Holiday Dishes

Browned Butter Pecan Layer Cake


Sweetened Pecans

2 cups (500 mL) finely chopped pecans
2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter, melted
2 Tbsp (30 mL) brown sugar

Brown Butter Frosting

1 1/4 cups (300 mL) butter
4 1/2 cups (1.125 L) icing sugar
3-6 Tbsp (45-90 mL) milk


1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vanilla
5 large eggs
3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
4 tsp (20 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) milk
1 cup (250 mL) toasted chopped pecans


Oven Sweetened Pecans

Preheat oven to 350⁰F (180⁰C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In medium bowl, toss pecans with melted butter and brown sugar. Spread nuts evenly onto the baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until nuts are lightly toasted and fragrant. Set aside to cool.


Step 1. Melt 1 cup (250 mL) butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Gently swirl butter in the saucepan until lightly brown in colour. There will be a nutty aroma. Once browned, pour into small glass bowl and refrigerate to harden.

Meanwhile, prepare 3 - 8-inch (20 cm) cake pans with a coating of cooking spray. Line with parchment paper. Spray paper. In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add sour cream and vanilla. Beat to combine. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Combine dry ingredients in bowl. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, each in two additions. Fold in 1 cup (250 mL) toasted nuts. 

Divide batter equally into the prepared pans. Bake at 350⁰F (180⁰C) for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pans. Cool completely on cooling racks.


Step 2. Once the butter has hardened, place into mixing bowl with 1/4 cup (50 mL) softened butter and beat until the butters are well combined and smooth. Slowly add icing sugar and milk until the desired consistency is met.


Trim cakes, if domed on the top, with a serrated knife. Spread 1/3 cup (75 mL) frosting on top of one cake and sprinkle 3-4 Tbsp (45-60 mL) of the toasted pecans. Add the second cake layer and repeat steps. Top with the last cake. Ice the top and sides of the cake and decorate the cake with the remaining nuts. Pipe swirls of icing around the top edge of the cake if desired. Store in an airtight container. 

Makes: 20-25 slices

Nutrient Analysis for 25 slices Browned Butter Pecan Layer Cake

1 Slice portion:
Calories: 478
Carbohydrates: 24 g
Protein: 5 g
Fat: 23 g
Sodium: 241 mg
Fibre: 1 g