By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

Pecan Baby Cakes

I’ve been infatuated with the notion of "butter-pecan" desserts recently, and have come up with another great dessert that highlights the flavor of my favorite ice cream. My Pecan Baby Cakes start with a cake mix, but end with rich, home baked flavor. A French vanilla cake mix receives extra buttery flavor when melted butter is substituted for the oil called for in the recipe, and extra richness when whipping cream is substituted for the liquid in the recipe. Add some toasted pecans and white chocolate morsels, and you’ve got a hit.

The baby cakes can be baked up in individual cake pans, or as I have done here, in a jellyroll pan which has been lined with parchment paper. To achieve the "baby cake" look, I used a 3-inch round cutter to cut servings of the cake. Top the warm cake with good vanilla ice cream and drizzle with my super-quick Butter Pecan Sauce for a memorable dessert.

  • 1 18.25-ounce French vanilla cake mix
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 1/3 cups whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Butter Pecan Sauce (see below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a jellyroll pan* with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with the nonstick spray.

Combine cake mix, melted butter, water, vanilla and eggs in the bowl of an electric stand mixer or in a medium bowl beat on low until the ingredients are combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 to 3 minutes more. Fold in morsels and pecans, spread in the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with the Butter Pecan Sauce.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

*Cake batter can be baked in individual cake pans or cupcake tins. Simply spray pans or tins with nonstick spray, fill 3/4 full with batter and bake 15 to 20 minutes.

Butter Pecan Sauce

  • 1 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat until butter is melted and sauce is heated through. Stir occasionally to combine the ingredients.

Makes 1 1/2 cups of sauce.