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This classic Southern Pecan Pound Cake Recipe is a moist and tender brown sugar pecan pound cake packed with butter pecan flavor! It’s a perfect blend of traditional pound cake filled with crunchy toasted pecans in every bite!

Butter pecan anything is so popular in the south, and for good reason. It’s simply delicious! Buttery, nutty, and with a subtle hint of caramel flavors to boot. All this combined and the result is pound cake heaven!

overhead view of baked southern butter pecan pound cake with a bowl of toasted pecans in the background

This post is sponsored by Dixie Crystals in conjunction with #FallFlavors week. All opinions are my own.

If you are from the South, then you know pecans are pretty much a staple. And not in any boring kind of way. They are so dang good! The flavor is unlike anything else!

The crunch and texture add deliciousness to just about anything!

Add to that a caramel flavor that comes along with good quality pure cane sugar and you have decadence!

I’m using Dixie Crystals sugar and there’s a reason they have been a high-quality sweetener of choice for over 100 years. Sugar is one of the most versatile ingredients. It enhances flavor, aroma, texture, and browning. It balances flavor and adds moisture.

And it sure does add all of those things to this cake!

close up of ingredients for this brown sugar pecan pound cake recipe

Ingredients for Pecan Pound Cake

  • Butter – Butter is really the base of the cake. You need 4 sticks and make sure to use real butter for this pecan pound cake. I don’t recommend making any substitutions.
  • Sugar – I like to use a mixture brown sugar and granulated pure cane sugar. It gives the right amount of sweetness and texture.
  • Eggs – They bind the cake together while giving moisture. Can’t have pound cake without eggs!
  • Vanilla Extract & Table Salt – Both give the cake flavor. Don’t go for imitation vanilla if you can help it. The real stuff truly gives a better flavor.
  • All-Purpose Flour – you can also use cake flour for a little lighter cake. However, all-purpose works for a nice dense cake as well.
  • Baking Powder – This gives the cake some lift to the crumb, so it’s not overly heavy.
  • Buttermilk – This adds moisture and flavor to the cake.
  • Chopped Toasted Pecan – I think toasting the pecans really gives an amazing buttery, nutty taste. It is worth taking the extra step for the flavor. Here’s an easy way to TOAST PECANS. If you don’t have the five minutes or so you still can make it without toasting. Once you do it you though will never go back to making it without.
overhead view of labeled ingredients for this brown sugar pecan pound cake recipe

How to Make the Best Butter Pecan Pound Cake

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and full recipe instructions!

Step 1 | Preheat and Prepare Pan

Preheat the oven to 325°. Not 350! Toss roasted pecans in flour.

collage image of toasted pecans tossed in flour to prevent them from sinking in the batter while this butter pecan pound cake bakes

Step 2 | Cream Butter and Sugar, add Eggs and Extract

Beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next. Then, stir in the vanilla.

Bringing the eggs to room temperature will allow the mixer not to overwork the batter. Less mixing makes a more tender cake.

collage creaming butter and preparing the cake batter

Step 3 | Add Dry and Wet Ingredients, Alternately

Beginning with dry ingredients, add the flour mixture followed by and ending with the buttermilk (wet ingredients), a little at a time.

Stir prepared pecans evenly into the pound cake batter. Then fill the prepared pan with the batter.

Step collage combine nuts and pour batter into prepared pan.

Step 4| Bake and Cool

Bake this brown sugar pecan pound cake at 325°. Take a peek halfway through to see if it is browning too quickly. Tent with foil to prevent over-browning, if needed.

Remove and let the brown sugar pecan pound cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Turn over (or invert) onto a wire cooling rack to finish cooling before serving.

overhead view of this baked pecan pound cake

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most commonly asked questions about this recipe. If you don’t find the answer to yours leave a comment below, I’ll get back to you with an answer.

What is butter pecan?

Butter pecan is a combination of pecans, butter, and vanilla. You can often find it in ice cream form or even in cookies or cakes. However, that flavor combination is also found wrapped up in this butter pecan pound cake.

Why do you toss the pecans in flour?

Tossing the pecans in flour will help the pecans not to sink to the bottom. This allows them to distribute them more evenly in the cake. The thicker batter also helps with this. The extra step is worth it for pecan bits in every bite!

Can I make this brown sugar pecan pound cake in a loaf pan?

Yes! Pour batter into two greased 9 X 5 inch loaf pans. Bake at 325° for 45 to 60 minutes. You can also halve the ingredients to make one.

Do I have to use buttermilk?

No, you can also use plain milk. I love the texture and flavor buttermilk lends to a poundcake though. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own substitution. The basic ratio to make one cup of buttermilk is: 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and then add milk to the 1 cup mark. Stir to combine and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. You can do this while your milk comes to room temperature.

Variations or Add-Ins:

  • Even though this is a brown sugar pecan pound cake you can swap them out for walnuts.
  • If you love Macadamia nuts, then try my White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pound Cake.
  • A nutmeg fan? Add in ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg for a little extra flavor.
  • Change up the extracts by adding half vanilla and half almond, rum, or coconut extract.

Storage Instructions

  • Cover leftover butter pecan pound cake tightly with plastic wrap or foil or place in an airtight container and store on the countertop or in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
  • Wrap the baked and cooled pecan pound cake in 1-2 layers of plastic wrap, then foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To thaw, allow it to thaw wrapped in the refrigerator. Then, bring to room temperature before serving. You may also slightly warm in the microwave if desired.
side view of this Southern butter pound cake with a couple slices cut to show interior of cake

Tips

  • Always use real butter for a pound cake. Don’t substitute!
  • Make sure to generously grease the pan with baking spray or butter and then dust it with flour so that the cake will not stick.
  • Bring all your ingredients to room temperature. That means the butter, eggs, and buttermilk. This allows the ingredients to emulsify and come together properly. If they are cold they won’t bake properly.
  • Make sure each egg is mixed in before the next is added.
  • Leave at least 2 inches from the batter to the top of the pan. If your pan is smaller and you have extra, fill a few muffin tins with the extra. If this is the case watch your cook time it may need to be decreased.
  • Bake low and slow (325° not 350°). This brown sugar pecan pound cake is heavy and requires a cooler oven temperature. It can take up to 90 minutes for a cake to bake.

Serving Suggestions

  • There’s a simple beauty about a pound cake. It doesn’t really need all the bells and whistles and fanfare. A simple slice is just quite nice, in my opinion.
  • However, if you want something to top it off serve this Southern butter pecan pound cake with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
  • Topping it with the brown sugar icing from my fresh apple cake would be divine or a sprinkling of powdered sugar would be nice as well.
  • You could also make a simple glaze of 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon of milk, and ½ teaspoon of rum or maple extract.
a slice of this toasted pecan pound cake on a blue plate with a fork

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Butter pecan pound cake on a white serving plate with a few slices cut.
Recipe
4.82 from 53 votes

(click stars to rate)

Pecan Pound Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 16
Author: Nikki Lee
This classic southern Pecan Pound Cake Recipe is a moist and tender pound cake packed with butter pecan flavor! It's a perfect blend of traditional pound cake filled with crunchy toasted pecans in every bite!

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour sifted, spooned and leveled; divided
  • 1 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 4 cups chopped toasted pecans

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325°. In a small bowl toss pecans with ¼ cup flour
  • Beat butter on medium speed with a stand or hand mixer. Gradually add in granulated and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy (3 to 5 minutes). Add eggs in 1 at a time, beating until just blended. Stir in vanilla.
  • In a medium bowl stir together baking powder, salt, and 3 ¾ cups flour. Add this flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Beging and ending with flour mixture until just combined. Do not over mix. Gently stir pecans into the batter.
  • Spray a 10-inch tube or 10 to 12 cup bundt pan with baking spray or butter and flour pan. Pour batter into the pan and smooth the top with spatula.
  • Bake for 70 to 90 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out mostly clean. Check at about 45 minutes and if the cake is browning too quickly add foil over the top and finish baking. Cool in pan for 15 minutes and then turn onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Notes

LOAF PAN: Pour batter into two greased 9X5 inch loaf pans. Bake at 325° for 45 to 60 minutes. You can also halve the ingredients to make one.
  • Always use real butter for a pound cake. Don’t substitute!
  • Make sure to generously grease the pan with baking spray or butter and then dust with flour so that the cake will not stick.
  • Bring all your ingredients to room temperature. That means the butter, eggs, and buttermilk. This allows the ingredients to emulsify and come together properly. If they are cold they won’t bake properly.
  • Make sure each egg is mixed in before the next is added.
  • Leave at least 2 inches from the batter to the top of the pan. If your pan is smaller and you have extra, fill a few muffin tins with the extra. If this is the case watch your cook time it may need to be decreased.
  • Bake low and slow (325° not 350°). Pound cake is heavy and requires a cooler oven temperature. It can take up to 90 minutes for a cake to bake.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1slice Calories: 634kcal (32%) Carbohydrates: 54g (18%) Protein: 6g (12%) Fat: 38g (58%) Saturated Fat: 17g (106%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g Monounsaturated Fat: 17g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 63mg (21%) Sodium: 261mg (11%) Potassium: 201mg (6%) Fiber: 3g (13%) Sugar: 35g (39%) Vitamin A: 749IU (15%) Vitamin C: -15mg (-18%) Calcium: 65mg (7%) Iron: 2mg (11%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

©️Soulfully Made

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43 Comments

  1. Hello,
    My husband is a diabetic. Do you know if this cake can be made with Splenda Granulated sugar blend and Splenda brown sugar? Thanks so much.

    1. Helen, I have not personally tested it so I cannot say for sure. I would love to know your results, if you try it.

  2. 5 stars
    I recently tried this and it was absolutely delicious. The cake had a rich buttery flavor with the perfect amount of pecans. Highly recommend trying it!

  3. 5 stars
    This was everything a gourmet dessert should be, and then some! Was light, fluffy and delicious; easily, a new favorite treat!

  4. Wow this pecan pound cake was so decadent!! Definitely a delicious fall treat that pairs amazingly well with some flavored fall lattes.