When you are a pastry chef, people just show up on any Yom Tov afternoon because they are certain that you must have a dessert sitting around. The truth is I usually do. I have a cake platter that is covered by a heavy glass dome and it lives on my counter. Before every Shabbos and Yom Tov I “feed” the dome so it is always filled with something. For Sukkot, I always shift towards fall flavors such as apples, pumpkin, nuts and cranberries. This cake is a moist pumpkin cake filled with pecan praline frosting. The frosting contains crushed candied pecans so it is both creamy and crunchy.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 16 - 20Servings
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
Pecan Praline Frosting
- 1 cup pecan halves (not chopped)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 8 ounces pareve cream cheese
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons plain soy milk
1. Spray oil containing flour or spray oil plus 2 tablespoons flour for greasing and flouring pan.
2. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Trace a 9-inch round pan on parchment paper and cut out the circle. Grease and flour the pan, press in the parchment circle, and grease and flour again. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat the oil, sugar and pumpkin purée at medium speed until creamy. Scrape down the bowl. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix well. Add the salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Finally, add the flour and mix well. You will have a thick batter. Scoop the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Lift the pan an inch above the counter and drop pan lightly on countertop twice to deflate any air bubbles inside.
3. Bake for 45–50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. May be made two days in advance and stored covered at room temperature, or frozen for up to three months.
Pecan Praline Frosting:
4. While the cake is baking, prepare the praline. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pecan halves, cinnamon, sugar and brown sugar and stir. Continue cooking, stirring often with a silicone spatula, for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the sugar melts and dark caramel coats the nuts. When the pan starts to smoke, turn the heat down to low. Have a knife nearby to scrape back into the pan any caramel that sticks to the spatula. Try not to break the pecan pieces.
5. Transfer the caramelized nuts to a sheet of parchment paper and let cool. After a few minutes, when the nuts are cool enough to handle, separate them from each other. Set aside 12 pecan halves to use to decorate the cake. Let cool completely. Chop the remaining nuts into ¼- to ½-inch pieces. Set aside.
6. To make the frosting, place the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at high speed to soften. Add the vanilla. Add the confectioners’ sugar, a cup at a time, and beat on medium speed, mixing in each cup completely before adding the next one. Add the soymilk and beat for one minute until the frosting looks creamy. Add the chopped praline to the frosting and mix in gently.
7. To assemble the cake, you can trim the top to make it even if you like, and eat the scraps (my favorite part). Slice the cake into three layers. Place the top slice of cake, top-side down on top of the serving plate. Spread one third of the frosting on the cake, stopping about ¼-inch from the edge. Place the middle cake slice on top. Spread another third of icing on top. Place the bottom slice, bottom-side up on top. Spread the remaining icing on top, leaving a ½-inch border. Place the reserved pecan halves on the icing as if you were placing them on the hours of a clock. Let chill and set in the fridge for one hour and then serve. Store covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.