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Pecan Upside Down Cake on a white marble circular tray with 1/3 of the cake cut out. One scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the cake and a serving spatula next to it.

Pecan Upside Down Cake

Krista Stechman
If you're looking for a cozy rustic cake then Pecan Upside Down Cake is the perfect indulgent dessert. A sugary gooey pecan pie topping over moist vanilla cake with a hint of bourbon is comfort at its finest.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course dessert
Cuisine american
Servings 10 people
Calories 770 kcal



Pecan Topping

  • 2 cups pecans chopped
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter room temp
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup dark karo syrup
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Dry Ingredients (Cake)

  • cups all purpose flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Wet Ingredients (Cake)

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter room temp
  • 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil light olive oil, NOT extra virgin
  • 3 eggs room temp
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk room temp
  • ½ cup sour cream room temp


Making the Pecan Topping

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F then thoroughly grease a 9 inch springform pan with softened butter or non-stick cooking spray
  • Sprinkle the pecans in an even layer into the bottom of the pan
  • Whisk the butter, brown sugar, karo syrup and salt together in a sauce pan over medium heat until boiling. Continue whisking 15 seconds while it boils. Remove from the heat and set aside

Making the Cake

  • Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl then set aside
  • In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. About 2 minutes
  • Mix in the olive oil until combined
  • Mix the eggs in, one at a time, on medium speed scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition
  • Mix in the bourbon and vanilla
  • Add the sour cream and mix just until incorporated
  • Add half the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until almost fully incorporated. Add the buttermilk and slowly mix to incorporate
  • Add the other half of the flour mixture then mix on low just until combined. Do not overmix
  • Pour the brown sugar sauce mixture evenly over the top of the pecans. Top the pecan mixture with the cake batter in an even layer
  • Bake 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted into the center of the cake and comes out clean or with only a few crumbs
  • Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack for 45-60 minutes
  • Remove the sides from the pan then invert the cake onto a serving platter. Remove the top of the pan from the pecan topping. Serve immediately


  • Grease your pan well so your cake comes out nice and easy!
  • If you are using a springform pan, put a sheet pan on the rack under it to catch any drippings!!
  • Don't overbake it! Your Pecan Upside Down Cake will come out dry if you do.
  • Let the cake cool for 45-60 minutes before flipping it over. If you take it out hot the pecan topping will be a huge mess!
  • This cake recipe is best eaten right after it's taken out of the pan. The indulgent nutty topping is still slightly warm, soft and gooey.
  • If you're having a hard time releasing the pan from the pecan mixture then use a large chef's knife to shimmy in between the pecan mixture and pan to help you pull it away.


Calories: 770kcalCarbohydrates: 91gProtein: 8gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 505mgPotassium: 219mgFiber: 3gSugar: 64gVitamin A: 774IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 137mgIron: 3mg
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