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Southern Pecan Praline Cake with Butter Sauce

This Southern Pecan Praline Cake with Butter Sauce is so scrumptious that no one will know it’s made with a cake mix! All topped with an easy, sweet butter sauce!

AN EASY SOUTHERN STYLE CAKE

I promise you have never had a cake like this before. This cake is so incredibly moist and flavorful. It might seem weird to add frosting to the cake batter before baking but it totally works and makes this such a unique and absolutely delicious cake. The butter sauce is optional because this cake is so delicious on its own but I think it adds a little something special when serving. I promise this will become a new favorite cake and everyone will be begging for the recipe!

a slice of butter pecan cake shown on a white plate and topped with a butter sauce.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What if I don’t like coconut?

I get this question a lot. All I’m gonna say is I have made this cake SO many times for coconut haters and they love it. You can’t even really taste the coconut that is in the frosting and you don’t even see the pieces of coconut in it. Unfortunately, I have not found an acceptable substitute yet for this flavor and consistency. It’s the same frosting used for German chocolate cake. I suppose you could try to make the frosting homemade and just maybe leave out the coconut.
If you or someone are serving this to just cannot stand any type of coconut at all or if you are allergic, then this cake is definitely not for you.

Can I use a different cake mix?

This recipe really relies on these specific ingredients. It just won’t taste the same with substitutes because I’ve tried. Again, this cake is reliant on using these exact ingredients.

Can pecan praline cake be frozen?

Yes it can. It would need to be frozen without the sauce on top through. Wrap it very well to prevent freezer burn and it will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Can this be made in a bundt pan?

Yes. Bake for about 50 minutes. I highly recommend spraying he bundt pan very well with a nonstick spray that has flour in it (like Baker’s Joy or Pam Baking Spray.)

Cake mixes seem to be getting smaller, will this still work?

When I first shared this recipe in 2012, cake mixes were 18.25 ounces. Some brands, like Betty Crocker, are now 13.25 ounces. As of writing this, Duncan Hines is 15.25 ounces. I believe only Betty Crocker makes the butter pecan flavor. This recipe still works without any changes. The cake may not be as thick but it will works the same way. Just keep an eye on baking time as all ovens can bake just a bit differently since many have hot spots. So you may need to adjust the baking time slightly.

Does this cake need to be kept refrigerated?

It does not unless you’ve poured the sauce on top. I prefer to pour the sauce on to individual toppings. But if you’ve opted to pour it over the entire cake, then you’ll need to keep the cake refrigerated. Otherwise, just cover and it can be kept on the counter for up to 3 days.

a slice of pecan praline cake topped with a sweetened condensed milk sauce and sprinkled with pecans on a small round whit plate.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • butter pecan cake mix – it has to be the butter pecan cake mix. Unfortunately I have not found a good substitute. This is just one of those recipes where you must use the ingredients as listed. If you can’t find them then I would not try making this recipe.
  • coconut pecan frosting – this recipe only works with this type of frosting. If you don’t like coconut then this recipe is not for you.
  • eggs – if you have time, let the eggs come to room temperature. This helps them mix into the batter easier.
  • oil and water – you are NOT using the amounts on the back of the box. Please use the amounts that I have listed exactly.
  • chopped pecans – if you are not a huge fan of pecans you can leave them out but remember that there is pecan flavor in the cake mix and there are pecans also in the frosting so you will to be getting rid of the pecans completely.
  • sweetened condensed milk – you don’t have to make the sauce if you don’t want since this cake is super flavorful on its own but it is nice to have on the side for anyone who would like some.
  • butter – it needs to be real butter and not margarine.
butter pecan cake mix, coconut pecan frosting, sweetened condensed milk, pecans, eggs, oil.

HOW TO MAKE PECAN PRALINE CAKE:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (I like the kind with flour in it). In a medium bowl (or your stand mixer bowl), combine all the cake ingredients except for the chopped pecans. Don’t forget to add the tub of coconut pecan frosting. That goes into the cake batter too! I just dump it all in there then let the mixer do the work.

Once it’s all combined, stir in 1/2 cup chopped pecans.

collage of two photos: butter pecan cake mix, coconut pecan frosting, eggs, and oil in a large mixing bow; chopped pecans added to cake batter.

Pour batter into greased baking dish. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. As with most baked goods, oven times vary but cake should spring back to the touch and be golden brown. And if you insert a toothpick into the middle it should come out clean.

collage of two photos: cake batter puree into baking dish; fully baked cake with a slice being held up with a spatula.

This cake is perfectly good just like this. It is moist and yummy. But we’re gonna take it up a notch with some butter sauce. In a small pot over medium heat, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter. Pour in can of sweetened condensed milk with the melted butter and stir. Continue to stir until heated thoroughly, then add 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Stir again then take off heat.

collage of two photos: sweetened condensed milk and butter in a pan with a whisk; pecans added to sauce in the pan.

Then spoon this deliciously yummy sauce over individual slices of cake. I pour the sauce over the individual slices instead of just pouring it over the whole cake because I love to be able to scoop up some of the sauce off my plate as I eat it and I don’t want the sauce to just become part of the cake. But you can definitely do that if you need to take this to a gathering.

two slices of butter pecan cake shown on small round white plates with the full cake showing in a baking dish in the background.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Originally published: November 2012
Updated photos & republished: February 2024

Southern Pecan Praline Cake with Butter Sauce recipe

Southern Pecan Praline Cake with Butter Sauce

Southern Pecan Praline Cake with Butter Sauce is so scrumptious that no one will know it's made with a cake mix! All topped with a sweet butter sauce!
4.75 from 107 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

For the cake:

For the sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9"x 13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl (or your stand mixer bowl), combine 1 box butter pecan cake mix, 1 tub coconut pecan frosting, 4 large eggs, 3/4 cup vegetable oil and 1 cup water. Mix very well.
    butter pecan cake mix, coconut pecan frosting, eggs, and oil in a large mixing bowl.
  • Then stir in 1/2 cup chopped pecans.
    chopped pecans added to pecan praline cake batter
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
    pecan praline batter poured into a baking dish.
  • Bake for about 35-40 minutes. Oven times vary but cake should spring back to the touch and be golden brown. Or insert a toothpick into the middle it should come out clean.
    fully baked pecan praline cake with one slice being held up with a spatula.
  • For the sauce: In a small pot over medium heat (or in a microwave), melt 2 Tablespoons salted butter.
  • Pour in 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk with the melted butter and stir.
    melted butter and sweetened condensed milk in a sauce pan.
  • Continue to stir until heated thoroughly, then add 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Stir again then take off heat.
    chopped pecans added to butter and sweetened condensed milk in a sauce pan.
  • Then spoon this deliciously yummy sauce over individual slices of cake when serving. Or pour it all over the whole cake.
    Southern Pecan Praline Cake made with a boxed cake mix and butter sauce.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
  • You can also make this in a bundt pan. Bake for about 50 minutes.
  • I prefer to pour the sauce over the individual slices. I think it makes a prettier presentation but you don’t have to do that. You can just pour all of the sauce over the entire cake. 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Sodium: 352mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




253 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    OMG! I got rave reviews for this cake!! I made it for friends and there was none left over ! Will be keeping this recipe and making it for years to come !! Thank you for posting this recipe

  2. 5 stars
    This was ABSOLUTELY scrumptious!! I should have made more than one because it was the first thing gone at our church gathering!! Absolutely everyone thought it was a family recipe that I had made from scratch LOL – I did send them to your site though so they could print it out

  3. 5 stars
    This is my favorite recipe for fall potlucks. We even serve it at Thanksgiving instead of pecan pie. Thank you so much for posting it. I have one in the oven right now for a ladies’ night at my church. Smells soooo good! I always adjust recipes…but this one is perfect!

  4. I really love this cake! I love to bake, but sometimes, simple is what I want. However, I ALWAYS want delicious! This cake is just that, simple & yummy. Best thing (besides eating it) is, everyone will think you outdid yourself & put a lot of effort in it, bc it tastes like you really did! Oftentimes, I eat it plain & don’t make the sauce. It is really just that good! Kudos for being creative & knowing what delicious taste like! I am grateful!

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve altered this by using a cream cheese frosting instead of the sweetened condensed version. I sprinkle on top with chopped pecans. I’ve even bought the cream cheese frosting in the can to use.
    Both versions are yummy, but it is nice to have options.

  6. I recently purchased a large bag of walnuts can I substitute walnuts for the pecans in this particular praline cake recipe?

    1. That’s a good question. Walnuts can have a much stronger flavor than pecans so I personally wouldn’t use them BUT if you are a walnut lover and love that flavor with these flavors then you could certainly do that! The only thing I like walnuts in is banana bread – ha! 🙂

    1. Funny enough, that magazine you got it from was actually my recipe that they featured since it was my original recipe creation from 2011 (when I originally published this recipe here)! It was also featured in Southern Living which is pretty cool! It really is so good!

  7. 5 stars
    Have made these many times. We love it! Great to take to social potlucks or to make someone feel special