Praline Cake

Light vanilla sponge cake meets sweet-and-salty praline glaze in this decadent fall dessert. If you're in search of a basic, yet fabulous homemade cake recipe, this sweet treat checks all the right boxes. The homemade vanilla cake couldn't be easier to make and would be great even without the caramel-like glaze, dusted simply with powdered sugar. But this light, tender cake is only enhanced by the Praline Glaze, which adds a welcome boost of flavor and moisture to the sponge. For the glaze, we use brown sugar and salted butter to add depth of flavor and cut the sugary sweetness you'd expect in a caramel. The pecans bring a rich, nutty flavor and dynamic texture to the praline glaze. Channel the spirit of Southern holidays spent munching on Pecan Pralines with this nostalgic cake. It's a lovely treat for an afternoon get-together or to serve a smaller crowd. To complement this fluffy cake, we recommend serving with a drizzle of sweetened cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Praline Cake
Photo: Greg Dupree; Food Styling: Emily Hall; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
1 (8-in.) cake



  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup salted butter, softened

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 1/2 cups (about 5 7/8 oz.) sifted bleached cake flour (such as Swans Down)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

  • 2/3 cup whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Vegetable shortening, for greasing pan


  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted

  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans


  1. Prepare the Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat sugar and butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, beating well. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; add to sugar mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating on low speed until just combined after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

  2. Pour batter into a heavily greased 8-inch round or square cake pan. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick interested in center comes out clean, 23 to 28 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. (Do not turn oven off.)

  3. Prepare the Praline Glaze: Stir together brown sugar, butter, milk, and flour in a bowl until well combined. Stir in pecans.

  4. Spread Praline Glaze over hot Cake. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely, about 1 hour.

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