Recipes

Butter Pecan Pound Cake Recipe

Butter Pecan Pound Cake

Introduction to Butter Pecan Pound Cake

Overview of Butter Pecan Pound Cake

Butter Pecan Pound Cake is a delightful dessert that combines the rich, creamy texture of traditional pound cake with the nutty, buttery flavor of pecans. This cake is known for its dense yet moist crumb, often enhanced with a swirl of buttery pecan pieces. A staple in many dessert menus, it strikes a perfect balance between sweetness and the unique taste of pecans, making it a favorite among cake lovers. Its versatility allows it to be enjoyed in various forms, from simple tea-time treats to elaborate holiday desserts.

History and Popularity

The history of Butter Pecan Pound Cake is deeply rooted in Southern American cuisine, where pecans are a native and beloved ingredient. The cake evolved from the classic pound cake brought to America by European settlers, which traditionally used a pound each of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. Over time, Southern bakers began incorporating local ingredients like pecans, giving rise to this unique variant. Its popularity soared due to its rich flavor and the comforting, homey feeling it evokes, making it a regular feature in family gatherings and festive celebrations.

Cultural Significance

In many cultures, particularly in the Southern United States, Butter Pecan Pound Cake holds significant cultural value. It’s often associated with warmth, hospitality, and tradition. Serving this cake is seen as a gesture of welcome and generosity, making it a common sight at important events and family reunions. The cake’s rich history and the communal joy it brings have made it a symbol of shared heritage and culinary tradition. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its ability to bring people together, transcending generations and forming an integral part of culinary celebrations. To Learn More About Pecans and their significance in baking, visit I Love Pecans.

Detailed Recipe and Variations

Classic Butter Pecan Pound Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 325°F (163°C). Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
  2. Cream Butter and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy, which usually takes about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add Eggs: Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  4. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Mix Dry and Wet Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Start and end with the flour mixture. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. Fold in Pecans: Gently fold the chopped pecans into the batter.
  7. Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  8. Cool: Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Variations

Vegan and Gluten-Free Options

  • Vegan: Substitute butter with vegan butter and eggs with flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water). Use plant-based milk instead of whole milk.
  • Gluten-Free: Replace all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Ensure that your baking powder and vanilla extract are gluten-free.

Flavor Variations

  • Chocolate Chip Pecan: Add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the batter for a chocolatey twist.
  • Caramel Pecan: Drizzle caramel over the cooled cake and top with extra pecans for a decadent finish.
  • Spiced Pecan: Incorporate 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg into the batter for a warm, spiced flavor.

These variations allow you to tailor the classic Butter Pecan Pound Cake to different dietary needs and flavor preferences, making it a versatile recipe for all to enjoy.

Baking Tips and Tricks

Ingredient Selection

  • Butter: Always opt for high-quality unsalted butter. This allows you to control the salt content and ensures a rich, creamy flavor.
  • Eggs: Use eggs at room temperature for better incorporation into the batter. This helps achieve a uniform texture.
  • Flour: Standard all-purpose flour works best for pound cakes. Ensure it’s fresh and has no lumps.
  • Pecans: Fresh, unsalted pecans are ideal. Toasting them lightly before adding to the batter can enhance their flavor.
  • Sugar: Fine granulated sugar is preferable as it dissolves easily, creating a smooth batter.

Baking Techniques

  • Preparation: Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature for even mixing.
  • Mixing: Avoid overmixing the batter, as this can lead to a dense cake. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.
  • Baking: Test for doneness using a toothpick or skewer. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
  • Cooling: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for a short period before transferring it to a wire rack. This prevents it from breaking.

Presentation and Serving Ideas

Garnishing and Decoration

  • Glaze or Frosting: A simple vanilla or cream cheese glaze can elevate the cake’s appearance and taste.
  • Pecan Topping: Additional chopped or whole pecans on top add texture and visual appeal.
  • Powdered Sugar: A light dusting of powdered sugar can give a simple yet elegant finish.

Serving Suggestions

  • Accompaniments: Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Beverage Pairing: Complement the cake with coffee, tea, or a sweet dessert wine.

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips

  • Room Temperature Storage: Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Refrigeration: For longer storage, keep it in the refrigerator, where it can last up to a week.
  • Freezing: Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Make-Ahead: This cake’s flavor often improves after a day, making it a great make-ahead option for events.

These tips and ideas will help ensure that your Butter Pecan Pound Cake is not only delicious but also beautifully presented and stored effectively for future enjoyment.

FAQs about Butter Pecan Pound Cake

Best Practices for Ingredient Substitutions

  • Butter Alternatives: If substituting butter, use margarine or a butter-like vegan spread. Keep in mind that this may slightly alter the flavor and texture.
  • Egg Substitutes: For egg-free versions, use applesauce, mashed bananas, or commercial egg replacers. Each substitute brings a different moisture level, so adjustments may be needed.
  • Flour Types: When using gluten-free flour, look for a 1:1 baking blend. Note that this might change the cake’s density.
  • Sugar Variations: Brown sugar can replace granulated sugar for a deeper flavor, but it will affect the cake’s color and moisture.
  • Milk Options: Any dairy or non-dairy milk (like almond or soy milk) can be used, but it may slightly alter the taste.

Tips for Achieving the Perfect Texture

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure that butter, eggs, and milk are at room temperature to blend more smoothly.
  • Sifting Flour: Sift the flour with baking powder and salt to prevent lumps and incorporate air, leading to a lighter cake.
  • Folding in Pecans: Gently fold the pecans into the batter to maintain the cake’s structure.
  • Baking Time: Avoid opening the oven door frequently as it can cause the cake to fall. Start checking for doneness a few minutes before the recipe’s suggested time.
  • Cooling: Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. This helps it set and prevents it from falling apart.

How to Store and Reheat

  • Storing at Room Temperature: Keep the cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Refrigeration: In the fridge, it can last up to a week. Wrap it in plastic wrap to retain moisture.
  • Freezing: For freezing, wrap the cake tightly in plastic and then foil. It can be stored for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: If refrigerated or frozen, let the cake reach room temperature for best flavor. To warm, heat it in the oven at 300°F for about 10 minutes.

By following these FAQs, you can ensure your Butter Pecan Pound Cake is delicious, with the perfect texture, and stored correctly for future enjoyment.

Conclusion

In summary, the Butter Pecan Pound Cake is a delightful dessert that combines the rich, creamy essence of traditional pound cake with the unique, nutty flavor of pecans. This article has provided a comprehensive guide to creating this beloved treat, from a detailed recipe and variations to suit different dietary needs, to essential baking tips and tricks for achieving the perfect texture and flavor. We’ve also covered elegant presentation and serving ideas, along with practical advice on storing and reheating the cake.

The Butter Pecan Pound Cake is more than just a dessert; it’s a symbol of warmth, tradition, and culinary artistry. Whether you’re a novice baker or a seasoned pro, this cake offers an opportunity to explore the rich tapestry of flavors and textures that baking can offer. The process of making it can be as rewarding as the joy of sharing it with friends and family.

I encourage you to embrace the adventure of baking this cake. Experiment with the variations, enjoy the aromas that fill your kitchen, and relish the smiles it brings to your table. The Butter Pecan Pound Cake is not just a recipe; it’s an experience, a creation that can become a cherished part of your baking repertoire. For more baking insights and techniques, check out King Arthur Baking for Expert Baking Tips.

Butter Pecan Pound Cake Recipe

Butter Pecan Pound Cake Recipe

Natasha
This Butter Pecan Pound Cake recipe offers a delightful blend of rich, buttery flavor and the nutty crunch of pecans, wrapped in a moist, tender crumb. Perfect for any occasion, from family gatherings to special celebrations, this cake is sure to impress with its classic taste and elegant presentation.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 12 servings.
Calories 500 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions
 

  • Preheat Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 325°F (163°C). Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
  • Cream Butter and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy, which usually takes about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add Eggs: Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  • Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Mix Dry and Wet Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Start and end with the flour mixture. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Fold in Pecans: Gently fold the chopped pecans into the batter.
  • Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Cool: Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

This Butter Pecan Pound Cake is perfect for any occasion, offering a rich, buttery flavor with a delightful pecan crunch. Enjoy it with a cup of coffee or as a special dessert!
Keyword Butter Pecan Pound Cake Recipe

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