Triple Chocolate Pecan Pie Cake with Caramel Buttercream

Triple Chocolate Pecan Pie Cake – caramel cake layers baked on top of a shortbread crust, with a triple chocolate pecan filling, drizzled dark, milk and white chocolate, and a caramel buttercream. 

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Triple Chocolate Pecan Pie

Time to introduce another Thanksgiving Pie Cake: my Triple Chocolate Pecan Pie Cake. This pie-inspired cake get its key element from one of Ryan’s mom’s pie recipes. At the Rich house, the Triple Chocolate Pecan Pie is the crowd favorite. Ryan’s mom makes at least two every year, and without fail, it’s the first pie to get devoured.

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The pecan filling is gooey and rich in flavor with three types of chocolate in each bite: dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate. And while I don’t ever eat the pie crust, I have no problem taking down this pie filling – especially when it’s topped with fresh whipped cream!

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Triple Chocolate Pecan Pie Cake

To turn this pie into a cake, I decided to pair the filling with my easy caramel cake recipe, a shortbread crust, and my caramel frosting. I also added a chocolate drizzle in between each layer to give it more chocolate.

What is the best chocolate to use?

My favorite chocolate brands include Guittard and Callebaut. You can find both brands, in a variety of chocolates, at Orson Gygi. You’ll also want to check out their blog about which chocolates to use for different desserts. They are the chocolate experts!

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Ingredients You Need for This Cake

  • Cake flour
  • Dulce de leche
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Dark chocolate
  • Milk chocolate
  • White chocolate
  • Powdered sugar
  • All-purpose flour

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You’ll notice in the video that I don’t have the chocolate drizzle. I recorded the assembly with my round-one cake. You will want to drizzle the three different types of melted chocolate after you add the triple chocolate pecan filling.


Recipe Update

I’ve also updated the caramel cake recipe for this cake. Take a look at my Caramel Cake to get a better idea of what the cake layers will look like. You’ll notice there’s more height and moisture in the new recipe (which is already updated below for you).


To get a light and fluffy homemade buttercream frosting for this Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cake, I have a detailed post: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM to give you in-depth instructions 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


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Triple Chocolate Pecan Pie Cake

Courtney Rich
Caramel cake layers baked on a shortbread crust, with a triple chocolate pecan filling, drizzled dark, milk and white chocolate, and covered in a caramel buttercream. 
4.93 from 13 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Servings 18


For the Shortbread Crust

  • 1/3 cup (66.6 g) granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (169.5 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.8 g) Kosher salt

For the Caramel Cake

  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp (4.2 g) vanilla
  • 3 cups (360 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp (10 g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5.6 g) salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (300g) whole milk at room temperature
  • 13.4 can (380 g) dulce de leche

For the Triple Chocolate Pecan Filling

  • 3 tablespoons (42.4 g) unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup (165 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.8 g) salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (150 g) light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (150 g) pecans 4 oz, toasted and broken into small pieces
  • 2 oz each of dark semi sweet and white chocolate

For the Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (118.3 g) water
  • 4 teaspoons (28 g) light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup (173.25 g) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoon (8.4 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon (11.2 g) kosher salt
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly chilled
  • *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 ½ batch.

Chocolate Drizzle

  • 2 oz. dark chocolate
  • 2 oz. milk chocolate
  • 2 oz. white chocolate


For the Shortbread Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line each pan with parchment and spray again. Set aside.
  • Combine the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat for 1 to 2 minutes until creamy. Stir in the flour. If the mixture is too crumbly, you can add another tablespoon of butter.
  • Evenly divide the shortbread cookie crumbs into each cake pan. Using the back of a spoon, press the shortbread cookie crumbs into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden brown on top.

For the Caramel Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
    In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and then set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and the sugar. Mix on medium-high speed for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all of the butter and sugar are mixed well with the eggs. Add the vanilla.
  • With the mixer on medium-high speed, add the dulce de leche and mix for another 3 minutes. The mixture will get a little lighter in color and will increase in volume.
  • With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk, starting and ending with the dry mixture. Mix until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into your three 8-inch pans (or four 6-inch pans) with the cooled shortbread crust and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pan on wire racks for about 10 to 15 minutes and then invert onto wire racks (TIP: spray the racks with non stick spray) and allow to cool completely.
  • Cakes can be made ahead of time and wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen until ready to use. Be sure to give the cakes about 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature before stacking and decorating.

For the Triple Chocolate Pecan Filling

  • Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F. Spray a 9×9 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Remove from heat.
  • Add in the sugar and salt with a wooden spoon until butter is absorbed. With a hand mixer, beat in the eggs.
  • Add the corn syrup and vanilla and mix for another 20 seconds or so.
  • 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.
  • Pour mixture into the pan and then scatter the chocolate pieces over the pecan mixture. Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool completely before using in the cake.
  • Can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the freezer.

For the Salted Caramel Frosting

  • Mix sugar, water and corn syrup in a small saucepan
  • Bring the water and sugar mixture to boil over medium heat, but DO NOT STIR. (Stirring encourages crystallization). Let the mixture cook until it caramelizes into a golden brown color (as seen in the photo above). It happens quickly, so keep an eye on it.
  • Remove the caramelized sugar syrup from the heat and slowly mix in the cream. Pour in just a tiny bit at a time, especially at the beginning, and mix to combine. You can start adding more and more as you go along.
  • Mix in salt and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  • Set the caramel sauce to the side and let cool completely before making the frosting.
  • Once the caramel sauce is cooled completely, divide it in half and reserve one half of the caramel for the drip. Use the other half for the frosting.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the softened butter, powdered sugar and half of the caramel together in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth.


  • Spread a small dollop of frosting on your cake board. Place the first cake layer on the board, with the shortbread cookie crust on the bottom.
  • Spread about ¾ cup caramel frosting on the cake layer. Make sure to get eye level with the cake to ensure it is level.
  • Break up the chocolate pecan filling into pieces and cover the frosting with the filling. Drizzle half of each of the chocolate drizzles over the pecan filling.
  • Place the second cake layer, shortbread cookie crust on the bottom, on top of the pecan filling and chocolate drizzle. Repeat step 3.
  • Place the final cake layer, shortbread cookie crust on the bottom, on top of the second layer of frosting and filling.
  • You’ll then spread a thin layer of frosting around the entire cake to lock in any crumbs. This is called the crumb coat. Freeze the cake for 10 to 15 minutes to ensure the crumbs get locked into this coat of frosting. After the frosting is set, continue to frost the cake with the remaining caramel frosting.
Keyword caramel, caramel buttercream, Caramel Cake, pecan pie filling, Triple Chocolate Pecan Pie Cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

Get my free cake decorating guide
Everything you need to know about decorating a cake like a pro!

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Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating


  1. Would she be willing to share the Triple Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie recipe?? It sounds delicious. I’m making your cake for Thanksgiving (and I’m a little terrified about how it will turn out, but we’ll see how cake making goes for me) but would also like to try the pie as well. There are recipes online but I didn’t want to try one and it not be good!

    1. The filling in this cake is actually the exact filling from the pie. So a basic pie crust and this filling and you’re set!

      1. I know this is probably a dumb question but going to ask lol Would you bake the filling in the crust instead of the baking pan?

  2. I haven’t yet tried this recipe, but I am frustrated with the lack of a printer friendly version of your recipe. It was 6 pages long and split lines of text. Please fix this to improve the quality of your site.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Courtney. Does the recipe as written reflect the changes you made for round two? In the post you said you added extra buttermilk and an egg, but I do not see any buttermilk in the cake ingredients. Thanks for clearing this up.

  4. 4 stars
    As written the recipe doesn’t have any buttermilk, but in the post you said you added extra buttermilk and an egg. Can you update the recipe to reflect that? Thanks!

    1. We updated the recipe for my new caramel cake and that needs to be updated in the blog so I will do that now! Thanks for checking.

  5. Hey Courtney,
    I am excited to make this cake for my Family for Thanksgiving!
    As I’m reading over the directions, I am a little confused. The way they are written it’s as if the shortbread crust and layers are baked separately. But the assembly directions (and video) appear to have the cake layers baked on top of the shortbread.
    Could you clarify please.
    Thanks so much!

  6. Hey Courtney,
    Love this recipe. Noticed today the amount of Karo syrup listed in the caramel buttercream is confusing. 4 teaspoons is about 26 grams. You have listed 75 grams which is about 4 Tablespoons. Just wondering which is correct.
    Thanks for all the wonderful flavor combinations!

  7. 5 stars
    Made this cake with my son for thanksgiving! It was so delicious! Thank you for your detailed instructions, they helped us make a great cake!

  8. Hi Courtney,

    I hope you’re well.

    I LOVE your recipes. I think you’re the Queen of flavours, but this cake disappointed me yesterday.

    You mention cake flour in the list of ingredients but then APF in the recipe. Which one is it, please?

    The cake was really really dense. Your cakes are never like this. Any insight what may have happened? People have mentioned buttermilk in the comments above but you specify milk in the recipe too- should there have been buttermilk?

    Thank you.

  9. 5 stars
    Hi! I love this recipe, I’ve made it a few times but question: This year I want to make it early and freeze away from Thanksgiving, do you think it will be ok frozen and thawed?

    1. The filling in this cake is actually her pie filling. I’ll get the crust and bake time up as soon as I can.

  10. I am wanting to make this into cupcakes. Does this recipe convert easily? Would I just follow your post about how to convert a cake to cupcakes?