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Butter pecan pound cake on a white cake stand, with bourbon icing being poured on top.

High Altitude Butter Pecan Pound Cake with Bourbon Icing

Heather Smoke
Moist and fluffy butter pecan pound cake, drizzled with brown butter bourbon icing, chopped pecans and flaky salt.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • Bundt Pan (12 cup capacity)
  • Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment



  • 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • ½ cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • cup whole milk
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream


  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp good-quality bourbon, whiskey or dark spiced rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tsp milk, cream or half and half
  • 2 tbsp pecans, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp flaky finishing salt, such as Maldon



  • Preheat the oven to 350 F, and position a rack in the center of the oven. Thoroughly grease a standard-sized bundt pan (with a 12 cup capacity) with non-stick baking spray.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar for 5 minutes on medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally, until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating each for 15 seconds before adding the next, then add the vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Separately, whisk together the milk and sour cream.
  • With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the liquid ingredients, starting and ending with the dry. Stop mixing as soon as the flour is mostly incorporated, then use a spatula to finish folding the batter together. The batter will be fairly thick.
  • Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for about 45-55 minutes, until the top is golden brown, the edges are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it over onto a cooling rack. Remove the pan and let the cake cool for about an hour.


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook the butter, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter starts to foam, and fragrant, nutty brown solids form at the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the brown butter, corn syrup, bourbon, vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth. If some of the butter seems separated from the other ingredients, whisk in 1-2 teaspoons of milk, cream or half and half until it smooths out and comes together.
  • Let the icing cool for a few minutes, stirring it frequently, until it's thickened up a little, but is still pourable.
  • Place the cake on a plate or cake stand, and pour the icing over the cake. Before the icing sets, sprinkle the top with the chopped pecans and salt.
  • The icing will set and crust over in about 15-30 minutes. You can serve the cake warm, or at room temperature.


Let the cake cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Keyword bourbon, Brown Butter, Bundt Cake, Butter Pecan, Pound Cake
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