Spiced Pecan Cake With Pecan Icing

“This cake is a lot of work !!! But it is well worth it for that special occasion! Although I found this in the March, 1984 issue of Bon Appetit, when it first came out, but it REALLY comes from Paul Prudhomme's first cookbook, the one that started the whole international Cajun cooking craze. Regardless of quoted times, this takes all day to make, on and off.”
READY IN:
2hrs 30mins
SERVES:
6-8
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Cake: Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.
  2. To candy pecans, place on a large ungreased metal baking sheet.
  3. Roast 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.
  4. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
  5. Mix in 1/4 cup butter, and stir in hot pecans to coat thoroughly.
  6. Return mixture to pan and roast 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.
  7. Mix in 2 Tbsp vanilla, and roast another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Cool candied pecans to room temperature.
  9. See bottom Note!
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  11. Grease and flour three 8" round cake pans.
  12. Cream remaining 3/4 cup butter with 1-1/2 cups sugar in large bowl of electric mixer at high speed until very light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.
  13. Sift flour and baking soda into another bowl.
  14. Combine milk and remaining 1 Tbsp vanilla in measuring cup.
  15. Add dry ingredients and milk mixture alternately to butter mixture, beating at high speed until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.
  16. Gently stir in candied pecans.
  17. Beat egg whites until frothy.
  18. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar 1 Tbsp at a time, beating at high speed until mixture is stiff but not dry, about 2 minutes.
  19. Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter in three additions.
  20. Divide batter among prepared pans, forming a slight depression in the center of each.
  21. Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
  22. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then invert onto wire racks, and cool to room temperature.
  23. Cake Glaze: Heat water and sugar in heavy small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves, swirling pan occasionally.
  24. Increase heat, and bring mixture to a full boil.
  25. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.
  26. Immediately brush hot glaze over top and sides of each cake layer.
  27. Frosting: Heat sugar and water in heavy 1 quart saucepan over low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until sugar dissolves.
  28. Increase heat and boil without stirring until mixture registers 230 degrees F (thread stage) on candy thermometer, swirling pan occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  29. Blend egg yolks in the large bowl of an electric mixer at high speed for 5 seconds.
  30. Decrease speed to low, and add hot syrup in a thin stream, and then beat at high speed until cool, about 10 minutes.
  31. DO NOT SCRAPE DOWN SIDES OF BOWL.
  32. Gradually add butter or margarine, beating at medium speed until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  33. Reduce speed to low, and blend in powdered sugar and vanilla.
  34. Add chopped pecans and beat at high speed until mixture is very thick.
  35. Thin frosting with cream if necessary.
  36. Stack cake layers on a serving platter, spreading 1 cup of frosting between each, refrigerating frosting as necessary to keep it firm.
  37. Smooth remaining frosting on sides and top of cake.
  38. Arrange pecan halves around top edge.
  39. Serve at room temperature.
  40. Note: If this does not sound rich enough for you, it can be made even richer.
  41. To do so, increase all ingredients used to candy the pecans by one half.
  42. After cooling, reserve one cup of the candied pecans and add these to the icing at the same time as the toasted pecans are added.

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