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Pecan Upside Down Cake

Pecan Upside Down Cake recipe


Pecan Upside Down Cake is a delightful and decadent dessert that combines the rich, buttery flavors of pecans and brown sugar with a moist and tender cake. This dessert is perfect for special occasions or whenever you want to treat yourself to something truly indulgent. The pecans caramelize as they bake, creating a deliciously sticky and sweet topping that pairs perfectly with the fluffy cake underneath.




  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecan halves


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


Step 1: Prepare the Topping

  1. Melt the Butter and Sugar: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). In a small saucepan, melt 1/2 cup of unsalted butter over medium heat. Stir in 1 cup of packed brown sugar until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  2. Spread the Mixture: Pour the butter and brown sugar mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan, spreading it evenly.
  3. Arrange the Pecans: Arrange the pecan halves on top of the brown sugar mixture in a single layer. Set the pan aside while you prepare the cake batter.

Step 2: Make the Cake Batter

  1. Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 3/4 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream Butter and Sugar: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup of softened unsalted butter with 1 cup of granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add Eggs and Vanilla: Add the 2 large eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  4. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three parts, alternating with 1/2 cup of whole milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix.

Step 3: Assemble and Bake the Cake

  1. Pour the Batter: Carefully pour the cake batter over the pecan and brown sugar mixture in the cake pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
  2. Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  3. Cool: Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

Step 4: Invert and Serve

  1. Invert the Cake: Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a serving plate over the cake pan and carefully invert the cake onto the plate. Be cautious as the caramel topping will be hot and sticky.
  2. Serve: Let the cake cool for a few more minutes before serving. Slice and enjoy this rich and buttery Pecan Upside Down Cake, either warm or at room temperature.

Tips for Success

  • Even Layers: Make sure to spread the brown sugar mixture evenly in the pan to ensure a uniform caramel layer.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Use room temperature butter and eggs for the best mixing results and to create a smoother batter.
  • Do Not Overmix: Be careful not to overmix the cake batter once the flour is added to avoid a dense cake texture.
  • Pecan Arrangement: For a visually appealing top, arrange the pecan halves in a neat pattern before pouring the batter over them.
  • Cooling Time: Allow the cake to cool for at least 10 minutes before inverting to give the caramel time to set slightly, making it easier to remove from the pan.

Pecan Upside Down Cake is a show-stopping dessert that is surprisingly simple to make. The combination of caramelized pecans and moist cake creates a delicious treat that is sure to impress your family and friends. Perfect for holidays, special occasions, or a delightful treat any time of year, this cake is a must-try for anyone who loves rich, buttery flavors and the satisfying crunch of pecans. Enjoy baking and indulging in this decadent dessert!