just nuts about this cake…

I made this cake for my daughter to take to work and since it was such a hit, I thought I’d share it here. It’s a delightful blend of pecan and coconut flavors, with a hint of caramel for sweetness.






Yields one 6-inch cake

Caramel Coconut-Pecan Cake Ingredients

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup Caramel Syrup (recipe to follow)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Caramel Syrup Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water, plus 1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

Salted Caramel Frosting Ingredients

2 sticks (1 cup) room temperature butter

1 brick (8-ounces) room temperature cream cheese

1/2 cup salted caramel (homemade or store bought, if you cannot find salted caramel, add about a teaspoon of sea salt)

3-4 cups powdered sugar

Assembly Ingredients

2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup unsweetened shaved coconut, toasted






  1. Prepare the caramel syrup and set aside to cool to room temperature before moving on to next step.
  2. Set oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350℉. Butter two 6-by-2-inch round cake pans and set aside.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. On medium-low speed, slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition Add vanilla until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. With mixer running on low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with coconut milk (in 2 additions), beginning and ending with dry ingredients, and beating in each addition until barely combined. Remove bowl from stand mixer.
  7. Fold in pecans by hand with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl.
  8. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans; spread batter to edges of pans with rubber spatula and smooth surfaces.
  9. Place cake pans on 1/2 sheet pan and bake about 20 minutes, then rotate pans.  Continue baking until a toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about another 20-25 minutes.
  10. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto wire rack.
  11. Cool cakes completely, about 1 hour before frosting

Caramel Syrup Instructions

  1. Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in a stainless steel saucepan, stirring until the mixture feels like wet sand.
  2. Set pan over medium heat and cook until amber color, about 20 minutes. Brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush if necessary to prevent crystallization.
  3. Remove the pan from heat and slowly pour in one cup of water. The caramel will sputter.
  4. Stir until the sputtering subsides, then add the salt and stir to combine.
  5.  Pour into a heat proof bowl and let cool completely.

Note: you will make more caramel syrup than is needed for the recipe, but it is difficult to make a smaller batch.

Frosting Instructions

  1. Cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. (The whisk attachment on a KitchenAid stand mixer does the job quite effectively!)
  2. Pour in the salted caramel and beat until well combined.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed and slowly add the powdered sugar, about ½ cup at a time, until it is wholly incorporated.
  4. Increase the mixer speed and beat for a few minutes more until really light and fluffy.







  1. Trim each cake horizontally to level off the surface, if needed.
  2. Place a dollop of frosting in the center of your cake plate, then surround with strips of waxed paper to keep plate edges clean while decorating.
  3. Anchor bottom layer of cake to frosting dollop, then top with about 3/4 cup icing, spreading evenly to edges.
  4. Top with 2nd layer (upside down for flat surface) and spread remaining icing evenly over the top and sides of cake.
  5. Sprinkle toasted pecans evenly on the side of cake, pressing lightly to adhere.
  6. Sprinkle unsweetened coconut on top, then gently remove waxed paper strips from beneath the cake
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2 Responses to just nuts about this cake…

  1. All the flavors I love – beautiful!

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