If you like pecans and pralines, if you like cake, and if you like EASY, you will love this delicious and decadent Southern Pecan Praline Cake recipe.
Not only is it easy to make, but it also freezes beautifully. I have already made several ahead for different occasions and have them stashed in the freezer to keep them fresh.
This dessert, like my recipe for Charleston Chewies, is also perfect for taking to potlucks or church suppers and stays fresh for about a week if kept covered in the fridge.
Why you will love this recipe:
The best part about this recipe is that it starts with a box of butter pecan cake mix. I know there are a few of you baking purists that are rolling your eyes about now because I’m using a mix.
But that’s what makes this recipe so EASY! Of course, you know there has to be more to this story, and there is!
What are pralines?
Pralines are a classic Southern candy, and these luscious, crunchy bites of heaven taste a little like a combination of creamy butterscotch, caramel, and roasted pecans all wrapped up in a sugary, fudgy package!
Homemade pralines make wonderful gifts for your foodie friends and are simple to make. Check out my easy recipe for Old-Fashioned Pecan Pralines.
Here’s what you will need for this recipe:
The rest of the story behind Southern Pecan Praline Cake is in its list of ingredients which include a box of butter pecan cake mix, a tub of coconut pecan frosting (which goes in the batter, yes you read that right), eggs, vegetable or coconut oil, and roasted pecans.
And then, when you thought this dessert couldn’t get any sweeter, there is also a decadent praline topping made with sweetened condensed milk, butter, and more roasted pecans which is then poured over the entire cake!
How to make it:
When you are ready to make it, gather your ingredients and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick baking spray.
Place the cake mix, coconut frosting, eggs, oil, and water in a large mixing bowl. Use a handheld or your stand mixer and mix well to combine everything. Add the pecans and mix again.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and it pulls away from the sides. Set aside to cool on a wire cooling rack.
How to make the topping:
To make the praline topping, combine the butter and sweetened condensed milk in a small saucepan and stir until the butter is melted. Add the pecans and mix well. Pour over the cooled cake and serve.
- This dessert keeps well covered in the fridge for approximately one week, or you can wrap it well in foil and store in a large ziplock bag in your freezer for up to two months.
- Check out my easy recipe for roasted pecans here, or spread the pecan halves out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.
- If you are roasting pecans that have already been chopped up, reduce the roasting time to five minutes or so. The smaller the pecan piece, the quicker they will burn, so watch them and start checking at 3-4 minutes.
- If I am making this recipe ahead and know I will be freezing it, I always bake and store it in a disposable aluminum baking pan.
- It’s best to wait to add the praline topping to your cake until it has cooled completely or just before you are ready to serve it.
More Southern dessert recipes:
If you like this recipe, I’m betting that you will also love these other popular recipes on my blog: Banana Pudding Poke Cake, Apple Dapple Cake with Caramel Glaze, Easy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing, Georgia Cornbread Cake AKA Pecan Cake, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Minnie Lee Croley’s Sour Cream Pound Cake, Pecan Praline Ice Cream, and Easy Peaches and Cream Pie.
Need more dessert ideas? Check out all of my dessert recipes here.
More Southern recipes:
Check out these popular southern recipes on my blog: Southern Potato Salad, Old-Fashioned Southern Cornbread, Southern Peach Bread, Best Ever Southern Caviar Dip, Southern Pink Lady Peas, Easy Hoecakes AKA Cornmeal Pancakes, Southern Fresh White Acre Peas, Southern Fried Green Tomatoes, and Southern Sweet Potato Pie.
Of course, since this is a blog about Southern recipes, I have lots more. You can check all of my Southern recipes here.
★ If you liked this recipe, please consider rating it and leaving a comment. I’d love to know how you liked it!
Thank you so much for visiting Grits and Pinecones. I hope you’ll come back soon!
Southern Pecan Praline Cake Recipe
- 15.25 oz box butter pecan cake mix
- 15 oz tub coconut pecan frosting
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup vegetable or coconut oil
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup roasted pecans roasted and chopped
Cake Topping Ingredients:
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup pecans roasted and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick baking spray.
- Place the cake mix, coconut frosting, eggs, oil and water in a large mixing bowl. Use a handheld or your stand mixer and mix well to combine everything. Add the pecans and mix again.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cake pulls away from the sides. Set aside to cool on a wire cooling rack.
Pecan Praline Topping Instructions
- To make the praline topping, combine the butter and sweetened condensed milk in a small saucepan and stir until the butter is melted. Add the pecans and mix well. Pour over the cooled cake and serve.
- Southern Pecan Praline Cake keeps well covered in the fridge for approximately one week, or you can wrap it well in foil and store in a large ziplock bag in your freezer for up to two months.
- Check out my easy recipe for roasted pecans here, or simply spread the pecan halves out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in a 350-degree oven for ten minutes. If you are roasting pecans that have already been chopped up, reduce the roasting time to five minutes or so. The smaller the pecan piece the quicker they will burn, so watch them carefully and start checking at three-four minutes.
- If I am making this cake ahead and know I will be freezing it, I always bake and store the cake in a disposable aluminum baking pan. The pan fits perfectly into a two-gallon plastic storage bag.
- It's best to wait to add the praline topping just before you are ready to serve it. It also works best to wait until the cake has cooled completely.
Absolutely love the cake!!!!
Is there a way to reduce the sweetness of the topping? Although deficits, it was much too sweet for our taste. Any suggestions are appreciated.
The main ingredient in the topping is sweetened condensed milk, which by its very nature, is very sweet. I have never tried substituting it with something else, but I did find this blog post which gives a few options using heavy cream or even evaporated milk instead of sweetened condensed milk where you can control the amount of sugar used: https://bakeitwithlove.com/sweetened-condensed-milk-substitute/. If you try any of the suggestions, please let me know how it goes.
All the best,
Can this be made into a layer cake? What would the cook time be if it were baked in two 9” pans? I’m hoping to make it for a family dinner next weekend.
Hi Jane, I have never made it as a layer cake, but I can’t think of any reason it wouldn’t work. I would guess that two 8-inch pans would take approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees. I would start checking at 25 minutes.
I hope you enjoy it!
Does the topping get a little hard are stays runny
Hi Harriet, it stays relatively soft. I usually make the cake, then wait to make it and add the icing before serving it. Although it’s also fine to make both, add the icing and serve it when ready.
I hope you like it.
I’ve made this cake before. And it got rave reviews. This time I’m going to try it with dulcet le leche….
This is so easy to make. This is my favorite pecan recipe right after my pecan pie. I am making this for my family at Christmas. Along with the pie as well.
Where’s the chocolate that makes it “fudgy,”?
Hi Linda, fudgy refers to pralines’ texture which is similar to fudge. However, you are right; there is no chocolate in this recipe, but while most fudges do have chocolate as their main ingredient, there are lots of different types of fudge that don’t include chocolate, including my favorite peanut butter fudge.
All the best,