If you’re looking for a unique and delicious cake recipe, then look no further! This Southern Pecan Praline Cake is one of our new favorites!
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My grandfather would send me into the backyard with an old plastic bucket to pick up pecans. I think he paid me a quarter for every bucket I filled. In hindsight, this was a really cheap way to keep me entertained while my parents and grandparents hung out on their huge wrap-around porch. Once I had picked up as many pecans as I could carry, I’d haul them inside where we’d sit on the backporch cracking and picking the shells off. We’d end up with a huge pile of pecans that my grandmother would turn into either Cajun Spiced Pecans or Sugared Pecans depending on our mood.
Needless to say, I grew up eating a lot of pecans. Many years later, I moved to Louisiana after college, and I ran into this wonderful thing called a praline. Pralines are a dessert made up of brown sugar and (optional) pecans. They’re sweet. But they’re also really delicious! I made these Bourbon Pecan Pralines a few years ago, and they’re still one of my go-to holiday desserts to take to parties. Most folks here in the northeast aren’t familiar with pralines, so they always lead to good conversations. As far as I’m concerned, any conversation about food is a good conversation!
Southern Pecan Praline Cake
So with that as a backdrop, I wanted to set out and create a cake that incorporated the flavors of pralines and chopped pecans. And create a cake I did. One bite of this one, and I immediately proclaimed it as one of my favorite cakes of all time. It’s that good! For this Southern Pecan Praline Cake, I used my go-to yellow cake as a base and added a brown sugar frosting. Oh, and did I mention the frosting has a bunch of chopped pecans mixed in? So good! I know it might be frowned upon to eat an entire cake by yourself, but I really wanted to just take this plate and a fork and go sit in a dark closet somewhere. Me, this Southern Pecan Praline Cake and nothing else. Our secret, ok?
If you’re looking for a unique and delicious cake idea, then look no further! This Southern Pecan Praline Cake is one of my new favorites, and I suspect I’ll be making another one before too long. Maybe once I teach Robbie to pick up pecans in the backyard. (Of course, that would require me to plant a pecan tree first. Maybe next year.) Cheers, friends!
Southern Pecan Praline Cake
For the Cake
For the Cake
- Grease and flour (3) 8” round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper; set pans aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Using a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy (~3-4 minutes on medium speed).
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until well combined.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl; mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add the vanilla extract and half of the milk to the bowl; mix on low speed until well combined.
- Repeat with the remaining flour and milk, mixing after each addition until well combined. (Tip: Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are fully mixed.)
- Divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake pans. Bake at 350°F for 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cakes stand for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack until completely cool.
For the Frosting
- Chop 3 cups of pecans and leave 1 cup unchopped. Spread pecans onto a sheet pan and bake at 350°F for 6-8 minutes, or until pecans are fragrant. Set pecans aside.
- Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar together until smooth.
- Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing completely after each addition.
- Add milk and vanilla extract; mix until well combined. (Note: If frosting is too loose, add a couple more tbsps of powdered sugar. If frosting is too thick, add a tbsp of milk.)
- Fold chopped pecans into the frosting. (Note: The whole pecans will be used to garnish top of cake)
To Frost Cake
- Place one layer of cake on large platter. Spread ~1 cup of frosting on top. Repeat with 2nd and 3rd layers of cake. Use remaining frosting on top and sides of cake.
- Garnish top of cake using the remaining whole pecans.