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Old Fashioned Pecan Pudding Cake

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Old fashioned pecan pudding cake is a cross between a crustless pecan pie and a cake. It is a classic recipe from the 1930s that is quick and easy to make.

Bite of pecan pudding cake on fork showing dense texture of the cake layer topped with pecans and a crackly top.

If you love pecan desserts, and want to try something a little bit different, you are in the right place. This vintage recipe features a rich cake topped with pecans in a crackly topping.

The original clipping for this 1930s dessert called the recipe pecan pudding. It was supposed to have a cake like top and a pudding like center.

Ingredients including pecan, flour, eggs, sugar, corn syrup, butter, cream of tartar, and vanilla ready to be made into pecan pudding cake.

That description makes me think of a dump cake or lava cake, but the texture it actually made was different. To account for the cakier texture, I opted to call it a pudding cake.

That way we could keep some of the vintage flare but also describe better what you will end up with. Some of that difference may be accounted for because the baking instructions were a bit different than normal.

The recipe stated a “gas on time” of 5 minutes. Meaning you put the pan in the oven for 5 minutes and then turn the gas off.

The instructions didn’t specify how long to leave it in after that, so I opted for the conventional baking instructions where you bake the pudding at 375F for the whole bake time. I would guess baking it on retained heat would results in a more pudding like consistency.

Either way, this dessert was really simple to put together and really delicious. The cake is dense, but in a good way.

That texture is what gives it its pudding name. And it is a nice foil to the crunchy pecans.

Serving Your Pecan Pudding

The original recipe suggested serving it with whipped cream and that would be delicious. It would also be wonderful with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

If you really want to go whole hog, add a scoop of ice cream. Or have the ice cream and caramel sauce.

I liked it warm and plain. Though a dusting of powdered sugar would also dress it up a bit.

I used an 8-inch square baking dish and it made a nice, thin cake. For a thicker cake with more of a dense pudding layer inside, try baking it in a loaf pan.

You could also use an 8-inch cast iron skillet if you want to play up the rustic nature of the dessert. Or if you are baking for a crowd you could double the recipe and bake it in a 9×13-inch pan.

More Great Pecan Desserts

Another great old fashioned pecan recipe is stupid pie. It’s a crustless pie that is also known as pecan delight or angel pecan pie.

If you like pecan recipes that are a little bit cakey and a little bit gooey, caramel pecan dream bars are for you. They have a simple crust made from a cake mix topped with a lovely filling of condensed milk, toffee bits, and pecans.

Stacked pieces of pecan pudding cake showing dense center and pecans on top.

For an extra decadent treat, make a caramel pecan cheesecake. There are layers of caramel and pecan both above and below the creamy cheesecake.

If vintage snack cakes are you style, try making a old fashioned fruit cocktail cake. It is another super simple recipe that I usually make without pecans, but it is also great with.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Bite of pecan pudding cake on fork showing dense texture of the cake layer topped with pecans and a crackly top.

Pecan Pudding Cake

Servings: 9 Servings
Author: Carlee
Old fashioned pecan pudding cake is a cross between a crustless pecan pie and a cake. It is a classic recipe from the 1930s that is quick and easy to make.
4.69 from 16 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
Makes: 8 x 8inch rectangle


  • Preheat oven to 375°F and grease an 8×8-inch pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until they are lemon colored.
    3 large eggs
  • Add the corn syrup, sugar, vanilla, and melted butter. Mix to combine.
    1 cup light corn syrup, ½ cup granulated sugar, 2 Tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • In a small bowl, stir together flour, salt and cream of tartar.
    ½ cup all purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until uniform.
  • Pour batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with pecans.
    1 cup pecan pieces
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top should be golden, but you want the inside to still be a little bit wet.
  • Serve with whipped cream, if desired.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 303kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 4gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 127mgFiber: 1gSugar: 41g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating

Sandy ReesSandy

Wednesday 24th of May 2023

Pop’s will love this!!


Wednesday 24th of May 2023

It's really simple and so tasty