Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottoms of 2 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper then spay the pans with non-stick cooking spray.
Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pecans and cook, stirring often for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly toasted; set aside to cool.
Combine ½ cup butter, the melted ice cream, eggs and 2 tsp. the vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low until well combined. Add the sugar, baking powder, salt and flour and mix well to combine. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in 1 cup of the reserved chopped pecans and mix well.
Divide the batter between the two prepared pans (batter will be thick) and spread evenly. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack, remove parchment circles and allow to cool completely.
Frosting: Combine the remaining 1 cup the softened butter, half and half and the remaining 2 tsp. vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low speed until combined. Add the confectioner’s sugar slowly and beat until well combined. Add dulce de leche and mix on medium speed until fluffy.
Place one cooled cake layer on a serving platter flat side down and top with approximately 1 cup icing, spreading in an even layer to the edge. Sprinkle ½ cup the reserved chopped buttered pecans over the icing and place the remaining cooled cake layer on top, flat side up. Spread the remaining frosting over the sides and top of the cake. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup chopped buttered pecans in the center the cake. Serve and enjoy!
Note: If desired, reserve 1 cup of frosting before spreading on the top and sides of cake and place it in a pastry bag fitted with a star-tip to decorate the top border of the cake. Use any remaining frosting to pipe small stars around the bottom of the cake. If a pastry bag is not available, icing may be piped from a zip-top plastic bag with the corner snipped.