Pecan Buttermilk Cake

filed under: Cakes on April 28, 2019
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  • 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

    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

    The ingredients are simple:

    • butter
    • brown sugar
    • eggs
    • buttermilk
    • vanilla
    • flour
    • baking soda
    • salt

    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 in 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 when 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, 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 placed in the freezer the same day you make it. Make sure that it is completely cool before preparing it for the freezer.

    Heres what I do:

    Allow the cake to cool in the pan fully. Place a layer of plastic on top of the cake and then place a cutting board or cooling rack on top. Flip the cake over. Wrap the plastic up over the edges of the cake and then add another large piece and wrap it again as tightly as possible without crushing the cake. Make sure that none of the cake is exposed in the freezer as this can cause freezer burn. Now wrap it in a layer of foil. Label and date the cake. The cake will freeze well for 1 month and should be fine for up to 3 months.

    To thaw the cake, remove from the freezer and set on the counter. After about 30 minutes, remove the foil and remove the bottom piece of plastic wrap. Place on a serving platter and flip the cake over so that it is now right-side up. It should thaw completely after 2-3 hours at room temperature. Prepare your Pecan Glaze and serve!

    5 from 2 votes
    Pecan Buttermilk Cake
    Prep Time
    15 mins
    Cook Time
    40 mins
    Total Time
    55 mins

    This old-fashioned cake is making a comeback! Rich buttermilk cake topped with a buttery pecan glaze. It's perfection!

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: pecan buttermilk cake
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 485 kcal
    Author: Amanda Rettke
    • 1/2 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 salt
    • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup (61g) buttermilk
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup pecans roughly chopped
    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish. (I used GOOP, click the recipe in the Notes)

    2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together with a hand-held mixer until smooth.
    3. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating them into the butter mixture fully. Scrape the sides of the bowl if needed.
    4. Pour in the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. (Make sure there are no lumps)
    5. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients. Stir by hand with a spatula until ingredients are incorporated.
    6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
    7. Bake the cake for 30 minutes. Ten minutes before the cake is done, prepare the topping.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. When the cake is done, the glaze should be bubbling and appear runny and seeping into every nook and cranny of the cake.
    4. Serve warm.
    5. (If you prefer to serve at room temperature, the glaze will have hardened a bit.)
    Recipe Notes

    GOOP Recipe (clickable link)

    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

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  • Rose Marie Brown says:

    can these be made into cupcakes? and what would the differentials be?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I haven’t made them into cupcakes so can’t speak to the differentials.

  • Rachel says:

    If I am freezing the cake….
    Do I leave it in the oven for the extra 10 mins to finish baking?
    When I defrost it, do I warm it to soften the cake ready for the glaze to soak in?
    After I tip over the pecan glaze then bake for another 10mins?
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      If you are freezing I would bake it until it’s done (35-40 min) and then remove and follow the directions I share in the post. If you are making the glaze fresh for your defrosted cake, it will be hot and will warm up the cake a bit. I haven’t tried heated the cake first, and suspect that it would dry it out.

  • Nancy says:

    Do you know what I would do to bake this at 4400 feet above sea level?

  • Lisa Sirois says:

    Hello, Can you substitute Gluten Free Multipurpose flour in this recipe? And if so- do you still add the baking soda? I am allergic to gluten- that is why I am asking. Thank You.🙂

  • Cora Fadigan says:

    Sounds so good! Unfortunately, I wear dentures and there’s no way I can eat nuts!
    Got a different glaze I might try? Sans nuts?

  • Linda cox says:

    Sounds wonderful

  • Deb Ehrenhart says:

    I’m always reading recipes when I saw the writeup under
    the Google news, I was curious to see the recipe for the pecan buttermilk cake.I have a recipe I Ike your recipe . I had been given a recipe book from my husband’s grandma
    it had a recipe that was almost like yours ,but, it had a different name and ingredients
    I would like to try your recipe .

  • Cathy Shearer says:

    I baked this cake this morning and it is delicious! It took a little longer to bake, which is s just fine. I also made an extra recipe of the topping just add on top of the ice cream. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe. It’s a keeper and a crowd pleaser.

  • DONNA a REVELLI says:

    is it 30 minutes and then 10 minutes more??

  • Nancy says:

    How do you freeze the cake if it’s not fully cooked?

  • Nancy Rodgers says:

    I love a cake made with buttermilk. It is so moist. I am so glad I ran across these recipes. We will have this cake for supper tonight. I love baking with buttermilk, especially with chocolate. Its a secret ingredient that I will always go to. T
    hank you for the recipe.

  • Zie says:

    Very easy recipe
    To make..
    And good to download
    Thank you so Much

  • Ginger says:

    When I poured the glaze on it caused the cake to fall and the glaze sunk into a hole! Tried to spread the glaze and the cake tore on top. Help. What did I do wrong. It is still in oven now cooking the last 10 minutes.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Did it bake for 30 minutes? If there was a hole after the sauce was poured it means the cake needed to bake a bit more. The total baking time is 40 minutes

  • Barbara Sizemore says:

    Make the recipe so we can print it.

  • Cheryl Latona says:

    I love your recipes!
    You don’t have to go from page to page to get the recipe.

    Thank you so much for that.

  • Shirley Cantley says:

    Should the brown sugar be packed or not in the measurements?

  • Jeannie says:

    Can I use the buttermilk powder to the dry ingredients then add the right amount of water to the wet ingredients as a substitute for the buttermilk?

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