OK, so I realized I have a lot of recipes that start with a boxed cake. I’m basically the Sandra Lee of amateur cooking blogs. I should start ending each post with a cocktail recipe and I’d be set. I did bake this cake while drinking beer so that has to count for something, right? Anyhoo, semi-homemade or not, this cake is amazing!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is absolutely no shame in baking with a boxed cake mix. Just a few tweaks, change the ingredients a bit and you can easily make it taste like homemade. That’s what I did with this cake. And I added some toasted pecans to make it extra special.
Also, I finally overcame my fear of making homemade frosting. I’m not sure why but I always used to mess up frosting. I tried it a few times and could never get the consistency right so it always intimidated me. I would always start adding liquid right away and it would become too watery. I discovered that there really is no need for liquid at all. If you’ve never made your own buttercream frosting before, follow the recipe below exactly and you will be fine. It’s the perfect consistency for frosting a cake. If you do want your frosting to be a little less thick, then you can add some milk but do it very slowly. Once all the ingredients are combined, start by SLOWLY adding 1 tablespoon of milk at a time.
Vanilla Pecan Cake
1 vanilla cake mix
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup pecans chopped, extra pecans for garnishing
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans.
2. In a small pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is melted add the chopped pecans. Cook over medium heat for four minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in the microwave.
4. In a large bowl mix together the cake mix, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and melted butter. Once the ingredients are combined and there are no clumps, add the chopped pecans.
5. Combine pecans with batter. Then divide the batter evenly between the two pans.
6. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes.
7. Once cakes are cooled, remove from pans and decorate with buttercream frosting. Garnish the top of the cake with whole pecans. Enjoy!
2 sticks of butter, softened
3 cups confectioner sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Using a handheld mixture, combine the butter and confectioner. Mix together until they are fully combined and you have a thick frosting.
2. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.