If Granny heard someone say “puh-CON,” she would ask, “Do you see an ‘o’ in the word PEA-can?” This is her recipe, cooked up in a skillet, with a caramel-pecan topping that seeps down into the buttermilk cake to make it extra moist.
1½ cups self-rising flour (I use White Lily)
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of an 8-inch cast-iron skillet.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the whole egg and egg yolk, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
4. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, mixing well after each addition until smooth. Do not overmix. Spoon the batter, smoothing it out evenly, into the prepared skillet.
5. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, make the pecan topping: In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, cream, and salt. Bring to a soft boil over medium heat and then boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and pecans. Allow to sit for about 20 minutes to thicken up a bit.
7. Pour the pecan topping over the cake while still in the skillet. Let sit until set, about 10 minutes. Once cool, this cake can be wrapped with plastic wrap and kept overnight; it’s even better the next day.

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