Honey Pecan Cake

April 14, 2014
2 Ratings
Photo by La452
  • Serves 1 9" cake
Author Notes

Recently my mother in law gave me some nice Texas pecans, and my neighbor gave me two quarts of local honey - one a deep molasses color with a rich almost caramel flavor, and another golden amber toned honey that tastes of flowers. That is the one I used for this cake. —aargersi

What You'll Need
  • 1.5 cups pecans (divided)
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus a big pinch)
  • 1/2 cup unsalter butter plus 2 tbs - room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs - separated
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  1. Heat the oven to 350. Butter or spray a 9" round pan then line it with parchment. Place it on a baking sheet. Trust me.
  2. Melt 2 tbs butter, 1/4 c honey and a pinch of salt together. Pour this mixture into the pan then sprinkle in 1 cup of pecans. You can be OCD and flip them all the same way. Or not.
  3. Grind the remaining pecans into flour thusly: http://food52.com/blog/9162-how-to-make-your-own-nut-flours-without-making-nut-butter
  4. Whisk the dry ingredients (including the ground pecans but except the sugar)together. Whisk the egg whites until peaks form.
  5. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl large enough to hold everything until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk, then the honey, vanilla, and buttermilk. Now stir in the dry ingredients, then gently fold in the egg white, deflating as little as possible. Gently spoon the batter into the pan - if you start at the edges the pecans are less likely to run up the edges.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes then flip onto your serving platter. Admire. This cake is great same day and also pretty darn good for breakfast the next morning.
  7. Just a note - you are going to think that your cake pan and baking sheet are completely destroyed by burnt honey. They aren't. Just soak them a bit and they will clean right up!
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Alix Davidson
    Alix Davidson
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • drbabs
  • nannydeb
  • aargersi

Recipe by: aargersi

Country living, garden to table cooking, recent beek, rescue all of the dogs, #adoptdontshop

14 Reviews

Suzanne C. October 5, 2019
Jut made 2 of these cakes. You weren’t kidding about letting them cool “just a few minutes!” When I took them out of the pans, I noticed there was plenty of honey topping left in the pan. It’s worth scooping this up and putting it back on the cake. They look great. Can’t wait to taste the cakes.
Alix D. September 2, 2017
Great cake! I love that it looks festive w/out frosting, looking forward to sharing it w friends. I have a knack for making pretty flat cakes, but between the egg whites and b. soda/ yoghurt combo, even I got a nice rise and a lovely texture.

I first saw this in F52's baking book, but came here to read your comments-- thanks.

Since this cake is a little work, I doubled it for two cakes, changing their position in the oven halfway through and being pretty precise about the initial doubling and then halving into the pans. Risky but in this case so worth it! I also subbed in 1/5th of cornmeal per commenter Le Bec Fin and might add more text time, and half plain yoghurt/ milk for the buttermilk. I added about 1 tsp per cake dried ginger (old and not so potent) to the topping and the flavor is subtle but nice.
LeBec F. March 8, 2015
Such a lovely job with this! Pecans are my all time fav nut. You may have seen enough of my comments to know i always want to change things--i'm thinking of adding cornmeal for 1/3-1/2 of the flour; and maybe a little cinnamon and orange zest---what do you think, abbie?
aargersi March 8, 2015
I think that would be delicious!!! Mi pastel es su pastel, give it a try and let me know how it works!
Madhuja March 4, 2015
I have never had any luck with upside down cakes, but this one looks amazing! I am going to try making this one as soon as baby allows me to be in the kitchen for more than 10 minutes! :)
aargersi March 5, 2015
Your baby is here! Congratulations! Maybe you could make a baptize cake :-)
Madhuja March 5, 2015
Thank you, Abbie! I cannot wait to start cooking and baking with her! :)
aargersi March 8, 2015
Hahaha - I just read my reply to you, I am sure I didn't mean to say a baptize cake, but now I can't figure out what I meant to type ... baby cake? Who knows.
drbabs March 3, 2015
aargersi March 3, 2015
:-) did you meet my little bitty neighbor? This cake is one of her favorite things ...
jamie M. April 27, 2014
I made this tonight and I'm no baker.... It is a good cake. I used orange blossom honey. I didn't know when to add the pecans so I thought I was suppose to add with the dry ingredients. After looking at my cake and the picture I guess I was suppose to place the pecans in the bottom and spoon the batter over the top of the pecans... it turned out very good anyway... The time of cooking for me was 40 minutes... I recognized that it was done but gave it an additional 2 minutes... I recommend that you slightly under cook this particular recipe than over cook. But either way its worth trying and trying again... It's a good relatively easy cake to make and quick.
aargersi April 28, 2014
I am so glad you tried it! I will edit and try to make the pecan part a bit clearer - you put 1 c whole pecans in the pan with honey and butter and pour the batter over, and you mix the 1/2 c ground pecans in with the dry ingredients.
jamie M. April 28, 2014
not a problem that's why I posted about the nuts. you can tell I'm an amateur.. It's good and has been added to my arsenal... For those who are trying this cake out I also want them to be aware of the possibility of over cooking... It has a short window(in my opinion) of done vs over done. 2 minutes over and I noticed I had made an error. (still good though) It's not a problem because this cake is easy to identify under vs done vs over done...Thanks again.
nannydeb April 15, 2014
Easter dessert dilemma solved!