Southern Pecan Cake

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Because pecan trees are such an iconic symbol in Texas, this recipe is a classic in any Southern home. I remember eating this cake as a baby, even picking the pecans myself from the trees in my grandmother's backyard. When I chose to enter it in at the County Fair, my grandmother gave her coveted recipe secrets to me. And, now, this award-winning cake can be enjoyed in your home, too!

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
1 2-layer cake



  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup milk

  • ¼ cup coconut milk

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups cake flour

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 5 egg yolks


  • 2 cups white sugar

  • ½ (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk (such as Carnation®)

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 4 cups pecans, very finely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

  2. Mix butter, milk, coconut milk, and vanilla extract together in a large bowl. Combine flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly mix into the milk mixture. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  3. Divide batter between the prepared cake pans.

  4. Bake cakes in the preheated oven until tops are golden yellow and spring back when lightly pressed, 25 to 30 minutes.

  5. Prepare frosting while cakes are baking. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter, egg yolks, and flour in a saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to thicken. Add vanilla and stir for 1 minute. Pour in pecans; cook and stir for 2 minutes more.

  6. Remove frosting from heat and let cool. Remove cakes from the oven and set aside to cool, 20 to 30 minutes.

  7. Place 1 cooled cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with some of the cooled frosting. Top with the second cake layer. Frost top and sides with remaining frosting.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

618 Calories
41g Fat
60g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 618
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 41g 53%
Saturated Fat 15g 74%
Cholesterol 153mg 51%
Sodium 160mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 41g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 121mg 9%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 214mg 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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