This pecan upside down cake is a treat for all the pecan lovers out there. The top layer is made of crunchy pecans dipped in a heavenly caramel sauce with a crumbly and melt-in-the-mouth crumb. This royal-looking Pecan Upside Down Cake looks fancy but it is easy to bake. You gotta try it. If you are a pecan lover like me, get your hands on to my Southern Pecan Praline Cake, Butter Pecan Cookies, Brown Sugar Pecan Coffee Cake and Praline Apple Bread.
This decadent cake is a perfect pairing of a very moist poundcake and a crunchy pecan layer dipped in a sticky caramel sauce. Serve the cake while it is still warm to enjoy the crunch and goo, fully.
Table of Contents
Why This Recipe Works?
- Upside Down Cake: The cake flaunts it crunchy pecan top with a layer of a gooey caramel sauce.
- Stylish & Fancy Cake: This cake looks fancy but if you follow the recipe step-by-step you will be easily able to achieve great results.
- Classic Pecan Pie & Traditional Pound Cake: This cake is a perfect pairing of a classic pecan pie and a traditional pound cake.
- Serve at Any Occassion: This cake will compliment any gathering or occasion. Or enjoy it with a cup of tea in the afternoon.
- Simple Ingredients: The cake is made with a few simple ingredients.
- Easy to Bake: The cake is a rustic, tasty, irresistible and delicious cake. It is easy to put together and requires little effort and any amateur baker can make it too.
- Texture: This is a pound cake and it has a very moist and tender crumb that will just melt-in-the-mouth.
What Is An Upside-Down Cake?
The cake, as the name suggests, is an upside down cake baked with different toppings of nuts or fruits set in the bottom of the pan. The bottom layer which later becomes the top layer and adds beauty to the cake.
The Upside Down cakes are easy to bake and you can use a variety of sliced fruits or toasted nuts of your choice as the top layer. These cakes look beautiful and have a distinctively amazing and decadent taste.
Caramel Pecan Sauce
The amazing gooey and sticky topping is a combination of chopped pecans and caramel. All you need to do is to heat a few ingredients together, throw in the pecans and pour this mixture to the bottom of the cake pan.
Make sure to not overcook the sauce. It should stay on the stovetop only until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved.
When the cake is flipped upside down, the juices will sink into the sponge, making it even more moist and tender.
- Vanilla Ice-Cream: Serve this cake with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to further enhance the fudgy caramel pecan-ish flavor.
- Dollop of Whipped Cream: Add a size-able dollop of whipped cream to the cake to enjoy with.
Pro Tip # 1 - Room Temperature Ingredients
Always use room temperature ingredients (unless otherwise specified) for baking. Ingredients such as butter, eggs and other dairy ingredients like milk, sour cream, yogurt form an emulsion by trapping air inside the batter. The trapped air expands in the oven resulting in perfect baked treats.
- Pecans: are the star of this recipe and adds crunch to the cake.
- Honey: is used for sweetness.
- Brown Sugar: adds sweetness to the cake.
- All-Purpose Flour: gives structure to this cake. Always weigh in the flour using a digital cake to ensure perfect results every time.
- Vanilla Extract: enhances flavor of the cake.
- Butter: use unsalted and high quality butter for this recipe.
- Vegetable Oil: adds moisture to the cake.
- Whole Milk: use any type of milk for this recipe.
- Eggs: is the binding agent in this cake.
- Sour Cream: adds acidity, fats and structure to the cake.
- Salt: enhances the overall flavors and balances the sweetness.
- Cinnamon Powder: gives aroma to the cake.
Pro Tip # 2 - Digital Scale
Use a digital scale to measure all-purpose flour and other dry ingredients. To measure with cup, fluff up the all-purpose flour container using a spoon, then scoop out the flour with spoon into the measuring cup. Never scoop out of the container. It may result in more flour than required resulting in dense bakes.
These are basic process shots for this recipe. For detailed instructions refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
1. Take a pan and place it on the heat at medium-low heat. Add butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon powder, salt and chopped pecans.
2. Keep stirring and wait for the butter to melt. Once the butter has melted and sugar is dissolved.
3. Spread this mixture over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
4. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk the ingredients and set it aside.
5. Take a large bowl and beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract using an electric mixer on high speed for 1 – 2 minutes. Add vegetable oil and beat again. Now, add the sour cream and milk and mix until it is fully incorporated.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated together. Do not over-mix the batter.
7. Pour the batter over the prepared pan with caramel pecan icing in the bottom.
8. Bake at 350 F for 30 - 35 minutes.
- Light Corn Syrup: Use light corn syrup as a substitute for honey in 1:1 ratio in the recipe.
- 9-inch springform or a round pan.
- Medium-sized sauce pan.
- Mixing bowls.
- Rubber spatula.
- Digital scale.
- Measuring cups and spoons.
Grease the Pan Properly: Make sure to properly and generously grease the cake pan. It is critical to slide the cake out of the pan easily.
Caramel Icing: Do not overcook the icing. Just wait for the butter to melt and pour it over the prepared pan. If you overcook the icing or it will become very hard.
Easy Slide Out of the Cake: To make sure the cake slides out easily let it cool for around 10 minutes. Then using a butter knife loosen up the edges. If the pecan icing sticks in the pan while sliding the cake down, feel free to scoop out the chunks of pecans and put it over the cake.
Do not Over-bake: Every oven is different and while my oven takes around 30 minutes, check yours five minutes earlier. Over-baked cake will result in a dry cake and over-baked cake will stick to the pan more than the cakes taken out of the oven in time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes – absolutely, you may use Greek yogurt or simple yogurt for this cake and will get the same result.
I wouldn’t suggest so but if you want to do so, prepare it a day ahead. Make sure to heat up the cake before serving.
You want to make sure to take out the cake out of the pan while it is still slightly warm. If the cake is cooled completely, there is a chance it will stick to the bottom because the caramel and pecans will stuck to the pan. Try heating the cake pan over the stovetop at low heat for a minute or so, and it will help to melt the sugar helping to make the release of the cake easy.
How to Store
- The cake will stay fresh for up to 2 - 3 days on the counter at room temperature.
- The cake will stay fresh for up to 3- 4 days in the fridge.
- Wrap the cake pieces in plastic wraps and add a layer of foil to it. These pieces will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Pecan Upside Down Cake
- 1 Electric Mixer
- 1 9'' round cake pan
- 1 Digital Scale
- 1 Medium-sized saucepan
- 1 Rubber Spatula
- 1 Measuring Cups and Spoons
Pecan Upside-Down Cake
- ¾ cup sour cream (170 g) room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable oil (115 g)
- ¼ cup milk (57 ml) room temperature
- 2 eggs (large) room temperature
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (180 g)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder (7 g)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (3 g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 g)
- ¾ cup castor sugar (170 g)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (⅕ g)
Caramel Pecan Icing
- 1 cup pecans (125 g) coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup corn syrup or honey (85 g)
- ½ cup brown sugar (light or dark) (100 g)
- ½ cup unsalted butter (113 g)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder (0.69 g)
Pecan Upside-Down Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Take a 9-inch pan, spray it with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper and set aside.
- Take a medium sized saucepan and place it on the heat at medium-low heat. Add butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon powder, salt and chopped pecans. Keep stirring and wait for the butter to melt. Once the butter has melted and sugar is dissolved. Spread this mixture over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk the ingredients and set it aside.
- Take a large bowl and beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract using an electric mixer on high speed for 1 – 2 minutes. Add vegetable oil and beat again. Now, add the sour cream and milk, mix until fully incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated together. Do not overmix the batter.
- Pour the batter over the prepared pan with caramel pecan icing.
- Place the cake pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean with a few crumbs.
- Let the cake sit in the pan for 8 – 10 minutes and gently run a butter knife along the edges of the cake to help it loosen up easily out of the pan.
- There might be some pecans and sauce stuck to the pan, scoop it out and place it on the cake.