makes it to the number 3 spot for America’s most popular ice cream flavor. Want to know all about this flavor? Check out, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_pecan

Now as much as I like ice cream, I LOVE cake! So when I was in the mood for butter pecan the other day I decided it was time to create a standout cake for the holidays. Let’s get toasty!

The Cake

This butter pecan cake starts with layers of moist and fluffy cake that is studded with butter roasted pecans and rich vanilla flavor reminiscent of the classic ice cream and fall warmth.

butter pecan cake

In order to get butter pecan flavor into cake, you must first roast up your pecans with some butter. This will bring out the nuttiness and toasty comfort of the pecans while allowing the butter to add depth to the cake batter.

This butter pecan cake uses a mix of whole milk and sour cream for a subtle tanginess that smooths out and helps to develop the flavor punch of butter pecan. If you love pecans, you have found your new favorite cake flavor!

How To Brown Butter

In a saucepan, over medium high heat, melt your butter. Let it sizzle and sputter, swirling the pan. Then as it foams up it is almost ready. It will release a nutty fragrance. As the foam subsides, remove from the heat and see all those glorious brown bits and darkened butter. Best creation ever! Browned butter is the key ingredient to amp up flavor, warmth, and take a treat like this butter pecan cake over the edge. When brown butter is added to cool cream cheese frosting… wowza!

Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Oh browned butter, how I love thee so much! I am browning butter like mad these days. It’s Fall, after all! Have you ever had browned butter cream cheese frosting?

What I love about this browned butter cream cheese frosting is that it combines cool cream cheese with rich vanilla bean and fragrant, nutty, rich browned butter with all those brown bits. Just take a look at this frosting!

browned butter cream cheeese frosting

This browned butter cream cheese frosting is epic! It is just so so delicious that you cannot get enough. Added to the butter pecan cake, well it is perfection in every bite!

The following recipe can also be made as cupcakes or a layer cake. I used 3 of these, Nonstick 6-Inch Round  Pan, 6″. No one told me to say this, nor was this post endorsed in any way, but I am obsessed with these pans! They give you an even bake and cake rounds that slide right out of the pan. They are the best small cake pans I have tried that also stand up to the dishwasher. And I have tried a lot of pans! I would highly recommend these pans if you like to make small cakes like I do. Most of the cakes you see on my blog are made into small versions since I make so many a month for the blog and Instagram!

Want more Fall cake ideas? Check out, Black Velvet CakeChocolate Zucchini Cake, or my Recipes page under Cakes.

If you make this Butter pecan cake, make sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #ritzymom!

Happy Fall Baking!

butter pecan cake

Butter Pecan Cake

Buttery, nutty, roasted, and warm in flavor and depth, this butter pecan cake with browned butter cream cheese frosting has all of the elements of butter pecan ice cream in a fluffy and flavorful layer cake.


Toasted Pecans

  • 2 1/2 cup pecan pieces divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Butter Pecan Cake

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 2 1/2 cups AP Flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk room temperature
  • 1/4 cup full fat sour cream

Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup butter browned
  • 12 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 5 cups powdered sugar


Toasted Pecans

  1. In a saucepan, melt butter on medium heat.

    Then add pecans. Let them toast, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

    Alternatively, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss pecans in melted butter then put in a single layer on sheet. Then roast for 5 minutes.

Butter Pecan Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour either: 2 8 inch pans, 2 9 inch pans. OR cut this recipe in HALF to make 3 6 inch layers or approx. 14 cupcakes!

    In a stand mixer with your paddle attachment, on speed 6, cream together the butter and sugar for 5 minutes.

    Scrape bowl, then add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Then add vanilla extract or paste. Let it mix for 2 more minutes. 

    In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour, salt, and baking powder.

    In another bowl, whisk together your milk and sour cream until smooth. Do this by adding milk slowly to sour cream in a few additions.

    Turn your mixer to "stir". Begin alternating between flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

    Fold in pecans, reserving 1/2 cup for decoration.

    Divide evenly into cake pans. 

    Bake for approx. 26-30 minutes for 9 inch rounds, until toothpick comes out clean. Times vary based on your cake pan/cupcakes, etc. Please contact me for specifics, if needed.

Brown butter cream cheese frosting

  1. While cake is baking, brown your butter then allow to cool completely and set.

    Then, wash mixer bowl, add whisk attachment.

    On speed 6, beat your cream cheese, then add in the browned butter. Scrape every bit of the browned bits leftover! Let it mix for at least one minute. 

    Then turn to "stir" gradually add the powdered sugar. As it comes together, crank up mixer to 8. Add in vanilla extract or paste. Let it get fluffy for approx. 3 minutes, scraping down bowl if needed.

    Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.

Tools For Making This Butter Pecan Cake

Eggnog Creme Brulee