Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Cream and Pecan Praline

I have been wanting to make this cake for 2 1/2 years. I saw it in Everyday with Rachael Ray around Thanksgiving 2 years ago, but I couldn't ever fit it in to a holiday meal. Last week I had signed up to make a cake for a little party and I decided I would make 3 instead. This pumpkin cake was finally going to have its day to shine! I halved the recipe and made it in 3 6-inch cake pans. I also used the pecans that I received from Shailesh, who co-authors PecanStoreBlog, to make the pecan praline. A great way to use those delicious pecans.
The cake is very moist, due to the pumpkin puree that is in the batter and has a hint of orange. I have already decided that whipped cream frostings are my favorite for cakes and this one has a nice amount of brown sugar and vanilla beat into the whipped cream which gives it a beautiful light color and also really enhances the flavors of the cake and praline.
You smash up the praline and it is sprinkled inbetween the layers of cake and frosting. After we tasted this cake, I was thinking that I should have made the full recipe. This cake was stunning in taste and appearance. Very, very delicious.

Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Cream and Pecan Praline
Silvana Nardone From Every Day with Rachael Ray November 2006
Prep Time: 1 hr Bake Time: 1 hr
3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups pecans (about 8 ounces)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup milk
Grated zest of 1 orange
One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
3 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Butter two 8-by- 2-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Flour the pans.
2. In a large skillet, melt 2 cups granulated sugar over medium-high heat until light amber, about 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the pecans and quickly stir to coat. Transfer the pecans to the prepared baking sheet and, using a metal spatula, spread in a single layer to cool completely. Place the praline in a sturdy resealable plastic bag and crush into pieces; set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar and the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until combined. Beat in the flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with the milk and orange zest on low speed until just combined. Add the pumpkin puree and beat until just combined.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer the cake layers to a rack to cool, about 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans, invert and peel off the parchment paper. Let the cakes cool completely on the rack, about 45 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Using a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. On low speed, gradually beat in the remaining 1 1/2 cups brown sugar and the vanilla until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
6. Assemble the cake: halve each cake layer horizontally with a serrated knife. Place 1 cake layer on a platter. Spread the whipped cream frosting on top about 1/4 inch thick; sprinkle with about 1/2 cup crushed pecan praline. Repeat with three more layers, saving enough frosting for the cake sides and reserving the last layer of praline. Spread the remaining frosting evenly on the sides of the cake and sprinkle the reserved pecan praline on top.
Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour before serving.

Up next- Smoked Gouda Grits


Marie said...

Mary Ann, I AM impressed. You did such a fabulous job with that cake. It looks wonderful!

Steph said...

You decorated the cake so nicely! I love whipped cream frosting. The pumpkin and pecan praline make such a wonderful flavour combination. There are so many recipes that are building up in my to make list, I wonder if I'll ever get through them!

Maria said...

That is a mighty cake! I haven't had pumpkin in awhile, so this is looking REALLY good!! Nice job!

Amy said...

I am definitely making this!!! And the 6" cake sounds perfect so that there would be no leftovers!

I've said it before and I'll say it again... LOVE YOUR BLOG!

Emily said...

Oooooo! This one looks so good! I love cooking with pumpkin! It turned out so pretty too! I bet it tasted divine!

J.Danger said...

Oh my goodness! What a great looking cake!

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous looking cake. Everything from the hint of orange to the pecan praline sound delicious.

Kelley said...

Oh my! That looks wonderful!

Not Another Omnivore said...

Oh my gosh that cake looks delicious!


Cathy said...

This cake is to die for. You've totally got me craving it now! I need to find an excuse to make it!

Pamela said...


Jade said...

Yummy and very tasty!!!
Thank you.

Teanna said...

I've never had success with a pumpkin cake because it always comes out too dense! But yours looks delicious and light! I have to try this recipe!

suesse-mahlzeit said...

Yummy!! it looks and sounds very delicious! ;)

Aggie said...

That cake looks beautiful Mary Ann!!

You need to open a bakery in GA.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

OMG! I so love pumpkin year round. This cake looks exquisite and so beautifully done. I've got so many recipes I want to make, but this one gets in the "sooner", rather than "later" pile. Great job!


Justine said...

be still my heart- this looks AH-MAZ-ING.

Ingrid said...

Love your pumpkin cake. Your photos certainly do it justice! I printed out the recipe, hope its not 2 1/2 years before I make it. :)

Donna-FFW said...

4 layers, my Goodness, does this ever look soo delicious. I am so glad you tried this and blogged about it, I am adding it to my fall baking list. Honestly it looks just gorgeous!!

Kevin said...

That cake looks so good!

The Soiree Cafe said...

Looks awesome! I had to include it in my post- http://thesoireecafe.com/2009/11/19/pumpkin-cake-mold/