Brown Butter Pecan Cake with Brown Butter Pear and Custard Filling

There is only one word for this cake. HEAVENLY!! If you haven’t tried a brown butter dessert, you NEED to make this now! Brown butter is probably one of the best flavors on this earth. This cake is so rich and decadent, with nutty hints of caramel. The pears and the custard filling add a nice light touch to it. This is the perfect fall dessert, and one of my favorite flavors.



Brown sugar pecans:

2 1/2 Cups Pecans
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Salted Butter
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon

Vanilla Cake:

3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste
5 Large Eggs
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
4 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Brown Sugar Pecans

Brown Butter Custard Ingredients:

9 egg yolks
1/2 cup + 1/8 cup sugar
1/4 cup +1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3.5 tbsp butter

Brown Butter Pears:

3 pears
3 tablespoons of butter
Can add brown sugar or vanilla if you want

Brown Butter Frosting:

3 sticks of butter
1 Package of cream cheese
1/4 Cup Shortening (Optional)
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar


  • For the brown sugar pecans: Cut up pecans. Mix melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon in a bowl. Pour it over the chopped pecans and mix it until it is well combined. Spread your pecans on a pan covered with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
  • For the vanilla cake: To make the cake beat together the softened butter and sugar until it is nice and fluffy. Add the sour cream and vanilla bean paste and mix it until well combined. Then beat in your eggs a couple at a time. In a separate bowl combine your dry ingredients. Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the milk, and mix between each addition. Fold in the brown sugar pecans. Divide the cake batter into two 8 in pans lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins.
  • For the brown butter custard: In a bowl whisk egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until its a nice thick paste. Beat it until it is pale yellow. Boil milk and vanilla bean paste. Slowly add it to your egg yolk mixture. Once it is fully combined add it back into your saucepan over low heat and mix it constantly until it becomes a thick custard. Make your brown butter by heating butter until it becomes amber in color. Add the brown butter slowly to your custard and mix well.
  • For the brown butter pears: Cut the peeled pears into small pieces. Melt your butter until it becomes browned butter. Add the pears into the pan until nice and tender and reduced.
  • For the brown butter frosting: Melt 3 stick of butter until it becomes browned butter. Refrigerate until it is firm. Make sure butter is at room temp, and then beat the butter. Add the room temperature cream cheese and beat until well combined. If you want, beat in the shortening and then add your vanilla. Lastly, beat in your powdered sugar until well combined.
  • To assemble: Use an 8 in cake board and spread a thin layer of frosting. Split your cakes into 4. Place your first layer of cake, and drizzle the pear syrup to keep the cake moist. Make a ring around the cake with your frosting, and then add your custard in the middle. Spread it evenly, and then add your pear filling. If you want you can even add some of the pecans you made. Top it with the next layer of cake and repeat until your cake is stacked. Frost your cake completely, and then press on some pecans at the bottom of the cake to create a border. Pipe swirls on top, and you’re done!