Pumpkin Butter Pecan Cake (a.k.a. your new favorite pumpkin cake recipe)


Oct 09

Pumpkin Butter Pecan Cake – tender and moist cake layers with pecan pie filling and pecan buttercream.

Best Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Butter Pecan Cake

How is your fall baking coming along? Are you knee-deep in it or just getting your toe wet? I think you know where I’m at! I’m basically neck deep at this point. I spent September baking with apples and created a ton of new apple inspired desserts for you like my new Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cake, Apple Ricotta Bacon Cake, and my Apple Almond Caramel Cake.

For October, I’ve moved on to pumpkin inspired desserts and I’m beyond thrilled to share this new one with you. I’m using pumpkin cake layers, pecan pie filling, and pecan buttercream.

Pumpkin Cake with Pecan Pie Filling

The Best Pumpkin Cake Recipe

This pumpkin cake recipe is truly something special! It’s not only tender and moist, the flavor is incredible. Plus, it’s super easy to make and rises beautifully! In fact, this cake is so easy to make you could simply use a bowl and whisk to put it together.

Ingredients You Need for Pumpkin Cake

To make these pumpkin cake layers, make sure you have the following ingredients on hand.

  • Pumpkin puree
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vanilla
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
Wilton 1m Tip Piping Design

How to Make Pumpkin Cake

To make this easy pumpkin cake recipe, you’ll start by beat the sugars and eggs together until smooth and light in color. You’ll then add the vanilla, oil, and pumpkin puree and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the remaining ingredients. With your mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Remember: over mixing your batter will create a dense cake. Just mix the ingredients until no streaks of flour remain.

HOW TO MAKE MOIST CAKES FROM SCRATCH

Want more tips for making moist cakes from scratch? Take a look at my go-to tips for making the best tasting cakes:

  • Preheat your oven for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • Use good quality pans like Fat Daddio.
  • Spray your pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. 
  • Don’t overmix your cake batter once you add the dry ingredients.
  • Use room temperature wet ingredients.
  • Use fresh baking powder.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
Inside layers of the Pumpkin Butter Pecan Cake

How to Make Pecan Pie Filling

This pecan pie filling recipe is extra special because it’s adapted from Ryan’s mom’s triple chocolate pecan pie recipe. Instead of using chocolate and pecans, we’re just using pecans.

To start, you’ll melt butter in a medium saucepan. After the butter is melted, you remove the pan from the heat and add the sugar and salt. Next, grab your hand mixer and beat in the eggs, followed by corn syrup and vanilla. The mixture goes back on the stove over medium heat and cooks until it reaches 130 degrees F. Remove the mixture from heat, add the pecans, and then pour the mixture into a greased pan and bake for 50-60 minutes at 275 degrees F.

The filling is done when the top is golden brown and the mixture has caramelized.

Pecan Pie Cake Filling

How to Make Pecan Butter

Homemade nut butter is as simple as it gets to make. Just add your pecans to a food processor with a little olive oil and blend until smooth. That’s it!

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

To get a light and fluffy homemade buttercream frosting, I have a detailed post: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM to give you in depth instruction for making your buttercream unreal! Here’s a quick overview.

  • Sift your powdered sugar
  • Use slightly cold butter and mix on its own for 2 to 3 minutes
  • Use heavy whipping cream
  • Beat for 5 minutes
  • Stir by hand

You’ll want to check out the post linked above for more details on each step to make sure you get the best buttercream frosting. And remember, these steps can be used for any buttercream recipe on my blog.

Pecan Buttercream

Other Cakes You’ll Love for Fall

Pumpkin Butter Pecan Cake

Pumpkin cake with pecan pie filling and pecan buttercream.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Keyword butter pecan, pecan, pecan buttercream, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Butter Pecan, Pumpkin Cake

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE

  • 1 1/2 cup (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (165 g) packed brown light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup (218 g) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6.3 g) vanilla
  • 2 cups (400 g) pumpkin purée 
  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon (18 g) baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons (7.8 g) ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (4 g) ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon (3 g) nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt

FOR THE FILLING

  • 3 tablespoons (42.4 g) unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup (165 g) dark brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (150 g) light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (300 g) pecans

FOR THE PECAN BUTTER

  • 2 cups (300 g) chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon (13.6 g) olive oil

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly cold
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • Pecan butter recipe above
  • 3 tablespoon (43.3 g) heavy whipping cream
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.

Instructions

FOR THE CAKE

  1. Preheat 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds, and spray again. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and eggs together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the oil and vanilla and beat on medium until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin filling and mix until combined, about another 30 seconds. 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and salt, and with the mixer on the lowest speed, gradually add to the pumpkin/egg mixture.
  4. Evenly distribute batter into the prepared pans (about 20 ounces in each pan), smooth with the back of a spoon and place in the center of the middle rack of the oven, about 1-2 inches apart. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it, about 30 to 35 minutes.

  5. Let pans cool on a wire rack 10 minutes, and then invert cakes onto rack and cool them completely.

FOR THE FILLING

  1. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F. Spray a 9×9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.

  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat.

  3. Add in the sugar and salt and mix until butter is absorbed. Using a hand mixer, beat in the eggs.

  4. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and mix for another 20 seconds or so.

  5. Return the pan to medium heat and stir the mixture until it is shiny and reaches 130 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in the pecans.

  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool completely before using in the cake.

FOR THE PECAN BUTTER

  1. Combine the pecans and oil in a food processor and blend until you've created a nut butter.

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  1. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes.

  2. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the pecan butter and cream.

  3. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat the buttercream for about 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Before spreading on your cake, spend a couple minutes mixing the buttercream by hand with a wooden spoon to push out the air pockets.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Level each of your cake layers, if needed. Place a dollop of frosting on the cake board or cake plate. Place the first cake layer, top-side up, on the cake board or cake stand.

  2. Spread about 1 cup of buttercream across the cake layer.

  3. Top the buttercream with about 1 cup of the pecan pie filling. Press into the buttercream to ensure you have a level surface.

  4. Place the second cake layer on top of the pecan pie filling and repeat these steps.

  5. Place the final cake layer, top side down, on the pecan pie filling.

  6. Apply a thin coat of buttercream around the entire cake. This is the crumb coat. Freeze the cake at this stage for 15 minutes to set the crumb coat and lock the crumbs into place.

  7. After the crumb coat is set, finish frosting the cake with the remaining buttercream.

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  1. This recipe sounds so good. I have a Halloween design I’m dying to try using this cake. How far in advance can I make the pecan filling? How do I store it if making in advance?