Pecan Upside Down Cake

Indulge in the sweet and nutty flavors of this Pecan Upside Down Cake, a delectable dessert perfect for any occasion. The recipe starts with a rich butterscotch caramel sauce, made with sugar, Scotch, water, light corn syrup, cream, and salted butter, then generously topped with pecan halves. This forms the luscious base of your upside down cake.

For the cake itself, you’ll need all-purpose flour, finely chopped pecans, baking soda, salt, unsalted butter, canola oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, and buttermilk. These ingredients come together to create a moist and flavorful cake that perfectly complements the caramel and pecans.

The process begins by preheating your oven and preparing your baking dishes. The caramel sauce is crafted by boiling sugar, Scotch, water, and syrup, then off the heat, cream and butter are gradually added. This delicious sauce is then poured into your baking dishes and sprinkled with pecans.

For the cake batter, dry ingredients like flour, chopped pecans, baking soda, and salt are mixed in one bowl, while in another, butter is creamed with oil, brown sugar, and vanilla, followed by the addition of eggs. These are then combined with the dry ingredients and buttermilk, creating a smooth batter that’s layered over the caramel in the baking dishes.

Bake until golden and let it cool before the exciting moment of inverting the cake onto a serving platter, revealing the glossy caramel and pecan topping. The result is a visually stunning and scrumptious cake that’s sure to impress. Serve it warm or cold, and for an extra touch of indulgence, top with whipped cream. This Pecan Upside Down Cake is not just a treat for your taste buds, but a delightful journey in baking that will leave your guests asking for seconds!


For the Butterscotch Caramel Sauce:

  • 310 ml granulated sugar
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) Scotch (whiskey or bourbon can be substituted)
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) water
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) light corn syrup (optional but recommended)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) hot cream
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) salted butter
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) pecan halves

For the Cake:

  • 500 ml (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) pecans, finely chopped in a food processor
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) salt
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) canola oil
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) brown sugar
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk


Prepare Oven and Pans:

  1. Position the oven rack in the center and preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Butter two 20-cm (8-inch) square baking dishes and line the bottoms with parchment paper, allowing the paper to overhang on two sides. This will help in unmolding the cakes later. Place the prepared dishes on a cookie sheet.

Make the Butterscotch Caramel Sauce: 3. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, Scotch, water, and corn syrup. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat.

  1. Cook without stirring until the mixture takes on a golden color. This might take a few minutes, so keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and carefully (as it will bubble up) gradually stir in the hot cream and butter. The mixture may splatter, so be cautious.
  3. Return the saucepan to the heat and bring it to a boil again, stirring continuously until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Divide the caramel evenly between the prepared baking dishes.
  5. Sprinkle each with half of the pecan halves, distributed evenly.

Make the Cake: 9. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, finely chopped pecans, baking soda, and salt. Set this dry mixture aside.

  1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the room temperature butter, canola oil, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until the mixture is smooth and homogenous.
  3. On a low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined; do not overmix.
  4. Carefully pour and spread the batter over the caramel and pecans in the baking dishes.

Baking and Serving: 14. Bake the cakes for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  1. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 30 minutes. This resting time helps in setting the caramel.
  2. Carefully invert the first cake onto a serving platter. Then, invert the second cake onto a baking sheet and gently slide it onto the top of the first cake.
  3. Let the stacked cake cool completely.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature. You can garnish the cake with whipped cream if desired.

Enjoy your delicious Pecan Upside Down Cake!

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