Butter pecan layer cake with maple cream cheese frosting is a cake that is filled with the essence of a cozy dessert served on a perfect fall day. Tasting of toasted pecans, moist buttery cake, and a touch of maple sweetness.
This cake promises to be worth every ounce of effort put into it, and that should come with ease with the step-by-step instructions and expert tips you’ll find along the way!
Why You’ll Love This Butter Pecan Cake:
This cake is the perfect blend of sweet and nutty, capturing the essence of butter pecan. With its moist layers combined with a decadent maple cream cheese frosting, each bite promises a mouthful of flavor and comfort. Ideal for both special occasions and ordinary days when you need a special treat.
Ingredients For Butter Pecan Cake
- Vegetable oil: Adds moisture to the cake, ensuring it’s soft and tender.
- Unsalted butter, softened: Provides richness and flavor while also aiding in the cake’s rise and structure.
- Granulated sugar: Sweetens the cake and helps achieve a light and tender crumb by creaming with the butter.
- Maple syrup: Adds sweetness with a deep, rich flavor unique to maple, complementing the pecan flavor.
- Eggs: Act as a binding agent, provide moisture, and help in leavening.
- All-purpose flour, sifted: The primary dry ingredient that gives structure to the cake.
- Baking powder & baking soda: Leavening agents that help the cake rise and become fluffy.
- Kosher salt: Enhances flavors and balances the sweetness.
- Sour cream, room temperature: Adds moisture and a slight tanginess, making the cake crumb soft and tender.
- Whole milk, room temperature: Provides moisture and assists in achieving the desired batter consistency.
- Vanilla extract: Enhances flavors and adds a subtle aromatic background.
- Chopped pecans, toasted: Brings a crunchy texture and nutty flavor to the cake.
- Cream cheese, softened, but still slightly firm: Gives the frosting its distinctive tangy flavor and creamy texture.
- Unsalted butter, room temperature: Adds richness, creaminess, and helps stabilize the frosting.
- Confectioners’ sugar: Sweetens the frosting and provides a smooth consistency.
- Maple syrup: Introduces a deep, rich sweetness that complements the butter pecan flavor.
- Kosher salt: Balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor.
- Chopped pecans, toasted: Used for garnish, they add a crunchy texture and a finishing touch to the cake’s appearance.
How To Make Butter Pecan Layer Cake
Butter Pecan Cake
Preheat oven to 325F. Set racks in top and bottom third positions. Prep 3 9-inch cake pans by spraying liberally with nonstick baking spray.
In a large bowl, mix together, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a bowl of the stand mixer, add oil, butter, sugar, and maple syrup and mix for 2 minutes on high speed until pale and fluffy.
Add in eggs and vanilla. Then reduce speed and add dry ingredients in two additions. Add sour cream, milk, and pecans and continue on low speed until just mixed. Do not overmix.
Bake until cakes start to pull away from the edges and are a very light brown on top, about 25 minutes. Rotate cakes from top to bottom racks halfway through baking.
Remove cakes from the oven and cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn cakes out of pans and finish cooling on wire racks, for about 25 minutes.
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the cream cheese and butter, and mix on high speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Reduce speed to low and add confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, and salt. Once the sugar is mixed in, increase the speed to high until smooth and thickened.
Chill in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, until stiffened. Spread between layers and garnish with chopped pecans.
Tips For Making The Best Butter Pecan Layer Cake
Preparing a beautiful layer cake can be a work of love, patience, and creativity. Here are some additional tips:
- Start with room-temperature ingredients.
- Measure as accurately as you can.
- Level your cake tops to create a nice flat surface.
- Chill your cakes before frosting them to avoid melted frosting.
- Using a cake turntable can assist in creating a nice even frosting layer.
If this is your first time making a multi-layer cake, it might not be perfect, but it’s guaranteed to taste delicious!
What To Serve With Butter Pecan Cake
Enjoying a slice on its own is perfectly acceptable! However, these are a few of our favorite pairings:
Ice Cream: Vanilla bean ice cream with a swirl of caramel would compliment the nutty pecans.
Delicious warm beverages: A cup of hot coffee, tea, hot toddy apple cider, or even hot chocolate would be a great addition.
Apples: A side of warmed cinnamon apples would elevate this dessert.
This cake has a maple cream cheese frosting so it shouldn’t be kept at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. After 2 hours cream cheese can start to spoil.
Store layer cakes in a cake carrier, or under a cake dome and in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Before serving, let your slice sit at room temperature for a little bit. It tastes a lot better when it’s not too cold.
For longer storage, I recommend slicing your cake into portions, then lay these portions on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once they’ve hardened you can wrap the slices in plastic wrap and keep them all in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To enjoy, let sit overnight or for a few hours in the fridge to thaw out.
FAQs for Butter Pecan Layer Cake
What gives a butter pecan cake its distinct flavor?
The butter pecan layer cake owes its rich and nutty flavor to the toasted pecans and the melted butter within the cake batter.
How can I make sure my pecans are toasted to perfection?
Toasting pecans is super easy to make, not to mention they make your house smell so good! Preheat your oven to 350F and spread the pecans out on a baking sheet. Toast the pecans for 5-7 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through. Keep an eye on them as they can burn easily.
Can I use different nuts instead of pecans?
While using something other than pecans will alter the flavor of the original recipe, you can experiment with other nuts like walnuts or almonds.
More Cake Recipes To Enjoy!
Butter Pecan Layer Cake Recipe
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 large eggs
- 2 2/4 cups all purpose flour sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cup sour cream room temperature
- 1/3 cup whole milk room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans toasted
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 325F. Set racks in top and bottom third positions. Prep 3 9-inch cake pans by spraying liberally with nonstick baking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In bowl of stand mixer, add oil, butter, sugar, and maple syrup and mix for 2 minutes on high speed until pale and fluffy.
- Next add eggs, one at a time, then add the oil. Reduce speed and add dry ingredients in two additions. Add sour cream, milk, and pecans and continue on low speed until just mixed. Do not overmix.
- Bake until cakes start to pull away from the edges and are a very light brown on top, about 25 minutes. Rotate cakes from top to bottom racks halfway through baking.
- Remove cakes from oven and cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn cakes out of pans and finish cooling on wire racks, about 25 minutes.
For the Frosting
- In bowl of stand mixer, place cream cheese and butter, and mix on high speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Reduce speed to low and add confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, and salt. Once the sugar is mixed in, increase the speed to high until smooth and thickened.
- Chill in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, until stiffened. Spread between layers and garnish with chopped pecans. Serve and enjoy!