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Pumpkin Cake with Pecan Praline Frosting

Pumpkin Cake With Pecan Praline Frosting

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.

  • Duration
  • 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.

Recipe published in JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller Magazine Fall 2013. Subscribe Now.

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