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The Best Southern Butter Pecan Pound Cake Recipe

Treat yourself and your family and friends to the best Southern butter pecan pound cake full of that decadent butter pecan flavor everyone loves!

This moist cake has that buttery flavor as any good old-fashioned cake should. 

A Wonderful Dessert

Pound cake on a white plate. The cake has frosting and pecans on top.

It’s the best way to show your love too, yet this easy cake won’t stress you out making it.

It’s one of my favorite delicious cake recipes, one that turns out perfectly every single time.

When we have everyone gather at our home, I am always asked if I’m making this scrumptious cake. If you love butter pecan flavor, you’ve simply got to try it!

A slice of cake on a plate. There is a fork on the plate.

The Perfect Cake for Special Occasions

Maybe I’m a bit biased, but it’s hard to beat that butter pecan flavor. That buttery goodness really gives this old-timey cake the best flavor you’ll find.

It’s sooo much better than a butter pecan boxed cake mix

It reminds me of my grandma, who has often served as my inspiration in baking.

Every time I bake this butter pecan cake, I’m instantly brought back to my childhood. Those warm and cozy feelings stay with me long after the last bite of this rich and decadent cake is gone.

The next time you need a delicious cake to make for a special occasion, from holidays to birthdays, let this one be the one!

A slice of cake on a plate. There is a fork on the plate.

Ingredients For Butter Pecan Pound Cake

  • Softened butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sour cream
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Chopped pecans
  • Your choice of icing

In addition to these basic ingredients, I added maple-flavored icing on top, but you can use whatever frosting you like. A butter pecan glaze would be nice, or cream cheese frosting too.

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

A slice of butter pecan cake on a plate. There is a fork on the plate.

How To Make The Butter Pecan Pound Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and combine.
  4. Next, add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix.
  5. In a separate bowl, add the flour and salt and whisk together.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.
  7. Finally, add the pecans to the bowl and mix.
  8. Pour into the Bundt pan and bake for one hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Sticks of butter in a large bowl.

Add the softened butter to a large mixing bowl.

Powdered sugar and butter in a clear glass mixing bowl.

Add the powdered sugar to the bowl and mix the ingredients.

Egg in a bowl with powdered sugar and butter.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix.

Sour cream and vanilla extract in a bowl with beaters.

Next, add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix.

Flour and salt in a small clear glass mixing bowl.

In another bowl, add the flour and salt and whisk the two ingredients together.

Flour in a bowl with wet ingredients for cake.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

Pecans in a bowl with cake batter.

Finally, add the pecans to the bowl and mix.

Cake batter in a Bundt pan.

Pour the cake batter into a Bundt pan and bake for one hour at 325 degrees or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Butter pecan cake on a white cake pedestal.

Allow the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes. Invert the cake onto a cake plate.

I always place the cake plate over the Bundt pan and then flip it over gently.

Frosting on top of butter pecan pound cake.

Make the icing and pour it over the cake.

Here’s my quick recipe for icing:

  • 1-1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup (or milk or heavy whipping cream)

Mix the ingredients together and pour over the cake. I like the maple syrup, but if you don’t, you can use milk or heavy whipping cream instead.

If the icing is too thick, add a small amount of liquid to the bowl and mix. If it’s too thin, add a small amount of powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.

You can make chocolate icing by adding three tablespoons of cocoa to the mix.

A slice of cake on a plate. There is a fork on the plate.

Tips for Perfect Butter Pecan Pound Cake

  • Make sure the butter is at room temperature before you start baking.
  • Don’t over mix the batter, as this can make the cake turn out tough.
  • Use a cake pan with a nonstick coating. I use the nonstick spray that also includes flour, and I spray it over the nonstick coating on the pan.
  • To test if the cake is done insert a toothpick, a skinny knife, or a cake tester into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
  • Let the cake cool completely before flipping it over and frosting it.
Cake with frosting.

Storing The Cake

Store the cake in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. It does not need to be refrigerated.

Variations and Substitutions

If you want to switch up the classic butter pecan pound cake recipe, here are some variations and substitutions to try:

  • Use walnuts or almonds instead of pecans for different flavors. You can even toast the pecans in the oven before adding them to the cake batter.
  • Add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to the batter for a chocolatey flavor.
  • Replace the vanilla extract with almond or maple extract, which will go great with the maple syrup icing.
  • Add 1 cup of shredded coconut to the batter. You can even toast some and sprinkle on top of the icing.
  • Use browned butter instead of regular butter for a bolder flavor.

This butter pecan cake recipe is more or less a basic pound cake that has a few divine twists.

I baked mine in a Bundt pan, but you can easily turn it into a two-layer cake to serve as a birthday cake if you wish. I’d love this cake for my birthday, that’s for sure!

The flavor combination reminds me of butter pecan ice cream, one of my favorites to get when we go out for ice cream.

Nothing says you can’t serve up a scoop of that with this homemade Southern butter pecan cake!

The Best Southern Butter Pecan Pound Cake Recipe

For a taste of the past right here in the present, make this butter pecan pound cake recipe. You’ll find out everything you need from the recipe card down below.

This will be a great addition to any dessert table for the holiday season or at a potluck. You truly can’t go wrong with those warm, buttery, and sweet flavors all melded together. YUM!

A slice of cake on a plate. There is a fork on the plate.

The Best Southern Butter Pecan Pound Cake Recipe

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Indulge in the heavenly flavors of The Best Southern Butter Pecan Pound Cake Recipe. This moist and rich cake, loaded with pecans and a buttery glaze, is a true Southern delicacy that will leave you craving for more.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups of softened butter
  • 3 3/4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2/3 cup of chopped pecans

Icing (Optional)

  • 1-1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup (or milk or heavy whipping cream)

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.
    2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
    3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix.
    4. Next, add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix.
    5. In a small bowl, add the flour and salt and whisk together.
    6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix the ingredients until they are combined.
    7. Finally, add the pecans to the bowl and mix.
    8. Pour into the Bundt pan and bake for one hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.

    Notes

    Do not overmix.

    After the cake cools for at least 30 minutes, place the cake plate on top of the cake pan and gently flip it over.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 529Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 234mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 1gSugar: 55gProtein: 5g

    Nutrition is approximate.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Mimi

    Saturday 9th of March 2024

    This seems like a ton of sugar, have you ever used less, I feel the need to cut it down…thoughts?

    Julie Pollitt

    Monday 11th of March 2024

    Hi there! Remember too that if you look at a 1:1 ratio of sugar to powdered sugar, powdered sugar is going to be less sugar. Having said that, sugar is still sugar, and it's cake so we gotta have that sweetness in cake :) I haven't tried with less, but you could try leaving out 3/4 of a cup of the powdered sugar and see how it goes. I hope that helps!

    Tan

    Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

    Can I sub the sour cream for milk or heavy whipping cream?

    Julie Pollitt

    Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

    Hi Tan,

    I would use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. If you don't have any Greek yogurt or plain yogurt you can use heavy whipping cream. I would whip the heavy cream a little bit to thicken it. All three would be a 1:1 ratio. So you would use 1/2 cup of the yogurt or heavy cream. Hope that helps!

    Joann

    Sunday 21st of January 2024

    Mine has cracks on the top. It doesn't matter since I'm not taking it anywhere but is there a way to prevent that?

    Julie Pollitt

    Sunday 21st of January 2024

    Hi Joann,

    Because pound cake is so dense it can form cracks while baking. You can try baking it in a tube pan and see if that helps. You can also gently run your knife through the batter to get out any air bubbles before baking. That might help.

    Heidi

    Friday 1st of December 2023

    Hi I am about to make this cake and I see the ingredients says powdered sugar in the cake mix is that correct or is it granulated sugar?

    Tamika

    Thursday 11th of January 2024

    @Julie Pollitt, I had the same question. Why powdered sugar. And what affect does it have on the cake?

    Julie Pollitt

    Friday 1st of December 2023

    Hi Heidi! That is correct. It's powdered sugar. I hope you love the cake!

    marsha

    Friday 3rd of November 2023

    I don't see any baking soda, or powder, what makes it rise?

    Julie Pollitt

    Friday 3rd of November 2023

    That is a great question! I am not too scientific, but pound cakes are typically pretty dense cakes. When you beat the eggs, they will trap air and it will expand when baking. So, different ingredients can play a part like that and help the cake rise while it bakes.

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