Butter Pecan Cake with Caramel Frosting

I’m not a cake baker.

Like, for real, I can not bake a cake to save my life. At least, not a from scratch cake. I can usually do a box mix.

Not always, but usually. I have a bad habit of over-baking them.

I’m really doing a great job selling this recipe so far, aren’t I?

“Hi! I can’t make cakes! Here’s a cake recipe! Please try it!”

Um, what I was trying to do was say that if this cake turns out well for me, then surely it will turn out for you.

I’ve gotten really good at doctoring up cake mixes to make up for my inability to make scratch cakes. I sometimes add an extra egg or use milk instead of water. I always, always, always add a teaspoon of vanilla, and use melted butter instead of oil. It makes the cake much more homemade-y.

This cake was another one that even my cake-hating husband enjoyed a lot. He’s always been a Butter Pecan fan, so I had a feeling he’d go for this. (The other cake that he enjoys is this Peanut Butter & Banana Pound Cake with Nutella Glaze.)

Looking for more butter pecan recipes? How about these decadent Butter Pecan Squares (bonus: the recipe comes with my engagement story which is fitting since we just celebrated anniversary #12!) or this Butter Pecan French Toast with Bacon Sprinkles?

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Butter Pecan Cake with Caramel Frosting


For the cake:
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1 box Butter cake mix
eggs, as called for on your box mix
milk, to replace the water called for on your box mix
butter, melted, to replace the oil called for on your box mix (may call for butter already)
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the frosting:
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


To make the cake:
Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a skillet over low heat. Add the pecans and toss to coat. Toast, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Do not burn.
Add the cake mix to the bowl of your mixer. Add the eggs. Add in milk in place of the water called for on the box. If your box mix calls for softened butter, add it to the mix. If your box mix calls for oil, add melted butter in it's place. Add in 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Beat together as directed on the box. During the last 30 seconds of mixing, add the pecans to the batter.
Pour batter into two greased 9 inch cake pan and bake as directed on the box.
Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting:
In a medium sauce pan, melt together the butter, cream, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute.
Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Add the vanilla and powdered sugar to the bowl and beat together until well combined.
Add milk or cream to get the correct consistency, as needed.
Frost the cake.


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23 Responses to “Butter Pecan Cake with Caramel Frosting”

  1. sally @ sallys baking addiction August 1, 2012 @ 11:47 am (#

    I LOVE your idea of using melted butter in lieu of oil in boxed cake mixes! I really have to try that sometime. I’m not a huge cake-maker either. Without any kids, what am I really going to do with a huge cake sitting in my kitchen? All to myself? Although, I feel like I’d know exactly what to do if THIS cake was sitting in my kitchen all for me… love butter pecan anything and everrrrrrrryyyyyything!


  2. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie August 1, 2012 @ 2:19 pm (#

    This sounds absolutely wonderful. I also don’t make cakes often, mostly cause I am not the best froster/decorator


  3. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar August 1, 2012 @ 3:09 pm (#

    This looks so yummy! I love the title especially :)


  4. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust August 1, 2012 @ 5:35 pm (#

    I would like to take a bath in that frosting, thankyouverymuch!


  5. Ceil Garrison August 2, 2012 @ 8:22 am (#

    My husband loves this flavor–he may get this cake this week.


  6. jules August 2, 2012 @ 9:23 am (#

    coulda fooled me you’re not a cake baker…this looks killer good !!! doesn’t matter if some of it it starts in a box. YOU put it in the oven right? and did all this wonderful magic to it. great idea with the butter i will definitely have to try that.


  7. Riley August 2, 2012 @ 9:23 am (#

    I think I gained 10 pounds just looking at this!


  8. megan @ whatmegansmaking August 2, 2012 @ 11:01 am (#

    This looks amazing. I never thought to make a butter pecan cake, but now I can’t stop thinking about it!


  9. Construction Supplies San Diego August 2, 2012 @ 7:07 pm (#

    My mother in law’s favorite ice cream is butter pecan…. maybe I can score some bonus points with this cake!!!


  10. carrian August 2, 2012 @ 10:00 pm (#

    Lovely photo and recipe!


  11. Aimee @ ShugarySweets August 3, 2012 @ 7:28 am (#

    Not sure how I missed this one! Divine. PINNED.


  12. Jocelyn August 3, 2012 @ 7:42 am (#

    For not being a cake baker, you sure fooled me!!! This cake is awesome looking!!! I love that you used melted butter for the oil too. Have to remember that for sure!!!


  13. Cassie August 3, 2012 @ 9:31 am (#

    Karly, I thought my husband was the only one who hated cake! Sometimes I can talk him into a piece though, this one I know at least I would highly enjoy!


  14. Joanne August 3, 2012 @ 12:28 pm (#

    Cakes, I can do, but my cookies are majorly subpar. This looks fabulous to me!


    • Karly replied: — August 5th, 2012 @ 12:06 pm


      You bake me cakes, I’ll bake you cookies. Match made in heaven.


  15. Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen August 3, 2012 @ 10:41 pm (#

    Well hello incredibly delicious looking cake! Love it! :)


  16. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel August 4, 2012 @ 9:13 am (#

    Hoooow in the world did I miss this?! In your words: Amazeballs.


  17. Raisehell August 8, 2012 @ 8:20 pm (#

    I made this cake for a birthday party tonight and it is awesome. It tastes like a pecan praline. The frosting is super yummy. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It’s definitely a keeper!


  18. Jean June 10, 2014 @ 5:28 am (#

    I must try this cake. Recently I saw a recipe for something using butter pecan cake mix. It must be a regional mix because I have never seen it in the northeast. In fact my favorite caramel flavored mix (with caramel frosting) is not sold here anymore. This sounds like it will take its place with that frosting. Thank you.



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