The Pecan Buttermilk Cake is making a comeback! Using all brown sugar and drizzling the hot cake with an amazing butter-pecan sauce is going to make your eyes roll up in your head. Amazing! Be sure to check out my Almond Pecan Sheet Cake and Buttermilk Biscuits!

Pecan Buttermilk Cake
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Pecan Buttermilk Cake

This cake has a deep, rich flavor that comes from using all brown sugar in the cake recipe. It is topped with the dreamiest pecan sugar glaze that really makes your toes curl! When I found this recipe in my Great-Grandma’s recipe box, I was thrilled, to say the least.

It’s one of those cakes that you think about days after you ate it and then you long for the next time it will grace your table!

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Cake

How to Make Buttermilk Cake

Start by beating the butter with brown sugar. (No granulated sugar in this recipe!!) Then add in your room-temperature eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Finally, add the dry ingredients. Pour into a prepared (either pan release or GOOP) pan and put it in the oven for 30 minutes. That cake will actually bake for 40 minutes, but we add something pretty special to it 10 minutes before it’s done baking!

If you have ever wondered How to Make Buttermilk, check out my easy recipe. It works beautifully in this buttermilk cake recipe!

Pecan Buttermilk Cake

Pecan Glaze

Wow was this fun to make! Watching the butter and sugar come together and smelling the sweet caramel aroma and then chopping the pecans… it was just magical!

After the cake had baked for about 20 minutes, I started to make this delectable pecan glaze. Simply melt butter, brown sugar, buttermilk, salt, and chopped pecans. When the oven buzzer went off at 30 minutes, I opened the oven door, pulled the cake out as far as I could, and poured over the pecan glaze. I went slow because I wanted it to soak into every nook & cranny of this cake!

Pecan Glaze for Buttermilk Cake

I poured every last bit over the cake and then I put the cake back in the oven to bake for another ten minutes.

While the cake finishes baking it will soak up most of the pecan glaze. I had thought I would prefer it to see in an ooey gooey puddle of deliciousness on top, but I ended up really loving how every single bite of the cake was infused with the brown sugar-butter glaze.

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Cake with Pecan Glaze

How to Serve Pecan Buttermilk Cake

After testing the cake warm and cold we all decided that fresh-from-the-oven warm was the best way to indulge in this cake.

A couple of the kids requested homemade whipped topping on theirs, and one asked for vanilla ice cream, but most of us agreed that it was sweet enough on its own! This cake has a distinct flavor because of the brown sugar added and really reminded me of farmhouse visits to Grandma when I was a child.

Pecan Glaze over Buttermilk Cake

Can You Freeze Pecan Buttermilk Cake?

You can certainly freeze the buttermilk cake, but I do recommend waiting until it thaws to add the pecan glaze.

This buttermilk cake will freeze well if it is placed in the freezer the same day you make it. Make sure that it is completely cool before preparing it for the freezer.

  1. Fully cool the cake in the pan.
  2. Place plastic wrap on top, add a cutting board or cooling rack, and then flip the cake.
  3. Wrap plastic tightly over the edges. Add more plastic wrap to fully cover the cake.
  4. Wrap in foil, label, and date. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  5. To thaw: Remove from freezer, wait 30 minutes, and then remove foil and plastic wrap.
  6. Place on platter.
  7. Add pecan glaze and serve.
pecan buttermilk cake
5 from 13 votes

Pecan Buttermilk Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
This old-fashioned cake is making a comeback! Rich buttermilk cake topped with a buttery pecan glaze. It’s perfection!



  • ½ cup (1 stick or 113g) butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups (400g) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups (480g) buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (61g) buttermilk
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish. (I used GOOP, click the recipe in the Notes)
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together with a hand-held mixer until smooth.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating them into the butter mixture fully. Scrape the sides of the bowl if needed.
  • Pour in the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. (Make sure there are no lumps)
  • Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients. Stir by hand with a spatula until ingredients are incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake the cake for 30 minutes. Ten minutes before the cake is done, prepare the topping.


  • Stir the butter and brown sugar together in a small bowl. (I used a 2 cup measuring cup) Add the buttermilk, chopped pecans, and salt. You should easily be able to pour the glaze.
  • When you take the cake out of the oven, immediately pour the pecan glaze all over the cake. Then return it to the oven for 10 more minutes.
  • When the cake is done, the glaze should be bubbling and appear runny and seeping into every nook and cranny of the cake.
  • Serve warm.
  • (If you prefer to serve at room temperature, the glaze will have hardened a bit.)


GOOP Recipe (clickable link)

Did you make this recipe?

Thank you for making my recipe! You took pictures, right? Well go ahead and post them on Instagram! Be sure to mention me @iambaker and use the hashtag #YouAreBaker.

Love recipes with Buttermilk? Try these fun options:

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Banana Bread

Ranch Dressing Recipe

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Filling

Rocky Road Sheet Cake

Buttermilk Scrambled Eggs

Buttermilk Pancakes

Share with your friends!

Categorized in:

Related Recipes

Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I have made this cake a lot of times. Never bring any back home with me when I take it to a dinner.

    Do you have a recipe for creamy caramel candies?

  2. Out of necessity, I make this cake for EASTER for my group of wonderful widows and widowers.
    Why? I purchased way too much buttermilk and growing up in the ‘50s you never wasted anything!
    WOW, what a hit and … home made,

  3. This cake reminds me of back in the days when our school district had their cafeteria and would make all the food from scratch…They made sheet cakes. From Scratch.

  4. Being diagnosed with heart & diabetic, do you know if wheat flour & sugar free brown sugar will work? I saw that brown sugar in grocery store. Sugar free brown sugar?🥴

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.