Saying goodbye to summer is never easy, but the right desserts can help make the transition a little sweeter. Although it isn’t officially fall yet, I’m mostly already there mentally, dreaming of desserts with rich chocolates, caramels, pumpkin and peppermint. Mmmm.
The inspiration for this cake was from the part of my brain that keeps reminding me that it’s still summer, and how I have been dying to use my ice cream machine to make one of my favourite flavours ever, Butter Pecan. I figured that the month of September was a little late to be posting a recipe for ice cream (which I did make, by the way and oh my, it was delicious), so I went on a Butter Pecan cake recipe testing mission these past few days, in search of a cake that tasted similar to the real thing.
What I didn’t find was a wonderful recipe for Butter Pecan cake, but perhaps I was looking in all the wrong places. What I ended up doing was putting together my own batter, and to me, it’s good. The cake itself is light and fluffy and isn’t overly sweet, which is nice. It’s loaded with the toasted, buttery & vanilla-y (sorry, but they really are “vanilla-y”) pecans, frosted with a sweet and light frosting and then topped with even more of those delicious pecans. Hello, lover!
It’s not ice cream, but it’s the closest baked version of the Butter Pecan flavour that I could accomplish. And I’m happy with it, it really is delightful. I hope you enjoy it!
Butter Pecan Delight Cake
*** For the toasted pecans ***
2 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
*** For the cake ***
3 cups cake flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature & cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups canned evaporated milk, at room temperature
5 egg whites, at room temperature
4 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together the chopped pecans, the 1/4 cup of melted butter and the 1 tbsp vanilla until well coated. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes. While the toasted nuts are cooling, make the cake batter.
Note: Allowing the nuts to cool overnight really allows the flavour to develop. However, if you’re pressed for time, you can just allow them to cool on the baking sheet and put them straight into the batter.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the evaporated milk, egg whites and the vanilla. Set aside
Sift the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the baking powder, salt and sugar and mix on low speed to combine. Add the butter and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds. Pour in the remaining 1 cup of evaporated milk, mix on low speed to incorporate, then turn up the speed to medium speed and beat for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and add half of the egg mixture. Beat on medium speed for 20 seconds. Stop the mixer and add the rest of the egg mixture and beat for 30 seconds again. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on low speed for about 10 seconds to ensure the batter is properly mixed. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in 2 cups of the toasted pecans with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans, smooth down the batter with the back of a spoon and bake for 22 – 26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool.
3 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
pinch of salt
9 cups (about 918 grams) sifted confectioners’/powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 tsp canned evaporated milk
pink food colouring
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and salt on medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into the bowl with the butter and then mix on low speed until incorporated. Add the vanilla and evaporated milk, then turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 30 seconds, until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Add a few drops of light pink food colouring and mix to incorporate.
Fill and frost the cake (steps on how to fill & frost a cake are here) and chill it in the fridge. Pipe a border around the base of the cake (it will need to be on the serving plate when you do this), top the cake with the remainder of the pecans and serve.