This Pecan Upside Down Marble Cake takes your classic marble cake to the absolute next level without much effort! The tender, moist and light cake with layers of vanilla and chocolate topped off with a crunchy, caramelized pecan topping will have you reaching back for more and more.
WHY I LOVE THIS CAKE
I think you will love this recipe because...
- It is DELICIOUS. This is one of those cakes which tastes WAY better than it sounds - seriously, everyone who taste tested this for me was "pleasantly surprised" and couldn't believe how much they loved it. I personally would take this over pecan pie any day!
- It is EASY. It might look complicated, but it is very straightforward. You don't even need a mixer
- It is QUICK. This cake takes only 15-20 minutes of active time, and comes together in just over an hour. If that's not quick, I'm not sure what is!
- So if you're on the search for a yummy dessert for your tea parties, look no further.
I recommend using a good quality nonstick pan for this cake, as the caramel pecan topping can be quite sticky. I used my beautiful 9" cake pan from Caraway, and highly recommend it! Caraway is offering a 10% off sitewide discount for you guys for a limited time - use this link and the discount will be applied automatically in your cart (note: I am an affiliate with Caraway).
Here's what you will need to make this cake (exact quantities are listed in the recipe card below):
- Brown sugar
- Corn syrup or honey
- Unsalted butter
- Cinnamon - this is optional, if you don't like the flavor of cinnamon, simply skip it
- Pecan pieces and halves - you can use just halves or pieces, but I like a mixture of the two for the best texture! Make sure you toast your pecans before using them, otherwise they will have a raw flavor and texture
- Unsalted butter
- Cake flour - if you don't have cake flour, you can make it yourself with all purpose flour and cornstarch
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Sour cream - if you don't have access to sour cream, I suggest making your own! Read the FAQ below for the recipe
- Cocoa powder - you can use either natural cocoa powder (100% unsweetened) or Dutch processed cocoa powder, both will work great
HOW TO MAKE THIS PECAN UPSIDE DOWN MARBLE CAKE
Let's walk through the steps now, shall we? First, check out this video:
1. Make the caramel pecan topping
Before starting, pre-heat your oven to 350F and line a 9" cake pan with butter and parchment paper.
Place the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup / honey, salt, and cinnamon in a nonstick saucepan. Stir and cook on low heat for a few minutes until the butter melts and a caramel colored sauce is formed (you don't actually need to form caramel or cook this down, as it will cook further during baking).
Remove from the heat and add the toasted pecan pieces and halves (I toast mine by placing them in the oven at 350F for 5 minutes until fragrant). Stir to combine.
Pour the caramel pecan topping into the cake pan, and spread it evenly on the bottom.
Now, here's a little trick! When adding cake batter on top of the pecan topping, it can easily slide up the sides of the cake pan instead of staying on the bottom (this happened to me, too). I personally think it makes for a unique look, but if you want the pecans to stay on the bottom, place the cake pan in the freezer while you prepare the cake batter. This way, when you pour the cake batter, the pecan topping will be a bit more set and less likely to move around.
2. Prepare the cake batter
Now let's make the cake batter! Add the sugar, melted butter, oil and vanilla to a bowl and whisk for 2 minutes (you can do this by hand). Add the eggs and egg white, and whisk again for 1-2 minutes until the mixture looks aerated.
Next, sift in all the dry ingredients, and gently fold with a spatula until just combined. This will be a thick batter. Lastly, add the sour cream and fold it in gently. This will lighten the batter a bit more and make it easier to move around.
3. Assemble the cake
Now for the fun part! Divide the cake batter between two bowls (you can eyeball this), and sift cocoa powder into one of them. Fold until combined.
Remove the cake pan with the pecan filling from the freezer. Add one large scoop of the vanilla cake batter in the center of the pan. Then add a large scoop of the chocolate batter right on top. You can use a large spoon or a cookie scoop. Keep repeating until the entire batter is used up. Then, if you want, you can take a skewer and lightly run it through the cake to create more striation.
3 tips as you assemble a marble cake:
- Place the batter into the pan gently, so you don't move everything around (including the pecan filling)
- Try not to make the quantities so small that the layers become hard to see!
- If running a skewer through at the end, don't mix too much as that will also mix up the batters and reduce the contrast. Personally, I skip the skewer altogether and go for a 'zebra' striped effect
4. Bake and serve!
Bake the cake for 30 minutes at 350F and then turn down the temperature to 330F and bake for another ~15 or so minutes until the cake is done baking.
Let the cake cool for 20 minutes in the pan before carefully turning it out onto your serving stand. And then it's time to enjoy!!!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Instead of substituting sour cream, I recommend making it yourself if you don't have access to it. You have to prepare it 12-24 hours in advance. Mix 1 cup heavy cream, ¼ cup milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar in an airtight container or mason jar. Cover and rest at room temperature overnight or up to 1 day. Then mix again, and your sour cream is ready! Excess can be stored in the fridge.
Yes! Just skip the pecan topping, and follow the remaining recipe as it is.
This cake will also be great with walnuts if you don't have pecans.
This can happen if your pan is very nonstick and you move the batter around while pouring it. To prevent this from happening, freeze the pecan filling in the cake pan while you prepare the cake batter.
You can store this cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for 5-7 days.
Also, don't forget to leave your rating and review below!Print