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Upside-Down Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake

Upside-Down Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake

Layering the ingredients in this coffee cake recipe right into the pan lets you skip the steps of making the batter and the nut topping separately. To make this healthy one-bowl dessert so it can be served like "pull-apart" rolls, dollop 16 equal portions of batter over the nuts. If you don't want to fuss with that, dollop the batter on top however you like.


16 servings

Prep Time

30 minutes

Total Time

1 1/2 hours


  • 2cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 3/5cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
  • 2teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into small pieces, divided
  • 2 3/4cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 3tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, letting it overhang the sides; coat with cooking spray.
  2. Spread pecans and brown sugar in the prepared pan; sprinkle with cinnamon and a pinch of salt, then drizzle with vanilla. Evenly distribute 5 tablespoons of the butter pieces over the nut mixture.
  3. Whisk flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Work the remaining 7 tablespoons butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, two knives or your fingertips until it’s pea-sized. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Pour in buttermilk and stir just until combined. Cover the nut mixture with dollops of dough (about 1 heaping tablespoon each); it’s OK if there are a few uncovered spots.
  4. Bake the coffee cake until bubbling around the edges and barely starting to brown on top, about 35 minutes. Invert a serving platter or cutting board on top of the hot cake; holding both, carefully turn them over and remove the baking pan. Spoon any stray topping back onto the cake. Let cool for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving (recipe makes 16 servings)

Calories 288kcal
Carbohydrate Total 30g
Total Sugars 13g
Added Sugars 11g
Fiber 3g
Total Fat 18g
Saturated Fat 6g
Mono Saturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 24mg
Sodium 248mg
Protein 5g
Potassium 136mg
Calcium 104mg
Folate 4mcg
Omega-6 3g
Vitamin E 1mg
Zinc 1mg