Pecan Cornmeal Brown Butter Cake (Butter Pecan Cake)

After reading smitten kitchen‘s blog about this cake I had. to. make. it.  The original recipe is found here but I made a few tweaks on my own (didn’t have any powdered sugar left).  You will NOT regret this.  This cake is so nutty and buttery with a fantastic hearty texture from the cornmeal.  The plan was to bring this cake in for a mid morning treat during my meeting but it’s that good so it stayed at home with me…  As a side note, the warm cake on day 1 is so much better than room temp cake on day 3 so be generous when eating and sharing on day .  I’ve now made this cake three times and I still love it every time!

Pecan Cornmeal Butter Cake
Serves 8
Total Time: 4 hours  (*There’s a 3-hour wait built into this recipe to soften up the cornmeal*)

• 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for pans (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon)
• 1/2 cup pecans, crushed or finely chopped
• ½ cup granulated sugar plus 3 tbsp
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 7 tablespoons yellow cornmeal (1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp)
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 4 egg whites
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small pan, cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it turns golden brown and smells nutty (about 4-6 minutes). Set aside to cool.  Wipe the pan out with a paper towel and toast the pecans for 2-3 minutes until they smell toasty and nutty.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the crushed pecans, sugar, flour, baking powder, cornmeal and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites and vanilla together, just to combine.  Add the browned butter into the dry ingredients along with the egg mixture.  Refrigerate batter at least three hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 310 degrees F. Line 9-inch round or fluted cake or pie pan with a circle of parchment paper to cover the bottom.  Spray with nonstick cooking spray (or butter heavily, add 2 tablespoons of flour, shake to evenly coat, and discard excess flour).  Pour batter into the coated pan evenly.  Bake until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 28-32 minutes.  Cool 10 to 15 minutes in pan before slicing and serving.  You can invert the cake onto a plate like smitten kitchen did as well.

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