Are you ready for the Brown Butter Pecan Cake recipe that will make your taste buds dance with joy? This cake is a perfect blend of buttery vanilla cake, toasted pecans, and a delicious cinnamon or brown sugar frosting. The nutty richness of the browned butter, the salt, and the toasted pecans come together in perfect harmony in this irresistible cake.
Whether you’re looking for a dessert to impress your guests or just want to treat yourself, this cake is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. So, let’s dive into the world of Brown Butter Pecan Cake and discover what makes it so special!
Key Brown Butter Pecan Cake Ingredients & Why
Both the cake and frosting are enriched with browned butter for a nutty richness.
Toasted pecans, tossed in butter and brown sugar, are mixed into the cake batter and added to the frosting.
Cake flour is recommended for a lighter crumb, but all-purpose flour works too.
Light brown sugar in both cake and frosting imparts a delightful caramel flavor that complements the toasted pecans.
Eggs provide structure and richness to the cake.
High-quality vanilla extract ensures the best flavor.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda
These leavening agents elevate the cake.
Salt elevates the overall flavor of both cake and frosting.
These ingredients give the frosting a light and fluffy texture.
How Do You Make The Best Brown Butter Pecan Cake?
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. In a 9-inch light-colored metal saucepan, cook butter over medium heat until golden brown and nutty, stirring often, about 20 to 28 minutes. Pour ¾ cup (156 grams) of the browned butter into a 1-cup glass measuring cup and let it cool until warm to the touch, approximately 15 minutes. Refrigerate the remaining browned butter in a 13×9-inch glass baking dish for about 2 hours for frosting.
- Use an Ankarsrum mixer with a plastic bowl and single wire whisks. Combine ¾ cup (156 grams) browned butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla bean paste in the bowl. Beat at high speed (6 o’clock) for 4 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and milk. With the mixer on low speed (12 o’clock), add the flour mixture and sour cream mixture alternately to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until combined after each addition. Fold in pecans. Divide the batter between the prepared pans (about 766 grams each) and tap them on a kitchen towel-lined counter to settle the batter and release air bubbles.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 28 to 30 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove them and let them cool completely on wire racks.
- Optionally, level the cooled cake layers slightly. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread 1¾ cups (411 grams) of Browned Butter-Pecan Frosting on top. Add the remaining cake layer and apply a very thin layer of frosting all over the top and sides for a crumb coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Spread the remaining Browned Butter-Pecan Frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with pecans, if desired.
Pro Tips For Making Brown Butter Pecan Cake Recipe
- Toast pecans: Enhance flavor and crunch. Spread on a sheet, bake at 350°F for 5-7 minutes.
- Brown butter: Add nutty aroma. Melt over medium-low heat, stir until browned with specks. Cool before using.
- Opt for high-fat ingredients: Ensure moist, tender cake. Enhance buttery flavor, use butter, buttermilk, whole milk, and sour cream.
- Accurate ingredient measurement: Use kitchen scale, especially for flour. Cake flour for a light, soft crumb.
- Chill cake layers: Improve handling, prevent crumbling. Wrap, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Apply crumb coat: Seal in crumbs, create a smooth finish before final frosting.
- Decorate with pecans: Add crunch and festive flair using chopped or whole pecans
How to Store Brown Butter Pecan Cake
- Cool the cake completely before storing.
- Seal it in an airtight container or wrap it snugly with plastic.
- Refrigerate for a week for extended freshness.
- For 2-3 days, store at room temperature in an airtight container if eating soon.
Can You Freeze Brown Butter Pecan Cake?
Freezing brown butter pecan cake, with or without frosting, is straightforward. For unfrosted cake, wrap it in plastic and foil, and store it in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Cream cheese frosting can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
If you have a decorated frosted cake, place it unwrapped on a sheet pan in the freezer for at least 4 hours until solid, then wrap it in plastic and foil and store it in an airtight container for 2-3 months. To enjoy it later, thaw it in the fridge overnight.
Frequently Asked Questions About Brown Butter Pecan Cake
How do you make Brown Butter Pecan Cake?
Create a delicious Brown Butter Pecan Cake by browning butter, mixing dry and wet ingredients, combining them, folding in pecans, baking, and topping with brown sugar frosting.
What are some tips for making Brown Butter Pecan Cake?
Elevate your Brown Butter Pecan Cake with these tips: Toast the pecans before adding them to the batter and buttercream, opt for high-quality vanilla extract, and choose cake flour for an improved crumb.
Can Brown Butter Pecan Cake be made at high altitude?
Crafting Brown Butter Pecan Cake at high altitudes? Adjust the recipe and consult a high-altitude guide for best results.
Brown Butter Pecan Cake Recipe
- 3 cup (681 grams) European-style unsalted butter*, cubed
- 1¾ cups (385 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature
- 2 teaspoons (12 grams) vanilla bean paste
- 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
- 1 cup (240 grams) sour cream, room temperature
- ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk, room temperature
- 1 cup (113 grams) chopped toasted pecans
- Browned Butter-Pecan Frosting (recipe follows)
- Garnish: chopped toasted pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and line 2 (9-inch) cake pans.Heat butter in a saucepan until golden brown and nutty, about 20-28 minutes. Pour ¾ cup (156g) into a measuring cup and let it cool. Refrigerate the rest for frosting.
- Prepare Ankarsrum mixer with plastic bowl and single wire whisks. Beat ¾ cup (156g) browned butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla bean paste on high for 4 minutes. Scrape the sides.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and milk. Gradually add the dry and wet mixtures to the butter mixture, alternating and ending with the dry mixture. Fold in pecans. Divide batter between pans and tap to remove air bubbles.
- Bake for 28-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Level cake layers if desired. Place one layer on a plate, spread 1¾ cups (411g) Browned Butter-Pecan Frosting on top, and add the second layer. Apply a thin crumb coat of frosting and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Frost the cake with the remaining frosting and garnish with pecans, if desired.