Thursday, September 22, 2011

Praline Pumpkin Cake

Raise your hand if you're craving pumpkin everything right now!  This is the second pumpkin cake I've made this week, and I'm already itching to try out more* recipes this weekend.

So let's talk about this cake - It's a pumpkin-vanilla cake with a pecan praline topping baked in, layered together with cream cheese frosting, and topped with pecans and a caramel drizzle.

Didn't that just make you pass out with the amazingness of it?  I don't usually pick recipes that rely on mixes, but this one used up so many things I had sitting around (pumpkin, caramel sauce, cream cheese frosting, and Yellow cake mix), that there's no way I couldn't give it a try.  The cake isn't super pumpkin-y, so it'll be a good ease right into Fall.  I'm craving pumpkin so much that I almost didn't blog up the recipe, but Bo and my coworkers - who scarfed all the leftovers in thirty minutes - assured me that I needed to because they all loved it.  I, on the other hand, probably still wouldn't be satisfied even after bathing in pumpkin, so I'm going to continue on my hunt for the pumpkinest of pumpkin* baked goods :)

Eat this cake at room temp for best flavor, but store it in the fridge.  The cream cheese frosting gets really soft otherwise, and you run the risk of your top cake layer slip slidin' away....

Dig In!

* What kind of recipes?  Ok, I'm putting it out there so you all will hold me to it - I'm going to tinker with pumpkin syrup recipes so that we all can make homemade pumpkin lattes.  Hurrahhh!!!

Praline Pumpkin Cake
adapted from Betty Crocker

1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/4 c. whipping cream
1 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
1 c. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (= 1/2 tsp. cinnamon + 1/4 tsp. ginger + 1/8 tsp. nutmeg + 1/8 tsp. cloves)

1-2 containers Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy cream cheese frosting
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (= 1/4 tsp. cinnamon + 1/8 tsp. ginger + pinch nutmeg + pinch cloves)

Caramel topping **, optional
Additional coarsely chopped pecans, optional

Heat oven to 325°F.

In a small saucepan, stir together butter, whipping cream and brown sugar. Cook over low heat, just until butter is melted. Whisk to completely dissolve the brown sugar.  Pour into two ungreased 9- or 8-inch round cake pans; sprinkle evenly with 3/4 cup pecans.

In large bowl beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and 1 teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Carefully spoon batter over pecan mixture into each pan.

Bake 41 - 47 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 5 minutes; then invert from pans onto cooling rack, pecan side up. Cool completely, an hour or more.

Stir remaining 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice into frosting. To assemble cake, place 1 layer, praline side up, on serving plate. Spread with half of the frosting. Top with second layer, praline side up; spread remaining frosting to edge of layer. Drizzle with caramel topping and additional pecans. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

** What??  You want a scratch recipe for amazing caramel sauce?  Ok, fine.  Next week, my dears.  It'll rock your world.  I promise.

Ingredient Lineup:

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  1. A nice slice of that would be perfect with my morning coffee. Well done Sara, that looks really, really good.

  2. Oh yum. Just put on five pounds looking a the photos.

  3. Okay I am making this.. so amazing.. I just fell in love...



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