- 5 large eggs
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, very soft
- 2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 cups pecan halves
- 1 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place un-cracked eggs in bowl filled with warm water and set aside.
- Measure buttermilk in to a container and place container in bowl filled with warm water. Set aside.
- Sift together flour and baking soda and set aside.
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan and add 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces. Stir over medium heat until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Butter and flour (3) 8 or 9-inch cake pans. For fool proof removal, place a parchment paper circle in each pan and set aside.
- Separate eggs, ensuring that no egg yolks enter egg whites. Set aside.
- Using a stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment, mix soft butter and sugar. Add one egg yolk at a time, waiting for previous yolk to be fully incorporated.
- Scrape bowl well. Add vanilla extract. Add 1/3 of dry ingredients and once combined add half of buttermilk. Add another third of dry ingredients and once combined add remaining buttermilk. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Add toasted pecan pieces.
- In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until medium stiff. Add to above and fold gently until combined.
- Scrape batter evenly into prepared pans and spread as evenly as possible.
- Place in oven and bake until center of each cake bounces back when lightly pressed with a finger and cake is retracting from sides in a few areas, about 33 minutes. Set aside to cool while preparing cream cheese frosting.
- To prepare candied pecans for decoration, bring sugar, water, vanilla extract and salt to a boil, add pecan halves and toss into syrup.
- Cook for several minutes until nearly all syrup has evaporated. Remove from heat and keep stirring until pecans obtain a white grainy coating.
- Turn heat back to medium and stir pecans until they obtain a caramelized coating and sound “dry.”
- Scatter pecans on parchment paper or a lightly oiled surface and allow them to cool.
- Frost cake and decorate with candied pecans.
- Serve this cake preferably at room temperature.