Pecan Praline Pumpkin Cake

Praline Pumpkin Snack Cake is the ultimate fall treat, with a moist, slightly spiced pumpkin cake topped with a to-die-for praline caramel frosting ~

Pecan Praline Pumpkin Cake is my favorite new pumpkin dessert recipe, and that’s saying a lot. This cake has the perfect tender crumb, a lightly spiced pumpkin flavor, and an out of this world pecan praline frosting — get ready to drool.

Praline Pumpkin Snack Cake on parchment paper with fork

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.

Praline Pumpkin Snack Cake topped with crushed pecans

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
  • pecans
  • 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.

Praline Pumpkin Cake squares in a metal pan

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. 

Praline Pumpkin Cake cut into pieces

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!

a piece of pecan praline pumpkin cake with fork

more perfect fall cakes ~

“I made this cake yesterday and it has received rave reviews. It is delicious! I made it exactly as directed and it turned out perfectly….and it’s so easy. Thank you, Sue, I think this will quickly become a family favorite!!”

~ Juliana

pumpkin cake with frosting and nuts
4.19 from 61 votes

Praline Pumpkin Snack Cake

Pecan Praline Pumpkin Cake is my favorite new pumpkin dessert recipe, and that’s saying a lot.  This cake has the perfect tender crumb, a lightly spiced pumpkin flavor, and an out of this world pecan praline frosting — get ready to drool…
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Calories 476kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 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

praline frosting

  • 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.
  • Top with toasted pecans.

Cook’s notes

  • 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.
*Recipe was adapted from Chef in Training


Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 237mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 4365IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

*This recipe was originally published in 2016, and has been updated in 2021.

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    September 14, 2016 at 9:38 am

    You are speaking my language with this gorgeous cake! Love the praline frosting too :).

  • Reply
    John/Kitchen Riffs
    September 14, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Oh, wow. I’m with Chris — drool, drool, drool! Wonderful recipe — thanks!

  • Reply
    Tina Dawson | Love is in my Tummy
    September 14, 2016 at 9:20 am

    This is just perfect, and just in time for Fall!!! Pinning it, and making this first chance I get!

  • Reply
    Dahn @savor the Best
    September 14, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Fall is in the air and pumpkins are in the store already. This cake makes the end of summer look sweet 🙂

  • Reply
    maria @closetohome
    September 14, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I have some pumpkin in the pantry. I love this time of year when these flavors come back alive.

    • Reply
      September 14, 2016 at 9:02 am

      I’m with you, Maria <3

  • Reply
    September 14, 2016 at 7:57 am

    This Praline Pumpkin Cake sounds divine! I am just drooling now. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    September 14, 2016 at 6:30 am

    I’m right in pumpkin mode right now, as the weather cools here, so putting this beautiful cake on the “to bake” list right now 🙂

    • Reply
      September 14, 2016 at 7:07 am

      This is truly my number one pumpkin obsession right now, too, Jennifer!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Looks delicious! It appears the instructions are only partially listed. Thanks for your help

    • Reply
      September 14, 2016 at 7:07 am

      Sorry Chris, it’s all fixed now 🙂

  • Reply
    September 14, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Baking time? Pan size? Looks delicious but I need better directions.

    • Reply
      September 14, 2016 at 7:07 am

      Sorry Barb, that’s all added now!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    September 14, 2016 at 5:37 am

    I’m drooling, I’m drooling! You definitely succeeded! I’m pinning and sharing too. And putting pumpkin on my list! It looks and sounds amazing and I love that it’s so easy.

    • Reply
      September 14, 2016 at 7:10 am

      This one is HIGHLY recommended Chris!

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