For those of us who don’t want to make pecan pie, there’s this cake. This recipe needs no flour—just a lot of pecans, pulsed until cornmeal-esque, bound with eggs and brown sugar.



  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  • large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 1 cup (213 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 pound (340 grams) raw pecan halves or pieces


  • Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan. Line the bottom with a round of parchment, then butter the parchment.
  • Add the egg yolks to a large mixing bowl. Add the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk, staring at low and gradually increasing the speed to medium-high, until stiff peaks form.
  • While the whites are whisking, add the brown sugar and salt to the egg yolks. Stir until very smooth and liquidy.
  • Pulse the pecans in a food processor until a fine meal forms, but not so long that they turn into pecan butter—it should look like sand. Stir the ground pecans into the egg yolk mixture until completely combined.
  • By now, your egg whites are probably whipped. Gently fold them into the pecan mixture, taking care to not deflate the egg whites. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is browned and mostly firm to the touch, and the center no longer wobbles.
  • Cool completely before removing from the pan. Ideally: Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 or more hours before slicing and serving (this helps yield a cleaner slice). You can remove the cake from the fridge an hour before serving if you want it at room temperature, or not. If you’re pressed for time, just refrigerate for however long you can; it’ll still be delicious, but may crumble slightly.