Pecan Upside Down Cake Recipe

Indulgent Pecan Upside Down Cake Recipe

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If you’re in the mood for a decadent dessert that’s sure to impress, look no further than our Pecan Upside Down Cake. This delightful treat features a rich brown sugar and pecan topping that caramelizes beautifully as it bakes, creating a luscious layer of goodness on top of a moist and flavorful cake. With its perfect balance of sweetness and nuttiness, this cake is a true crowd-pleaser. Join us as we dive into the world of baking with this irresistible recipe, complete with FAQs, cook notes, variations, and even keto and low-carb versions!


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


  1. Prepare the Topping: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). In a 9-inch round cake pan, pour the melted butter and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bottom. Arrange the pecan halves on top of the brown sugar, covering the entire bottom of the pan.
  2. Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Cream the Butter and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add Eggs and Vanilla: Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Alternate Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the sour cream and milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
  6. Assemble the Cake: Carefully pour the batter over the pecan topping in the cake pan, spreading it evenly to cover the pecans.
  7. Bake: Place the cake pan in the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Cool and Flip: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a serving plate upside down on top of the cake pan, then carefully flip the pan and plate together to release the cake onto the plate. Gently lift off the pan.
  9. Serve and Enjoy: Slice the cake and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy the rich, caramelized pecan topping and moist cake with your favorite beverage or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra treat!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Toasting the Pecans: For enhanced flavor, toast the pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes before adding them to the cake pan.
  • Adding Spice: Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg into the brown sugar mixture for a warm and aromatic twist.
  • Fruit Variation: Experiment with adding sliced apples or pears to the pecan topping for a fruity variation of this classic cake.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto Option: Substitute almond flour for the all-purpose flour, and use a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol or monk fruit sweetener in place of granulated sugar. You can also use a sugar-free syrup or caramel sauce for the topping.
  • Low-Carb Option: Reduce the amount of granulated sugar in the cake batter and use a combination of almond flour and coconut flour to lower the carb content. Additionally, use a low-carb milk substitute such as almond milk or coconut milk.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use a different type of nut for the topping? A: Absolutely! Feel free to substitute pecans with walnuts, almonds, or even hazelnuts for a unique twist on this classic cake.

Q: Can I make this cake ahead of time? A: Yes, you can bake the cake ahead of time and store it at room temperature for up to 2 days. Simply reheat slices in the microwave or oven before serving, if desired.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers? A: Yes, this cake freezes well. Wrap individual slices tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing them in a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Q: Can I use a different type of milk in the cake batter? A: Yes, you can use any type of milk you prefer, such as skim milk, almond milk, or soy milk, in place of whole milk.

Q: Is this cake suitable for special occasions? A: Absolutely! This Pecan Upside Down Cake is perfect for birthdays, holidays, or any celebration where you want to impress your guests with a delicious homemade dessert.

Treat yourself and your loved ones to the indulgent delight of our Pecan Upside Down Cake. With its buttery pecan topping and moist cake base, this dessert is a true testament to the joys of baking. Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned baker, this recipe is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you craving more. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that’s as rewarding as it is delicious!

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