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Soft Pecan Cake with Maple Buttercream Frosting | Simple gluten free recipe perfect for the holidays!
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3.88 from 8 votes

Soft Pecan Cake | Gluten Free

The most delicious Pecan Cake ever!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 9 slices


For the Sugared Pecans

  • 1 C finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 C dark brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp butter divided

For the Cake

  • 1 1/2 C gluten free flour blend my favorite is King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure
  • 1 C granulated white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs room temp
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Maple Frosting

  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter room temp
  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 5 Tbsp milk 2% or milk substitute, like almond milk


For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8 or 9x9 inch square pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Finely chop pecans in a food processor until pieces resemble large sand. Set aside.
  • In a small skillet, melt 4 Tbsp butter. Add brown sugar and stir together. Add chopped pecans and cook on medium low heat until pecans are fragrant, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Using a food processor, add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blitz to combine.
  • Add butter and blitz until mixture resembles rough sand.
  • Remove mixture and place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Add buttermilk and vanilla, mixing on medium until fully combined.
  • Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Add toasted pecans, reserving 1/4 C to sprinkle on top.
  • Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until set or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set on a cooling rack.
  • While cake is cooling, mix up the frosting.

Maple Frosting

  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using a handheld mixer whisk butter for about 1 minute. Slowly add powdered sugar and maple extract.
  • While whisking on high, add milk, 1 Tbsp at a time until the mixture is a spreadable consistency.
  • Once cake cools, top with maple frosting and sprinkle with remaining chopped pecans.


Cake keeps well on the countertop for up to a week when wrapped tightly with aluminum foil or stored in an airtight container.