Thanksgiving and Christmas always cause me to break out my traditional family recipes, but this year I’m turning one of them on its head. Pecan pie is my target of opportunity and I think I’ve found a version that will make you forget about Grandma’s recipe.

Pecan pie is one of my favorites. I love the toasted pecans, gelatinous center, and flaky crust. The only thing that makes it better, besides ice cream, is sharing it with my family and friends. Well, I’m not making pie this year because I have found a Toasted Pecan torte recipe that is so simple it’s almost criminal. Did I mention that it’s also sinfully delicious?

I found today’s recipe on the Bon Appetit website while looking for some new fall vegetable recipes. The photo of the torte was beautiful, but what really caught my eye was the topping - which is butterscotch. I’ve always liked butterscotch but ever since I tasted Butterbeer (yes, it’s a Harry Potter reference) in England, I have been infatuated with the stuff.


I plan on making this torte for my family’s Thanksgiving feast. But I’m always a bit paranoid about untested recipes at family gatherings so I prepared a tester. My wife and I were stunned at how delicious this dessert tastes (assuming you like pecans and butterscotch). Its part pecan pie, part sticky toffee pudding and absolutely delicious. She even asked me to make her one in lieu of a birthday cake next year!

I won’t delay any longer in case you want to try this one out as well. Live, Love, Laugh and Give Thanks.

Toasted Pecan Torte with Butterscotch Topping

iCookCourtesy of Bon Appetit

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided plus some for the pan
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 5 cups pecan halves
  • 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ¾ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 TBSP finely grated orange zest (I used the zest of one orange)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 5 TBSP rum, divided (I used Myer’s Dark rum)
  • ½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups chilled heavy cream, divided

 Special equipment

  • 9-inch springform pan
  • Food processor
  • Mixer (freestanding or handheld)

Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F.  Butter and flour the springform pan and set aside. Place pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 12 to 15 minutes, tossing once after about 6 minutes, until fragrant and slightly darker in color. Let cool. Leave the oven on at 350 F.

iCookPulse baking powder, flour, 1 tsp salt, and 3 cups pecans in the food processor until nuts are finely ground. In a large bowl using a mixer on medium high, beat the granulated sugar, orange zest, and ¾ cup butter together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and egg yolk to the bowl and beat about 1 minute until combined and mixture is fluffier. Beat in 3 TBSP rum, stop mixer and add the dry ingredients. Mix together on low until just combined, then fold a few times with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl, to ensure batter is evenly mixed.

Scrape batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the top. Place in 350F oven and bake until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the torte cool in the pan.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the brown sugar, ½ cup cream, remaining ¼ cup butter, and 1 TBSP rum to a boil over medium heat stirring often and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove the butterscotch from heat and stir in the remaining ¾ tsp salt. Mix in remaining 2 cups pecans and let sit at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until butterscotch is cool but pourable.

Spread topping over torte. Whip the remaining heavy cream in a large bowl until heavy peaks form.  Serve on top of the torte.

NOTE: I placed the topping on torte while still in springform pan and allowed to cool a bit before serving. The pan kept the nuts on top until the butterscotch congealed.  You can prepare the topping (without the pecans) up to 3 days ahead if covered and chilled. Before using, reheat slowly on low before adding the nuts. The torte can be prepared a day ahead and stored at room temperature if wrapped tightly.

You can download the recipe of the week HERE!