November 23, 2012

Toasted Butter Pecan Cake


Toasted Butter Pecan Cake

My mother-in-law is the birthday cake lady in the family.  She handles all of the birthday cakes all year long...and for good reason.  Her cakes for the kid's birthdays are out of this world.  You tell her the theme you want and she makes an uber spectacular cake to go along with that theme.  Takes a bit of the stress out of the birthdays, for sure.

Then there's Thanksgiving.  That's our holiday.  My husband and I host Thanksgiving dinner at our house every year for both of our families.  That usually ends up putting us somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 people every year.

Good thing I like to cook.

One thing that I usually dole out to those looking to contribute a dish to the big meal is desserts.  I rarely get the chance to try my hand a baking (honestly I'm not that good at it, and like I said before, it's usually my mother-in-law's territory), but when I saw this cake on Pinterest I decided that this year I was going to take on dessert, too.  I did tell my Aunt and Uncle to bring a pie and my amazing niece brought cupcakes, so we ended up with a nice variety for the dessert table.

I'll tell ya, this cake was gooood.  The general consensus was that it was super rich, but oh so tasty.  The cream cheese icing was divine and the buttery goodness of the toasted pecans was decadent.  Not to mention the presentation!  Is that a pretty cake, or what?  If I keep it up, one day I might be able to give Momma Val a run for her money!


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Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups pecans, chopped
  • 1 box white or yellow cake mix (I used Golden Butter Cake)
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 lbs confectioners sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • extra chopped pecans for garnish

 Instructions
    1. Melt 1 cup of butter in a medium skillet.  Add the 1½ cups of pecans and toast for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Spread out in a single layer on to a sheet of foil to cool.
    2. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans.  Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions.  Fold in the cooled toasted nuts to the prepared cake batter.  
      • TO GET FLAT CAKES PERFECT FOR A LAYER CAKE, FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS: 
        • Cut strips of an old towel long enough to be wrapped around the outside of your cake pans.  Before baking the cakes, drench the towel strips in water, wrap one around each pan, and secure with straight pins.  This will ensure even cooking and produce perfectly flat cakes that don't have the typical bump in the center of the cake.  
    3. Divide the cake batter between the two 9-ich pans and bake according to the instructions on the box. 
    4. Cool for 15 minuted in the pans on wire racks before removing the cakes from the pans.  Cool completely before frosting.
    5. To make frosting:   In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla until combined. Add in one tablespoon of milk so the frosting is a spreadable consistency.

      Notes 
      • There will be enough frosting to frost the cake and have some left over.  Store leftover icing in the fridge for up to five days.
      • Source: Adapted from a recipe found on Laura's Sweet Spot.

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