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slice of praline cake on a plate with the rest of the cake and a coffee mug in the background

Praline Cake

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!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 52 minutes
Servings 12
Author Kelsie


Brown sugar cake

  • 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

Praline topping

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and dust lightly with flour. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack, then immediately start the frosting and heat your oven’s broiler.


  1. Combine all the frosting ingredients in a small saucepan and set the pan over medium heat. Bring to a slow boil, stirring often.
  2. Once the frosting boils, cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture just starts to thicken.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!)

  5. 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.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*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.