You won’t believe how easy this showstopper of a cake is to make. This Pumpkin Praline Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting would make a beautiful centerpiece on your Thanksgiving dessert table and your guests will look forward to it year after year.
This post from the archives was originally published in November of 2010, but I’m bringing it forward with updated photos and a printable recipe to remind you of this amazing pumpkin dessert!
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 always good to be prepared, right?
Other than Nana’s Lemon Cake, I don’t use cake mixes very often. Making a cake from scratch usually isn’t difficult and I prefer to know exactly what ingredients I’m adding to the mixing bowl.
But that Betty Crocker pumpkin praline cake was calling to me and I had all the ingredients on hand.
Cake mixes definitely have their place and this cake was so delicious that I wouldn’t change a thing… except the frosting!
The original recipe instructs you to use canned cream cheese frosting, but I couldn’t do that. In my opinion, canned frosting tastes terrible, especially the cream cheese variety. This amazing pumpkin praline cake deserves better.
Instead, I made a lightly-sweetened whipped cream cheese frosting using both cream cheese and whipping cream. It’s perfect on this cake– not too heavy, not too sweet.
And it’s almost as easy as opening a tup of frosting from the store. Seriously!
Tips for making a perfect pumpkin praline cake
Make sure the pumpkin praline cake layers have cooled completely before using the whipped cream frosting.
If the cake is not completely cool, the frosting will melt and your layers will start sliding (trust me, it happened to me).
You might even want to put them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes after they have cooled, before frosting the cake, just to be safe.
After frosting, serve the cake immediately or put it in the refrigerator. This is a cake that actually tastes really great cold.
This cake can and maybe should be made in advance. Although it is delicious served right away, I think I liked it even better after it sat in the refrigerator overnight. It’s definitely a great make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert.
Although I always look forward to pies at Thanksgiving, this is one dessert that might give Thanksgiving pies a run for their money. It’s easy to make, looks impressive, and tastes amazing!
More Pumpkin Recipes:
- Pumpkin Maple Sourdough Cake
- Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
- Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake Roll
- Pumpkin Donuts
- Pumpkin Spice Cake
- Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
Around the Web:
- Pumpkin Ice Cream from David Lebovitz
- Easy Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake from The Novice Chef
- Spiced Pumpkin Butter from Half Baked Harvest
- Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls from Diethood
- Crockpot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef from Kalyn’s Kitchen
- Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta from Budget Bytes
- Cheesy Baked Pumpkin Pasta from Skinnytaste
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 4 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 - 1 cup powdered sugar (or more to taste)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- handful of pecan halves for decoration
- Preheat oven to 325°F. In a small heavy saucepan, stir together butter, whipping cream and brown sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until butter is melted. Divide topping between two ungreased 8- or 9-inch round cake pans then sprinkle evenly with the chopped pecans.
- In a large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, then on medium speed for 2 more minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Carefully spoon batter over pecan mixture in each pan, dividing as evenly as possible.
- Bake cakes for 41 to 47 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 5 minutes then turn cakes out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting (at least an hour).
- 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).
- Assemble Cake:
- Place one cake layer on decorative plate or cake stand, praline-side up. Spread half of the frosting on top of cake. Top with the other cake layer, praline-side up. Spread the rest of the frosting over the top. Decorate with pecan halves.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If cake is made ahead, take cake out of the refrigerator about an hour before serving. It does not need to come completely to room temperature before serving as it does taste good cold. Leftovers should be stored loosely covered in the refrigerator.
Adapted from Betty Crocker's Praline-Pumpkin Cake
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 429Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 333mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 5g