Pumpkin baked goods can come in all shapes and sizes. While pie is the traditional vehicle for pumpkin when it comes to dessert, it isn’t the only option out there and it can be fun to mix things up with other pumpkin desserts. This Pumpkin Praline Pecan Bundt Cake is a perfect option for a holiday dessert. It is not too sweet and delivers a plenty of pumpkin flavor, packed with warm spices, brown sugar and crunchy pecans – and while it is large enough to serve a crowd, it is easy enough to whip up on a weeknight, too.
Instead of using regular pecans to add crunch to this cake, I used praline pecans, which are toasted pecans coated in a buttery brown sugar mixture. This sweet type of pecan, or other nuts, and variations on it can be made at home pretty easily, but they are widely available on grocery stores because they’re delicious snack foods, too. I picked some up at Trader Joe’s and gave them a fine chop using a kitchen knife. The store-bought ones are ideal if you need to save a little time in the kitchen.
The cake has a soft, tender crumb that almost melts in your mouth as you eat it. Unlike some pumpkin cakes, this one is not heavy or dense. I recommend finely chopping the pecans before folding them into the batter. This is partially to ensure that you get an even distribution of pecans throughout the cake, but it is also because the soft texture of the cake is complimented better by smaller pieces of nuts. The nuts are crunchy and have just the right amount of sweetness to stand out in the pumpkin spiced cake. It’s a delicious combination.
I serve this cake without frosting, but will dust it with confectioners’ sugar before serving if I need to dress it up. If you prefer, you can drizzle on a cinnamon glaze or a cream cheese frosting to sweeten it up. The cake will keep well in an airtight container for at least 3-4 days after baking.
Pumpkin Praline Pecan Bundt Cake
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup finely chopped praline pecans
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
Whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree in a small bowl or measuring cup.
Stir about 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, followed by half of the pumpkin mix. Stir in another 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining pumpkin and the remaining flour. Mix only until ingredients are just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain visible. Fold in praline pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for about 45 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly touched.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 bundt cake; serves 10-12