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Praline Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting

You won’t believe how easy this cake is.  Delicious, too!

I usually have a couple of boxes of yellow cake mix in my pantry in case I need to whip up one of Nana’s Lemon Jello Cakes – it’s just good to be prepared.   But last night I was craving pumpkin cake.  I had planned on throwing together a quick pumpkin spice cake from scratch until a Google search led me to this Praline-Pumpkin Cake from Betty Crocker.

Other than Nana’s Lemon Cake, I don’t use cake mixes much.  Making a cake from scratch isn’t difficult and I prefer to know exactly what ingredients I’m adding to the mixing bowl.  But, like I said, I had some cake mix in the pantry and this Betty Crocker cake was calling to me.  I even had all the other ingredients on hand!

The recipe instructs you to use canned cream cheese frosting, but I refuse to do that.  I don’t know what comes in that can, and I don’t want to know.  It tastes terrible.  Please don’t use it.  The cake is awfully sweet and really doesn’t need frosting at all, but I really liked the way it looked as a semi-frosted layer cake.  I made a lightly-sweetened whipped cream frosting using both cream cheese and whipping cream.  It was perfect – not too heavy, not too sweet.

Make sure the cake has cooled completely before using the whipped cream frosting or it will melt and your cake layers will start sliding (trust me, it happened).  After frosting, serve immediately or refrigerate the cake.  This is one cake that actually tastes really great cold.  In fact, I think I liked it even better after it sat in the refrigerator overnight, so it’s definitely one you could make ahead.

You can find the cake recipe here:  Betty Crocker’s Praline-Pumpkin Cake.  The frosting recipe below makes exactly enough for one cake.

Whipped Cream Frosting
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 – 1 cup powdered sugar (or more to taste)
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Using an electric mixer (I used the whisk attachment on my stand mixer), beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar until light and creamy.  Beat in  1/4 cup whipping cream until smooth (scrape and stir with spatula as necessary).  Add the rest of the cream and beat until it has the consistency of whipped cream (don’t overmix).  Spread half of the frosting between the two cake layers then spread the rest over the top layer.  Decorate with pecan halves if you have some left over!

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