Powdered Sugar Pound Cake with Pecans

by Dorothy Reinhold on December 3, 2019

Print This Post Print This Post Powdered Sugar Pound Cake with Pecans: With its fine crumb and almost candy-like pecan-studded shell, this is pound cake gone fancy.

Powdered Sugar Pound Cake with Pecans: With its fine crumb and almost candy-like pecan-studded shell, this is pound cake gone fancy.

You can never have too many recipes for great Bundt cakes, and this one proves that rule.

Listed as one of Sunset Magazine’s all-time favorite test kitchen recipes (Jan. 2014 issue), this Powdered Sugar Pound Cake with Pecans really delivers. It is deceptively simple, like most pound cakes – with butter, sugar and eggs as the backbone, and cake flour used to make a more tender crumb.

Since the predominant flavor is vanilla, I used the best I could find – Heilala Vanilla Extract from New Zealand, and I doubled it. I chose chopped pecans instead of almonds for the nuts because I think they cut better in a slice of cake.

What emerged from the oven was a wonder – sweet, fragrant, meltingly tender – and the perfect cap to Christmas dinner. They called it a “seemingly humble but extraordinary dessert.”

Powdered Sugar Pound Cake with Pecans | www.ShockinglyDelicious.comI’m going to pull this recipe out all year long. Sunset’s editors say they make it for every staff party. I can see why!

Powdered Sugar Pound Cake with Pecans

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: Serves 16

Powdered Sugar Pound Cake with Pecans

Powdered Sugar Pound Cake with Pecans: With its fine crumb and almost candy-like pecan-studded shell, this is pound cake gone fancy.


  • 3/4 pound (1 1/2 cups) butter (I used unsalted butter and added ½ teaspoon salt to the recipe)
  • 1 pound (3 1/2 cups) powdered sugar, sifted or fluffed up
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used 2 teaspoons Heilala Vanilla Extract)
  • 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (I used 1/3 cup chopped pecans)


  1. Heat oven to 300°F degrees. Beat butter in a large bowl with a mixer until creamy. Slowly add powdered sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat flour into creamed mixture.
  2. Heavily butter and flour a 10-in. (12-cup) plain or decorative tube pan (I sprayed it with Baker’s Joy); add pecans (or almonds), then tilt pan to coat inside with nuts. Scrape batter into pan and smooth top.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 90 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes (I recommend 10-15 minutes), then run a knife around inside edges of tube to loosen cake. Turn out onto rack and let cool at least 1 hour. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature, cut into thin slices.
  4. Make ahead: Up to 2 days, airtight at room temperature.
  5. Yield: Serves 16 (serving size: 1 slice)


Recipe source: Adapted lightly from Sunset Magazine. Original recipe by a reader known only as G.L. from Bremerton, Washington, who gave it to them in 1963. They serve it frequently at staff parties.


Bundt cakes I have baked on Shockingly Delicious

Powdered Sugar Pound Cake with Pecans
Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake with Maple Glaze
Fudgy Chocolate Bundt Cake with Coffee Glaze {Passover Friendly}
Banana Butterfinger Bundt Cake
Quadruple Chocolate Bundt Cake
Soaked and Glazed Lemon Cake
Eggnog Rum Pound Cake
Nutmeg Bundt Cake
Zucchini Cookie Butter Bundt Cake
Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Bundt Cake

Powdered Sugar Pound Cake with Pecans | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com

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Powdered Sugar Pound Cake with Pecans Recipe on ShockinglyDelicious.com

Disclosure: Heilala sent the vanilla for recipe development. 

This was originally published Jan.6, 2014 and has been refreshed and improved for today.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert December 5, 2019 at 12:23 am

This Powdered Sugar Pound Cake with Pecans would be a huge hit in my house!


Kimberly December 4, 2019 at 9:00 pm

This will be so perfect with a mug of hot chocolate, I look forward to trying it!


Terri Steffes December 4, 2019 at 6:25 pm

This is the cake my mom would love. She likes the simple but delicious cakes without a lot of icing.


Dorothy Reinhold December 4, 2019 at 8:51 pm

Then you’re right. This is FOR HER!


Hezzi-D December 4, 2019 at 6:21 pm

Oh I love anything with pecans in it and this cake sounds amazing!


Amanda December 4, 2019 at 5:08 pm

I will definitely be making this for Christmas this year!


Laura February 3, 2014 at 10:01 pm

I think a really good vanilla bundt is pretty much the pinnacle. This looks wonderful!


Dorothy Reinhold February 4, 2014 at 7:19 am

I agree with you! If I had only one cake to take to a desert island, it would be this one.


Linda January 20, 2014 at 2:39 am

I love making Bundt cakes. This one looks really good. I’ll have to make it this weekend.


Dorothy Reinhold January 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Let me know how you like it!


sippitysup January 17, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Weird. I made that cake this week too! I guess out Sunset magazine must arrive about the same time. GREG


Dorothy Reinhold January 17, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Did you make it as is, or did you tinker?


Veronica McLaughlin Gantley January 17, 2014 at 6:21 am

Anything pound cake I love. Your bundt looks fabulous!


The Ninja Baker January 17, 2014 at 3:28 am

Gorgeous, Dorothy! I can see why it’s one of Sunset’s all-time faves =)


Michael Alexander January 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Looks scrumptious!


Anne@FromMySweetHeart January 16, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Oh Dorothy, this is such a pretty cake! I have found some amazing recipes from Sunset magazine. Somehow, this one got past me! I’m a vanilla freak, too, so I will have to try the vanilla you used here….I’ve not heard of it before! This cake really did turn out picture perfect! : )


Dorothy Reinhold January 16, 2014 at 9:10 pm

If you are a vanilla fan, you will have to try this one. I’ve written about it a bunch of times, and it is super premium and worth it!


Felice/All That's Left Are The Crumbs January 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm

I love everything about this cake, especially that you doubled the vanilla. It is easy to see why this is a popular cake and I’m looking forward to making it soon.


Dorothy Reinhold January 16, 2014 at 12:40 pm

When in doubt, ALWAYS double the vanilla!


Bakingyummies January 16, 2014 at 9:08 am

I love pound cakes and when they are in a bundt form, I understand why you want to keep making them. Also, the recipe is so simple! and your cake looks absolutely beautiful!


julie January 16, 2014 at 9:05 am

Dorothy – how could this be turned into a rum cake?


Dorothy Reinhold January 16, 2014 at 11:18 am

You can put rum flavoring in it, and then do a soak-in rum glaze after it is baked. Look at the rum cake in the Bundt Bakers list above here and you’ll see a classic rum cake and you can use that glaze.


Julie January 16, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Thanks Dorothy. Will try both ways. Have been trying to find a good cake (that is not a box) for the rum cake glaze. This might be the one.


Dorothy Reinhold January 16, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Ah, I see where you’re going with that. Tell me how it works!


Tara January 16, 2014 at 9:00 am

Such a pretty, pretty bundt cake. So amazed with the powdered sugar, it would make such a light cake!! It would be amazing with fresh fruit!!


Dorothy Reinhold January 16, 2014 at 11:18 am

A slice of this piled high with fresh berries or fresh peaches. Oh my.


Kelster January 16, 2014 at 7:35 am

Oh wow. This sounds amazing. I will definitely make this soon.


Liz January 16, 2014 at 7:26 am

I love this recipe. Thank you Dorothy and Happy Thursday.


Renee January 16, 2014 at 5:18 am

I seriously need to bake this cake just to see how it is with a pound of powdered sugar in it. I can only think of how it must boost the light texture along with cake flour. Wow. Love it. And great choice using pecans instead of almonds. I’m with you on that too.


Dorothy Reinhold January 16, 2014 at 5:58 am

Imagine how wonderful this would be in summer with some fresh peaches on top!


Stacy January 16, 2014 at 4:16 am

Candy-like pecan studded shell?! On a buttery pound cake, that must be divine, Dorothy! So glad we decided to keep baking Bundts together. I would have hated to miss this one!


Dorothy Reinhold January 16, 2014 at 5:57 am

You HAVE to make this. Seriously, of the thousands of cakes I have baked in my life, this ranks right up at the top.


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