Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine pecans and 1/4 cup butter in a baking pan.
Bake pecans in the preheated oven until toasted and fragrant, about 20 minutes. Let cool.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
Combine remaining 1 cup butter and sugar in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in flour mixture, alternating with milk and vanilla extract, until batter is smooth. Fold in pecans.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a fluted tube pan (such as Bundt(R)).
Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.