Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10-inch tube
In a skillet, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat, then add pecan
pieces. Cook and stir pecans in butter until the pecans become a light toasted color,
watching carefully so they do not burn.
Transfer toasted butter pecans to a bowl,
scraping out all the butter and pecans.
Mix together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar
until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract.
Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.
Stir in the cooled buttered pecans. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of
the cake comes out clean.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.