Recipe: Caramel Pecan Upside-down Cake

Recipe: Caramel Pecan Upside-down Cake
An unforgettable holiday dessert oozing with goodness. (Southern Bite)
Let this holiday dessert bring out the best in you. (Southern Bite)

Last year, I introduced y’all to my friends at Sunnyland Farms in south Georgia when I shared my Easy Caramel Pecan Cheesecake.
Sunnyland is an amazing pecan farm owned by the sweetest family you’ll ever have the chance to meet. They offer a huge variety of pecans, pecans pieces and pecan meal (among a host of other nuts). And there’s the amazing list of cakes and candies they make.

From Rum Crunch Cakes to traditional fruit cakes to pralines to brittles, bark and chocolate covered every-things, they’ve got it all covered. Sunnyland is a great place to get gifts for all the folks on your holiday list.

Let’s get to this gooey deliciousness known as my Caramel Pecan Upside-down Cake.

My friends sent me a variety of pecans to get in the kitchen and create with. This cake was the result.

Y’all, this thing is absolutely amazing.  It is decadent enough to make it ideal for any holiday but it’s also the perfect way to add something special to a random Thursday, being it’s so easy to make. It’s perfect on both occasions. Seriously.

I’ve shared my Pineapple Upside-down Cake and my Caramel Apple Upside-down Cake with y’all before but, honestly, I think this is my favorite. That’s saying a lot, because I love that pineapple version.

The pecans get toasted to perfection and drip in the decadent caramel sauce. It’s all perched on a tender, flavorful yellow cake that no one will ever suspect started with a box mix. It’s about as close to perfection as I could imagine.

Spoil yourself with a dreamy cake filled with caramel sauce and pecans. (Southern Bite)

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Pecans can be a luxury. For the recipe I call for chopped pecans. I used these Large Pecan Pieces from Sunnyland. They’re more affordable, make the cake easier to cut, and they look beautiful. There’s no reason to buy full halves and then chop them up. Save a little money. Every little bit counts, right?
  • Make sure to use a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet to keep the cake from sticking. Sometimes I’ll even wipe the inside of the skillet with a little oil and a paper towel as a little insurance policy – just to be safe.
  • No cast-iron skillet? A 10-inch, super deep dish pie plate or even a 2-quart casserole dish will work. Simply cook the caramel and pecan mixture in another skillet on the stove top, pour the mixture into a greased dish and then add the cake batter. Just make sure to pick something appropriately sized to hold all of the batter and bake without overflowing.

Y’all are gonna love this one. I just know it.


A dessert that is almost too beautiful to eat. (Southern Bite)

Caramel Pecan Upside-down Cake

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Total time: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Serves 8


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box butter-flavored cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup water


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Heat a well-seasoned 10.25-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and pecans.
  4. Cook, stirring frequently, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. Melt the remaining 1/2 cup of butter.
  7. Add it to a large bowl with the cake mix, eggs and water.
  8. Beat for about 2 minutes to combine.
  9. Pour the mixture evenly over the caramel sauce and pecans in the skillet.
  10. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake is set or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (If you’re unsure about your skillet size, it might be a good idea to place the skillet on a rimmed baking sheet or pizza pan to catch any drips that might run over in the oven.)
  11. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes, then place a large plate or platter over the skillet and carefully flip it over to turn the cake out onto the plate. (A dish towel works great to assist in this as the pan may still be hot.)
  12. Scoop any pecans and sauce remaining in the skillet over the cake.
  13. Serve warm.

 This recipe originally appeared on For more great recipes, visit the website or check out ”The Southern Bite Cookbook.”

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