Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pecan Pie Cake

Thanksgiving dinner always includes an array of delicious desserts.
Do you have trouble choosing between a slice of cake or a piece of pie?
This recipe will solve that dilemma for you...
Pecan Pie Cake!

This just may be the perfect Thanksgiving dessert.
This delicious recipe has the best of both cake and pie worlds...
moist pecan cake, caramel filling, toasted pecans and pie crust leaves.

The top and sides of each cake layer are studded with toasted pecans.

The layers are brushed with dark corn syrup to give it a yummy pecan pie taste.

Pecan pie filling is then spread between the layers
and the cake is garnished with pretty pie crust leaves.

I think I hear angels singing! 

Pecan Pie Cake
Pecan Pie Filling
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pecan Pie Cake
  • 3 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 c. milk mixed with 1 T. vinegar)
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
Pie Crust Leaves
  • 1 pre-made pie crust
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
Pecan Pie Filling
In a 3 quart saucepan, whisk together first 6 ingredients until smooth. Whisk constantly while bringing mixture to a boil over medium heat. Boil 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture to prevent a film from forming and chill for 4 hours.

To chill quickly: Pour filling into a bowl and place the bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice. Whisk constantly until cooled (about 15 minutes).

Pecan Pie Cake
Toast the chopped pecans: Spread on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Generously butter three 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. Divide 2 cups pecans evenly into buttered pans; shake to coat bottoms and sides of pans.

In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add the sugar. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
Whisk together flour and baking soda. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in remaining 1 cup pecans.

Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter. Fold in remaining egg whites. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert layers onto wire racks with wax paper underneath. Brush the tops and sides of each layer with corn syrup, allow to cool completely.

Pie Crust Leaves
Roll out and smooth pie crust. Use a leaf shaped cookie cutter to cut out leaves and mark leaf veins with the tip of a knife. Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water; brush on pastry leaves.

To shape leaves: Crumple small aluminum foil pieces into 1/2-inch balls. Coat with vegetable cooking spray, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drape a pastry leaf over each ball.

Bake at 425° for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Gently remove foil from leaves.

Assembling Cake: Place one cake layer, pecan side up, on your cake stand; spread half of Pecan Pie Filling on top. Place second cake layer, pecan side up, on top of filling; spread with remaining filling. Top with remaining cake layer, pecan side up. Arrange pie crust leaves on and around the cake, if desired.
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Happy Thanksgiving!
You wonderful readers are among the many blessings I have to be thankful for.
I hope your holiday is filled with family, food and fun!

I share my recipes and tutorials at these fun link parties.


  1. Yow-za.....forget the pumpkin pie......I'll take a double serving of this Pecan Pie Cake! Im going to give this a try for Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Yum! I will definitely be making this for Thanksgiving.

    xx Courtney

  3. What is "1 1/2 cups half-and-half"? :)

    1. Half and half is a dairy product consisting of equal parts light cream and milk. It is the equivalent of what's known as "half cream" in the U.K. I hope this helps!

  4. Stunning! And I know it's delish ~ :)


  5. WOW!!! Looks wonderful!!!

    Charlotte Moore

  6. Wow. This is on the list! Will it keep for two days, and do I have to refrigerate it? I would be transporting it 300 miles to my parents'.

    1. It will definitely keep for 2 days and I would recommend refrigerating it if possible. But I also think it would be fine unrefrigerated during your trip. It might be easier to transport the cake if you just wrapped up the layers and filling and assemble it when you get there.

  7. Also there are no directions on how to ice. Do I just spread it on or are there pecans to add or....

    1. Thanks for pointing that out! I will fix the directions right now.

  8. This cake is beautiful, and looks delicious. I'm sure that it would be a hit at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thank you for the recipe.

  9. Looks so yummy! Wish I didn't have a nut allergy in my house!

  10. Oh wow... this cake is GORGEOUS! :)
    Thank you so much for sharing at Marvelous Mondays this week- pinned & sharing!

  11. Love this cake! Thanks for joining us at Marvelous Mondays. Shared on FB and pinned!

  12. Thank you so much for linking up with the Party Bunch! I am featuring your delicious recipe today… Have a wonderful week and a Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Every single cake I have made from this site has turned out beautiful and delicious, never any problems. I can't wait to make the Pecan Pie Cake for Thanksgiving, I'm sure everyone will love it.

  14. I just made this cake for my son's 42nd birthday, because pecan is his favorite pie. It was a hit! Mine wasn't as pretty, but that's okay. I used 9" pans, so it didn't come out as tall, but that way it fit perfectly under the dome of my cake dish, even with the pie crust garnish. Thanks!

    1. You are so welcome, and I'm glad the cake was a hit! :)

  15. My family loves this cake, though I haven't made it in several years. I first made it when the recipe appeared in Southern Living, and I actually had kind of forgotten about it! Thanks for the reminder!

  16. How can I make this cake Gluten free.

    1. See Robyn's comment, right after yours...she has instructions!

  17. I have Celiac and cannot have gluten. If I use gluten free oat flour instead of wheat flour & skip the crust, I can eat this!!! I miss pecan pie so much.

    I add packet of unflavored gelatin per cup of flour and cakes turn out so moist they stay good for days, improving with age. An extra egg or 2 adds protein & a little height, as gluten free baked goods don't rise as well.

    I must make this for Thanksgiving.

  18. I made this cake today. I've never made any cake this labor intensive. It was well worth it. The family loved it! My version was messy. I think I should have let the filling chill longer so it would set up more. Also, it wasn't the best thing to drive over to Mom's house. During the serving, the top layer slid off even. I added ganache to the top instead of the pie pastry leaves, which made the flavors even more wonderful! Thank you for this. I will be on your site again & again.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I have made many messy cakes that were still delicious. :)


Your comments put a great BIG smile on my face!! Thanks for stopping by! :0)

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