If you’re crazy about brown butter and pecans you’re going to love this easy cake. It’s topped with a crunchy praline topping and rich with flavor. Best of all, it starts with a boxed mix! Easy-breezy!
Brown Butter and Pecans? Yes, Please!
I don’t know about you but I’m crazy about anything with pecans in it. I also love brown butter. So, any time I have an opportunity to merge those two things, I go for it!
I used this combination in my Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting. And I love it in the recipe I’m featuring today!
This luscious praline bundt cake gave me the perfect opportunity to work with those flavors again. And I’ll be honest: my favorite part was the praline topping. There’s something about the combination of butter, brown sugar, and pecans that just makes me swoon.
And that brown butter? Where do I begin? It’s everything!
For more on how to use brown butter in your baking, see my post titled How to Bake with Brown Butter.
What are Pralines?
If you’re from the south, you’re probably familiar with this tasty treat. Pralines are a candy consisting of the items listed above: butter, brown sugar, cream, and pecans.
My mama made great pralines. And I always loved the praline filling in her “Turtles” candy, too. (Basically, a praline covered in melted chocolate.)
I hope this conversation is making you hungry for brown sugar and pecans. If so, let’s get going on that recipe!
Pecan Praline Cake Ingredients:
- melted browned butter
- corn syrup
- brown sugar
- chopped pecans
- butter pecan cake mix
- large eggs (room temperature)
- heavy whipping cream
- browned butter (melted and cooled)
- maple extract
- vanilla extract
- brown sugar
- finely chopped pecans
How to make Pecan Upside Down Bundt Cake
This cake comes together so easily. I enjoyed the process of making it and you will, too!
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray your bundt pan with non-stick spray.
Brown the butter. You’re going to need 1/2 cup for the topping and 1/2 cup for the cake but you’ll have to start with 1 1/4 cups butter total because the water in the butter will cook off, leaving you with less.
Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes until it browns. You’ll know you’re getting close when the foam rises to the top of the pan.
It will brown quickly at that point so remove it from the heat. Divide in half (and cool the half that will be used for the cake batter).
Make your topping.
Add 1/2 cup warm brown butter and corn syrup. Mix well. Add brown sugar and stir. Add in the pinch of salt.
Stir in the chopped pecans.
Pour the pecan mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
Make your cake.
In a separate large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, whipping cream, eggs, 1/2 cup browned butter (cooled), extracts, and tablespoon of brown sugar.
Mix well. There’s no need for a stand mixer or electric hand mixer. This one is so simple you can mix it by hand.
You will have a thick batter. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the batter over the pecan mixture in the bundt pan.
Place in preheated oven on center rack.
Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until cake pulls back from the edges of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean. Place on wire rack to cool.
When you can handle the pan, flip the cake and allow it to release on its own.
You might have some loose pecans. Scrape them out of the pan and place on top of the cake.
Allow to fully set so that it will be easier to slice. Place on a level surface before cutting. I often use cake drums from Amazon as a base for most of my cakes. I highly recommend them because they can hold the weight of the cake.
Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place (or cover with plastic wrap). There’s no need to refrigerate.
What to Expect from this Recipe
Let me sum up the topping of this delicious cake in one word: pralines.
Yep. The topping is rich with that sticky praline flavor. I was tickled! I had to scrape a few of the pecans out of the bottom of the bundt pan but I put them on top of the cake and got a quick shot of it.
I won’t lie: The top part of this cake was slightly difficult to cut. The pralines were pretty much stuck together. But I didn’t care. The crumbly, moist cake was a lovely complement to the crunch of the topping.
And guess what else offered a bit of a crunch? The outside edges of the cake. Thanks to the brown butter and brown sugar, the edges of the cake caramelize, too, offering just the right amount of flavor and crunch.
This cake is perfect for a special occasion or an everyday dessert.
Variations on this Butter Pecan Cake Recipe
I’m already thinking of fun ways to dress up this amazing cake!
- Don’t have a Butter Pecan cake mix? No worries! Start with a white or yellow cake mix and add an additional 1/4 cup brown sugar to this recipe. Increase your chopped pecans to 2/3 cup.
- Salted Caramel: Let me just say that this cake would be delicious with a caramel glaze top of each slice. Yum.
- Walnuts. Skip the pecans and go with walnuts all the way.
- Sour cream: Skip the heavy cream and use a full cup of sour cream.
Other Brown Butter Favorites from Out of the Box Baking
- Brown Butter Pecan Cookies: Nutty, rich, and loaded with the delicious flavors found only in browned butter, these Brown Butter Pecan Cookies provide a true sensory overload!
- My yummy Brown Butter Walnut Cake is mega-loaded with brown butter, toasted walnuts, and vanilla extract, so it’s got flavor galore. The addition of sour cream makes it sturdy and moist and the milk adds an incredible texture you don’t expect. The brown butter maple glaze on top? Y’all! That’s the icing on the cake!
- My Butter Pecan Cupcakes are what dreams are made of! Light, fluffy, and loaded with brown butter flavor. . .they hit the spot!
I hope you enjoyed this southern pecan praline cake recipe. It’s sure to be a real crowd pleaser!
See this recipe at
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
- Pecan Cake Ingredients:
- Topping Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup melted browned butter
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Cake Ingredients:
- 1 butter pecan cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup whipping cream (or other heavy cream)
- 1/2 cup brown butter (melted)
- 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecan
- Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray your bundt pan with non-stick spray.
- Brown your butter. You're going to need 1/2 cup for the topping and 1/2 cup for the cake but you'll have to start with 1 1/4 cup butter because the water in the butter will cook off, leaving you with less.
- Place the butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat for a few minutes until it browns. You'll know you're getting close when the butter rises to the top of the pan.
- It will brown quickly at that point so remove it from the heat. Divide in half (and cool the half that will be used for the cake batter).
- Make your topping: Add 1/2 cup warm brown butter and corn syrup. Mix well. Add brown sugar and stir. Add in the pinch of salt.
- Stir in the chopped pecans.
- Pour the pecan mixture into the bundt pan and spread evenly around bottom of pan.
- Make your cake.
- In a separate large bowl mix the cake mix, whipping cream, eggs, 1/2 cup browned butter (cooled), extracts, and tablespoon of brown sugar. Mix well.
- You will have a thick batter. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the batter over the pecan mixture in the bundt pan.
- Place in preheated oven on center rack.
- Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until cake pulls back from the edges of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Place on wire rack to cool.
- When you can handle the pan, flip the cake and allow to release on its own.
- You might have some loose pecans. Scrape them out of the pan and place on top of the cake.