Praline cake is an absolutely delicious dessert that’s actually simple to make. Soft brown sugar cake is topped with a decadent praline topping—this cake is crazy addictive!
Take a good look at that pic above. This praline cake is as delicious as it is unattractive :).
Soft and sweet brown sugar cake is smothered in a topping made of crunchy pecans swimming in homemade caramel. If you’re not running to the kitchen to whip this up NOW then what are you doing with your life?
(Probably important things. I always forget that cake cravings don’t feel as urgent to others as they do to me.)
Why you’ll love this praline cake:
- You don’t need a stand mixer to make it!
- The ingredients are all easy to find and you probably have most of them on hand right now
- It keeps well for several days so you can make it ahead
How to make your cake
- Heat buttermilk and butter in a small saucepan, then transfer to a mixing bowl
- Beat in brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl
- Gradually beat into the wet ingredients
- Mix until smooth
- Pour into a 13- by 9-inch baking dish and bake about 20 minutes
- If you don’t have buttermilk you can substitute an equal amount of whole milk mixed with a little white vinegar or fresh lemon juice
How to make praline topping
When the cake is done, heat your oven’s broiler and make the praline topping.
- Combine all the topping ingredients in a saucepan
- Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes
- Pour over the cake
- Place the cake 4 inches under the broiler and broil for 30 to 60 seconds
Don’t walk away while your cake is under the broiler. The topping is done once all of it is bubbling; that will happen quickly and you need to remove the cake from the oven as soon as it’s done or the topping will burn.
How to serve praline cake
I served mine with vanilla ice cream but really any flavor of ice cream would be delicious. (Chocolate or coffee would be fabulous!)
Whipped cream and/or caramel sauce would be other awesome toppers.
Because the topping is made with molten sugar, you’ll want to let the cake cool quite a bit before you serve it–molten sugar burns like crazy.
Praline cake is wonderful served at room temperature, but you don’t need to cool it that much if you prefer to serve it warm. (Just don’t serve it directly out of the oven.)
Or if you’ve stored your cake overnight before serving, don’t hesitate to heat slices in the microwave if you prefer your cake warm.
How to store your cake
Praline cake can be stored at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.
It can also be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 months.
The easiest way to freeze your cake is to slice it and wrap individual slices tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Then just remove what you’re going to eat from the freezer rather than freezing the cake whole, then slicing off what you want.
I enjoyed slices of cake right out of the freezer; I didn’t even bother to defrost them. But you can defrost slices in the fridge overnight or pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds–just be sure to unwrap them first!
What are pralines?
Pralines are a pecan candy native to the southern United States. They’re typically made with brown sugar, buttermilk or cream, and pecans.
Pralines have a gorgeous fudge-like texture and a delicious deep caramel flavor.
The topping on this cake isn’t a true praline, but it does taste a lot like the candy.
Did you make this praline cake? Hooray! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below. Then post a pic on IG–tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see your delicious creations!
This praline cake is an easy dessert featuring soft brown sugar cake topped with a sweet praline topping. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream and you have a decadent treat!
- 1 cup buttermilk*
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and dust lightly with flour. Set aside.
- Combine the buttermilk and butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Heat, stirring often, until the butter is melted. DO NOT BOIL! If the mixture starts to boil, turn the heat down.
- Pour that mixture into a large mixing bowl and let cool 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer set to medium speed for several minutes, until well combined.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and, with mixer set to low, gradually beat into the butter-egg mixture until just combined. Stir with a spatula a few times to make sure all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Scrape into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Bake 22 to 32 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack, then immediately start the frosting and heat your oven’s broiler.
- Combine all the frosting ingredients in a small saucepan and set the pan over medium heat. Bring to a slow boil, stirring often.
- Once the frosting boils, cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture just starts to thicken.
- Pour over the cake, then put the cake in the oven 4 inches below the broiler. Broil 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the frosting starts to bubble and turns light golden brown. Don’t walk away from the oven because this will happen quickly.
Remove from the oven and cool before serving. (Don’t be tempted to eat this cake hot—the molten sugar in the frosting will burn your mouth terribly!)
- Uneaten cake can be stored at room temperature, covered, for about 2 days, in the fridge, covered, for about 3 days, or in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months.
*You can substitute 1 cup whole milk mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes before you use it.