It’s that time of the year. The time of year when everyone runs to their favorite pumpkin recipes and overloads on anything and everything pumpkin flavored (was it really necessary to invent pumpkin flavored cough drops??) As guilty as the next pumpkin loving addict, October hits and I am a pumpkin latte drinking, Pumpkin Crunch Cake making fiend!! All that aside, after years of pleading and begging from members of my family to never make anything BUT Pumpkin Crunch Cake… I find myself wanting to branch out…. to embrace a new pumpkin dessert recipe that could.. should.. MAYBE???? (gasp!!) rival The Great Pumpkin Crunch Cake recipe that everyone loves and holds dear to their hearts (aka.. the one sure fire way to get my busy nephews and nieces to come visit Favorite Aunt Heather once in a while). Yes, that time of year indeed!!
If you take cake and add pumpkin and then a layer (or two) of praline gooiness and top that bad boy with pumpkin flavored butter cream icing, you pretty much have the most perfect dessert concoction known to God and Man. It’s moist and amazing and not overpowering with the pumpkin love, as a lot of desserts are this time of year. It’s really pretty too. Don’t laugh, that’s important. Would YOU eat an ugly dessert? Me neither… lol .. This cake recipe is very easy to make and will make you the Rockstar of your next potluck or social function, I promise you. You may want to write the recipe down ahead of time on index cards and have them ready in your purse to be whipped out at a moments notice. I suggest this because you WILL be asked for this recipe!! Again and again and again. Plan accordingly.
Pumpkin Praline Spice Cake
You will need:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup packed brown sugar (I did 50/50 light and dark but either on it’s own would be fine)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 container butter cream or cream cheese frosting
Additional coarsely chopped pecans, if desired
Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. In a saucepan, melt together butter, cream and brown sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Pour evenly into two ungreased 8 or 9 inch cake pans and sprinkle both with equal amounts of the chopped pecans then set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, pumpkin, oil, water, eggs, cinnamon, allspice and 1 tsp of pumpkin spice until it is all well combined. Spoon the batter over the pecan mixture in each of the pans and bake 43-46 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
This part is VERY VERY IMPORTANT!! When you remove your pans from the oven, you will notice that the center of the cake rounds up, making a little hill in the middle of your cake. Take a knife and level that hill off while it is still in the pan. You will be turning the cakes out upside down so you won’t be able to even that cake ‘bottom’ out any other time and if you do not even them out, your cake will slowly split apart when you frost it. I learned this the hard way… oops!
After you level off your cake, let the pans sit on a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Then take each and flip them out upside down on the wire racks so that the praline that was once on the bottom, is now facing up. Replace any praline mixture still in the pan onto your cake with a rubber spatula. Let cool completely for at least 1 hour or until no longer warm to the touch.
Once cooled, scoop your icing into a bowl and stir in the remaining 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. Place one cake, praline side up on your serving platter and spread half of the frosting over the top of it. Add on the second layer of cake, praline side up and spread the remaining half of icing over the top. Don’t worry about frosting the sides, let that pretty praline layer lure the unsuspecting dessert lovers in. When you are done frosting the cake, add some additional chopped pecans on top, if you choose and stand back because you are about to see a stampede take place in your very own kitchen!!
Yes, it’s really THAT good!