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Toasted Pecan Bundt Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Glaze

slice of Toasted Pecan Bundt Cake on a white plate

Some of my favorite ways to make baked goods even better are very simple things. Perhaps my favorite little something extra is toasting nuts. It’s amazing what a little oven time can do to enhance the flavor of nuts. And it’s such a quick and easy step!

Toasting nuts is certainly a worthwhile endeavor even when nuts aren’t the primary flavor. But this Toasted Pecan Bundt Cake puts them center stage and really lets you savor their amazing, toasty flavor. If you’re a fan of nutty desserts, then you’re about to be in dessert heaven!

Toasted Pecan Bundt Cake on a green and white plate

Before we delve into the cake itself, I’ll share a couple of tips for toasting pecans. Spread the pecans out on the baking pan as much as possible. Having a single layer will help them toast faster and more evenly. And keep in mind that toasted pecans can turn into burned pecans fairly quickly. Don’t stray too far while they’re toasting, and use your nose. You’ll likely smell that toastiness and know when they’re ready.

The cake itself is a straightforward plain Bundt cake. The sugar scale is tipped in favor of brown sugar for its caramel-like flavor that complements all those nuts. Enhancing the flavor of all those pecans even more is a bit of bourbon. (Don’t fret if you’re feeding an under-21 crowd. You can omit if you like.)

overhead view of a slice of Toasted Pecan Bundt Cake on a white plate

For the glaze, I started with a basic cream cheese glaze that I’ve made many times and gave it a very simple caramel twist that’s the perfect complement to all those pecans in the cake. Just a little bit of store-bought caramel sauce adds such amazing flavor. I almost always have a jar of caramel sauce in my refrigerator, but you can certainly go the homemade route if you have a recipe you love. Either way, be sure you’re using a thick sauce as opposed to a thinner syrup.

This amazingly flavorful cake is an absolute must for pecan lovers. I can’t get enough of it! It’s definitely worthy of a special occasion or even just because. I know I wouldn’t turn it down at any time!

Find more Bundt cake recipes in the Recipe Index.

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Toasted Pecan Bundt Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Glaze

Yield 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour

Toasty nuts, lots of brown sugar, and a sweet glaze combine to make this fantastic Toasted Pecan Bundt Cake. A must for pecan lovers!

Toasty nuts, lots of brown sugar, and a sweet glaze combine to make this fantastic Toasted Pecan Bundt Cake. A must for pecan lovers! - Bake or Break


For the cake:

  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 & 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk

For the glaze:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons caramel sauce
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place the pecans on the lining in a single layer.
  3. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the pecans are toasted and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  5. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the bourbon and vanilla.
  6. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three portions, alternating with two portions of milk. Mix just until combined.
  7. Set aside about 1/4 cup toasted pecans for garnish. Stir the remaining pecans into the cake batter.
  8. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared Bundt pan, spreading evenly. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes. Then flip the cake onto a serving plate to cool completely.

To make the glaze:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and caramel until thoroughly combined and smooth.
  2. Add the confectioners' sugar, and mix until smooth.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and mix well. Add more milk, a small amount at a time, if needed to attain the desired consistency. The glaze should be thick but pourable.
  4. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake. Sprinkle the reserved pecans over the top of the glaze.


If you won't be serving this cake within the first day it's made, I recommend refrigerating the cake. Then let it sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving.

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Toasted Pecan Bundt Cake

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    29 Comments on “Toasted Pecan Bundt Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Glaze”

  1. Oh my gosh! I cannot wait to give this a try. I made your butter pecan cheesecake and it was unbelievable.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Jennifer,

    I followed your recipe as directed. Your tips were helpful. In the end, we found the cake to be dry and dense. Any suggestions for making it moister?

    Otherwise, it was very tasty, and very presentable for Thanksgiving. Thank you.

    • It is on the dense side, but it shouldn’t be dry. If you measured your flour by scooping into the container, there might have been too much flour in the cake. Otherwise, a bit more milk would likely do the trick.

  3. Hi! Anxious to try this recipe 🙂 Although, what would you recommend to substitute the alcohol with?

  4. Hi, I enjoy your recipes. I have a question about this one … what can I use to replace the 2 tablespoons bourbon? Thank you for your help.

  5. Could you add a couple mashed ripe bananas to this recipe? 

  6. Have you tried replacing milk with greek yogurt? I am wondering if i would be able to do that-and if so how the cake would turn out.


    • Hi, Kristine. I haven’t tried that substitution. It’s a bit thick, so you might need to thin it with a little water first. It’s also more acidic than milk, so you may not get the same result without replacing some of the baking powder with baking soda. Overall, I don’t think the flavor would be affected much, but the texture definitely will.

  7. If I make this cake on Sunday will it be ok to serve on Christmas after dinner ? I would put it in the fridge?

  8. Excellent! Because someone had mentioned that they thought the cake dry & dense, I pre-sifted the flour. I was also using extra large eggs, so I omitted one egg white (which also can add to dryness). I also added 1/2 Tbsp bourbon to the icing. A fabulous cake, thank you!

  9. Hello. The recipe doesn’t say how the first pecans were put in batter.  Was it stirred in? Mixed in? Help.
    I want to try recipe please

  10. I sorry.  I see it.  Read too fast

  11. Would using buttermilk instead of milk make it more moist??

    • Hi, Kathryn. Buttermilk might bake the crumb softer, but I don’t think it would really affect the moisture. I’ve not tried buttermilk in this recipe, but you’ll likely need to decrease the baking powder and add some baking soda to take make it work optimally.

  12. Hi! Would I need to alter ingredients or baking temp/time to make mini Bundt cakes in this flavor? 


    • Hi, Arielle! I’ve not tried that with this recipe, but I would try reducing the temperature to 325°F (especially if your pan is dark) and check for doneness after 20-25 minutes.

  13. How can we make it eggfreel

  14. Is the caramel sauce a salted one or non-salted? I’m going to bake this for Thanksgiving since no one in our family cares for the obligatory pumpkin pie. Bye pie! 🤣

  15. Since I have come to this page again, as I have many times since you posted it. I thought I would take a moment to tell you how much my family loves this recipe. I exist in a family of foodies, but where they all love to cook, I am the only real baker in the family. And since I am the only one with a real sweet tooth, I struggle to find desserts that we can all really enjoy, I found this recipe after I was looking for bundt cake recipes after my sister in law bought me a beautiful nordicware bundt pan by just googling it. .

    This cake is not too sweet and goes fantastic with a cup of coffee. Usually I have to tweak recipes a bit after I try them, to fit them to my family’s tastes, but not this one at all. This was a goldilock find, in that it was JUST RIGHT!” Anyway, I’m off to bake this now for our Boxing Day Luncheon tomorrow. I don’t know if you celebrate, but Merry Christmas if you do, and if you don’t, well Happy Holiday and I hope you and yours have a fantastic new year.

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