This pecan praline pumpkin cake has the perfect tender crumb, a lightly spiced pumpkin flavor, and an out of this world pecan praline frosting — get ready to drool.
this pecan praline pumpkin cake speaks my language
Is it talking to you too? It’s the kind of cake pumpkin dreams are made of…light and springy, with a rich golden color, touched with all my favorite fall spices — and don’t even get me started on that frosting. The cake is made in one bowl, and the frosting in one saucepan, so the cleanup is a dream. And guess what? Cover the pan with foil, set it on the counter, and the whole thing is just as good the next day. Dream cake, I’m telling you.
fall pumpkin recipes are my jam!
- Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
- Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- Homemade Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
- Pumpkin Crisp
- Chewy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies!
- Maple Glazed Pumpkin Muffins
what you’ll need for this epic pumpkin sheet cake
I love to share recipes like this with you that are utterly perfect from start to finish. The pecans, the caramel, and the spices all elevate this pumpkin cake to company status. Or make it whenever you’re charged with bringing something wonderful to a gathering.
- canned pumpkin ~ canned pumpkin puree is thicker, and more consistent than homemade puree, so I recommend using the canned product. Be sure to get pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.
- granulated sugar as well as brown sugar and confectioner’s sugar ~ all three types of sugar are used in the cake and frosting.
- vegetable oil ~ any neutral vegetable oil is fine.
- unsalted butter
- large eggs
- half and half ~ you can substitute a light cream or heavy cream.
- all purpose flour
- baking soda and salt
- ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg
- vanilla extract
This cake is simple and familiar enough that you can count on everyone loving it, but at the same time it has that wow factor.
can we talk praline frosting for a minute?
Sheesh the stuff is good. This is a classic cooked frosting, and it’s as easy as whisking together butter, brown sugar, and half and half (or light cream) in a saucepan, bringing it to a boil, and then stirring in some powdered sugar. Pour it over the cake and shower with toasted pecans. It doesn’t get any better.
TIP: The praline frosting is like caramel, and it sets up fast. Plan to have a spreading knife handy when you pour the warm frosting over the cake, and spread quickly before it firms up.
I make no apologies for my pumpkin love, and this Pecan Praline Pumpkin Cake is just one of many pumpkin-centric recipes to come. Stock your cabinets with lots of those orange cans, people, you’re going to need them!
TIP: Did you know you can use canned pumpkin as a substitute for eggs, butter, and oil in recipes? 1/4 cup pumpkin = 1 egg 3/4 cup pumpkin = 1 cup butter and 1/2 cup pumpkin = 1/2 cup oil!
more perfect fall cakes ~
- Easy Apple Fritter Bread
- Maple Pecan Pound Cake
- Powdered Sugar Doughnut Cake
- Nyackers Gingersnap Cake
- Caramel Apple Bundt Cake
- Gingerbread Crumb Cake
- Apple Butter Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream
Praline Pumpkin Snack Cake
- 9×13 baking pan
- 15 ounce can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup half and half or light cream
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 heaping cup pecan halves, toasted and chopped
- Set oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 9×13 pan.
- Whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, oil, and eggs until well blended.
- Mix in the spices and salt. Fold in the flour and baking soda until everything is well incorporated, but don't over beat.
- Spread the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 25- 30 minutes or until done in the center and a toothpick comes out without wet batter clinging to it.
- To make the frosting, heat the half and half, butter, and brown sugar in a saucepan until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Take off the heat and beat in the vanilla and sifted confectioner's sugar. Quickly spread over the cake, the frosting will set up quickly.
- While the frosting is still soft top with toasted pecans.
- Don’t skip toasting the pecans, it makes ALL the difference, it brings out the flavor and crisps the nuts. You can do it ahead of time, but don’t skip it. To toast them put the nuts in a dry skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they become fragrant and start to brown. Watch them carefully, they can burn easily.
- I love my heavy duty USA 9×13 pan for baking, it bakes perfectly evenly.
*This recipe was originally published in 2016, and has been updated in 2021.
Questions and Reviews
Hi. I’m making this for Thanksgiving. Should the frosting go on the cooled or hot cake after baking?
I make the frosting after the cake comes out of the oven. It can go on a still warm cake.
I’m confused about the pecans and pralines…aren’t they two different things?
I love your recipes!
I have quiet a few to- to pumpkin recipes that I think are stellar. But I totally trust Sue so I decided to make this one. My family could not get over the taste and said this is the pumpkin recipe to make. I asked – better than the others? They said yes! It’s all about the frosting. I may try it in a brownie. Once again Sue steered me straight. Thanks.
Thrilled to hear it Louise, and yes, that frosting would be amazing on brownies, you’ve inspired me to try 🙂