Chocolate Pecan Layer Cake

    1 hour 25 min

    This is a decadently delicious three-layer chocolate cake, which is studded with pecans and then iced with a chocolate cream cheese icing. If you prefer a smooth icing, simply leave out the additional chopped pecans, or you can sprinkle them over the top to finish.

    85 people made this

    Makes: 1 (20cm) layer cake

    • 225g butter or margarine
    • 400g caster sugar
    • 5 eggs, separated
    • 250g plain flour
    • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 225ml buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 75g desiccated coconut
    • 120g chopped pecans
    • 225g cream cheese
    • Icing
    • 110g butter
    • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 500g icing sugar
    • 120g chopped pecans
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:1hr25min 

    1. Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Grease and flour three 20cm round cake tins. Separate the eggs.
    2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the vanilla.
    3. Sift bicarb, flour and 4 tablespoons cocoa together. Add alternately with buttermilk to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in the coconut and 120g of the chopped pecans.
    4. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into the cake mixture. Pour evenly into the prepared cake tins.
    5. Bake at 170 C / Gas 3 for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cakes cool completely before icing.
    6. To Make Icing: Cream the cream cheese and butter together. Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa, beating in a little at a time until well-creamed. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 120g pecans.
    7. To assemble the cake, place the first layer on a cake platter or stand. Ice the top, then cover with the second layer. Ice the top as before, then cover with the final layer. Ice the top of the cake, then the sides. Decorate with additional pecans and chocolate shavings, if desired.

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    Reviews in English (76)


    After making some of the changes recommended by previous reviewers and adding some of my own, this absolutely gets 5 stars!! Definitely double cocoa in cake, also add a tsp or two of instant espresso (or coffee) to buttermilk. Add 2 or 3 squares of melted chocolate to frosting depending on your tastes (mmm...heaven). Process nuts and coconut until they're finely ground before adding to batter. Do not add pecans to frosting, rather press finely chopped pecans into the sides of frosted cake - looks bakery-quality and adds great texture. Decoratively pipe leftover frosting on top of cake and garnish with chocolate-covered expresso beans. This is a dessert to die for!!!  -  09 Oct 2003  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    The only difference between this recipe and the one I've used for years is the addition of the 1/4c cocoa powder in the cake and in the icing. What a wonderful variation. I really like how mild the chocolate flavor is...some reviewers said they added more, but I wouldn't change a thing. I also followed the hint about topping it off with almonds...such a beautiful presentation, I took a picture of it. I made this cake for my hubby's birthday and he couldn't get enough. Thanks a bunch!  -  19 Jul 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This is a very rich cake but it uses cocoa and not much of it, and so is not as chocolatey as I'd prefer--I figure that if I'm going to go off my diet it had better be for exactly what I'm craving! Anyway, I made it a second time with modifications: doubled the cocoa, dissolved a couple of teaspoons of instant coffee in the buttermilk before adding, and also melted three square of unsweetened baking chocolate to add to the frosting. Then it was perfect for my taste. The frosting amount is generous, and it makes a very lovely three-layer cake.  -  27 May 2000  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)