Gooey Pecan Cake




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3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 1/8 cup dark corn syrup

6 egg yolks

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/4 cups half-and-half

1/2 cup cornstarch

4 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


3 cups finely chopped pecans

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup shortening

2 cups sugar

5 large eggs, separated

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup dark corn syrup


~For Filling~

1. Mix cornstarch and half-and-half thoroughly; set aside.

2. Whisk together the first 4 ingredients in a heavy 3-quart saucepan.

3. Add half-and-half and cornstarch mixture, poured through a strainer.

4. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, and boil for 1 minute or until thickened.

5. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla.

6. Place a sheet of wax paper directly on surface of mixture to prevent a film from forming and chill at least 4 hours.

~For cake~

1. Sprinkle 2 cups pecans evenly into three 9-inch round cake pans generously coated with a flour cooking spray; shake to coat bottoms of pans.

2. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, and gradually add sugar, mixing well.

3. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

4. Combine flour and baking soda. Add to butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.

5. Stir in remaining 1 cup pecans.

6. Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form, and fold 1/3 egg whites into batter. Fold in remaining egg whites. (Do NOT over mix).

7. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick.

8. Cool in pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes, then invert onto the wire racks. Put wax paper down under the wire racks; brush the tops and sides of layers with corn syrup, and cool completely.

9. Spread between half and a third of pecan pie filling on one layer, pecan side up. Place second layer, pecan side up, on filling, and spread with remaining filling, leaving a good amount for tops and sides. Top with remaining layer, pecan side up, and cover the outside of the cake with remaining filling.


For Thanksgiving, make everything Wednesday (takes almost all day) and assemble Thursday. Filling could be made Tuesday if preferred.




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