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This Pecan Pie Chiffon Cake is a light and fluffy cake made with eggs, pecans, and two types of sugar. It has all the flavors of a pecan pie without all the sweetness and heaviness.
I love pecan pie. That rich, gooey pecan filling is one of my favorite things to enjoy around the holidays. Unfortunately because of how rich it is I can usually only have a small piece.
I was on the hunt for something that had all the flavors of a pecan pie but was a little bit lighter in both flavor and sweetness. After eating a heavy holiday meal I usually don’t have much room left for dessert even though it’s one of my favorite parts of the holidays.
I found this recipe for Pecan Pie Chiffon Cake. Chiffon cakes are generally light and fluffy so I thought this would be a good compromise.
- eggs (large to extra large as these are how the cake gets it’s light and airy texture)
- granulated sugar
- brown sugar (I prefer light brown sugar but you can use dark)
- vegetable oil (you can use melted coconut oil if you prefer)
- vanilla extract (use a good quality one that’s just vanilla beans and alcohol if you can find it)
- milk (I use 2% but whole milk can be used as well)
- cake flour (if you don’t have cake flour see me instructions below on how to make your own)
- pecans (you can use whole pecans, pecan halves, or chopped pecans)
- baking powder
- sea salt
- butter (I prefer salted but you can use unsalted. If using salted omit the salt in the glaze)
- heavy cream (make sure you use heavy cream and not half and half or another product)
- corn syrup (I used light corn syrup but you can use dark if you have it)
This cake uses a lot of eggs. You’ll need to separate the eggs but you will end up using both the white and the yolk.
The whites are combined with the sugar and then are beat on high speed with a mixer until stiff peaks form. I love my Cuisinart Hand Mixer for mixes egg whites. You need to be careful when mixing these because you want stiff peaks but you don’t want the egg whites to be dry.
What is Chiffon Cake?
A chiffon cake is a light and airy cake with the fluffy texture of an angel food cake but the richness of a regular cake. This is because there are egg whites and egg yolks beaten into the mixture. Since the batter has oil and not butter it’s much easier to beat air into it for that light and airy texture.
How do you make cake flour?
Making your own cake flour is super easy. I never buy it at the store because I don’t use it often and it’s just two simple ingredients. You just need to measure 1 cup of all purpose flour. Scoop out two tablespoons of the flour and replace it with two tablespoons of cornstarch. It’s that easy! So for 2 cups you would measure 2 cups of flour, remove 4 tablespoons of the flour and add in 4 tablespoons of cornstarch.
How do I grind my pecans?
You can grind your pecans in a food processor to make your own pecan meal. Use the pulse button and pulse until the mixture is finely ground but do not over pulse as your pecans will begin to turn into pecan butter. We want the meal to be clumpy and just a bit moist but not creamy. You can also just buy pecan meal at the store if you don’t want to make your own.
How do you store this cake?
Store this cake in a covered cake dome, a cake carrier, or lightly cover with plastic wrap. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Once the egg whites are whipped you’ll make the rest of the cake batter. Then the egg whites are gently folded in to the batter. This is a gradual process and needs to be gentle in order to keep the air that is whipped into the whites. This helps give the chiffon cake it’s light and airy texture.
The cake is supposed to be baked in a tube pan, which many people call an angel food cake pan. I didn’t have one so I baked mine in a Bundt pan and that worked beautifully.
When the cake comes out of the oven try to cool it upside down over a bottle. I only did this for 20 minutes but it’s recommended to do it for an hour. This helps get even more air into the cake.
More Pecan Recipes:
- Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies
- Caramel Apple Pecan Cobbler
- Peach Pecan Bars
- Cranberry Biscotti with Pecans
- Pecan Spice Latte
My favorite part of this cake is the topping. It’s a mixture of butter and pecans that gets a caramel boost from heavy cream and brown sugar. This is where the pecan pie flavors really shine through.
Once the topping has thickened it gets poured all over the top and sides of the cake. It adds a richness to a light and airy cake.
So if you want the flavor of pecan pie but not the heaviness give this cake a try! You won’t be sorry you did!
If you’ve tried my Pecan Pie Chiffon Cake or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:
For the cake:
- 6 eggs
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
- 1/3 c. vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1/3 c. milk
- 1 1/2 c. cake flour
- 3/4 c. pecans, finely ground
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the topping:
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
- 1 c. pecans, finely chopped
- 2/3 c. packed brown sugar
- 2/3 c. heavy cream
- 1/3 c. corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a Bundt pan or tube pan with baking spray or butter and flour the pan.
- Separate your eggs putting the whites in a large mixing bowls and the yolks in another bowl.
- Beat the egg whites with a mixer on medium speed until thick, about 2 minutes.
- Add in half a cup of sugar and beat on medium high speed until the wgg whites are glossy and stiff, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
- In another large bowl combine the egg yolks, brown sugar, and the remaining granulated sugar. Mix until well combined. Beat in the vegetable oil and vanilla.
- Add in the milk and mix until well combined.
- Add the flour, ground pecans, baking powder, and salt and mix until combined.
- Add half of the egg whites to the batter and gently fold in with a spatula until just combined. Add the remaining egg whites and fold until combined and no white streak remaing. Pour into the prepare Bundt or tube pan.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden and sprins back when touched. Remove from over and turn the cake upside down over a bottle (or just upside down, in the pan, on your wire cooling rack.)
- Cool completely then run a knife around the edges and turn onto a serving plate.
- To make the topping melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted add the pecans and cook, stirring frequently, until light toasted. This will take 2-4 minutes.
- Add in the brown sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup, and salt and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to cool for 20 minutes so it's pourable but thick. Pour over top of the cooled cake. Wait 5-10 minutes then take any pecan pieces that fell off the cake and put them back on top.
This recipe from Food Network Magazine, November 2021.
Perfect Pecan Recipes
- Blackberry Basil Balsamic Brie with Sweetened Pecans from Jen Around the World
- Coconut Pecan Cookies from The Spiffy Cookie
- Green Cabbage, Apple, Fennel, Watercress, and Pecan Salad from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Maple Pecan Tassies from That Recipe
- Pecan Pie Chiffon Cake from Hezzi-D’s Recipe Box
- Pecan Tart from Art of Natural Living