This layer cake is so different and delicious! It was the Grand prize winner in the Pillsbury bake off contest in 1988. I have been baking it since then. It is easy to make because it’s made with a cake mix and “frosted” with whipping cream. But it’s the flavor of the praline base that is the crowning touch for the cake. It is best made ahead of time so that the caramel layers can firm up in the refrigerator before stacking. Also, I toast any nuts that are in a recipe prior to using them. Doing so brings out the flavor and freshness so much more, the difference is extremely noticeable.
I have learned the hard way that if the cake comes out of the oven “domed”, it’s important to use a saw blade knife and cut off the dome so when it’s taken out of the pan to cool it will sit flat and not split because of the arc of the dome. Just slide a saw blade knife (like a bread knife) across the top of the cake pan and remove the extra cake that has risen over the top. Because I hadn’t leveled it the first time it happened, to correct the problem I tied each layer around the circumference with three lengths of kite string to keep the crack small. After cooling of course I removed the string after stacking, and the whipping cream covered up the crack, but I learned to shave it flat from then on if need be.
I did a few extra pictures along the way of things I have learned to do to keep the layers even. Hope you have fun making this and receive many compliments when you serve it!
Next week I will be sharing my recipe for Hot Bacon Dressing which has a dual purpose. Served over fresh Spinach it’s a wonderful salad, if you double the recipe it makes the best German Style Potato Salad, served either warm or cold.
Now, here are the pictures and the recipe for the Praline Layer cake…
- 2 cups whipping cream (divided)
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted to bring out the flavor
- 10-12 whole pecans (if desired), toasted
- 1 pkg Pillsbury Devils Food Cake mix
- 1 and ¼ cups water
- ⅓ cup oil
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- chocolate curls (if desired)
- Heat oven to 325 degrees
- In a small heavy saucepan combine the butter, ¼ cup whipping cream and the brown sugar.
- Cook over low heat just until the butter is melted, stirring occasionally
- Pour into two 8 or 9 inch pans that have been lightly sprayed with pan spray
- Sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.
- In a large bowl combine cake mix, water, oil and eggs at low speed until moistened.
- Beat for 2 minutes at highest speed.
- Carefully drop ½ cupfuls of batter alternately on the praline, evenly spread it out.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched
- Cool 5 minutes, run a knife around the edges, remove from pan and cool completely praline side up.
- In a medium bowl beat 1 and ¾ cups of whipping cream until soft peaks form.
- Blend in powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form
- Place one layer on plate, praline side up
- Spread with ½ of the whipped cream
- Top with second layer, praline side up and top with remaining whipped cream
- Garnish with whole pecans and chocolate curls if desired.
- Store in refrigerator