Pecan Praline Gingerbread Cake Recipe

"The flavors of the holidays are all wrapped up in this pecan praline gingerbread cake," as developer Kate Shungu characterizes her recipe. In fact, this cake is kind of a holiday twofer, since gingerbread is associated with the winter holidays while pecan pie is a Thanksgiving staple. As for pralines, these are a year-round Southern specialty. "Reminiscent of a pecan praline candy," the crunchy praline topping is the perfect complement to this soft, warmly spiced gingerbread cake, Shungu says.

One note on the ingredients for this quick cake: Shungu emphasizes that "using a mild-flavored molasses" is important here, so you'll want to save the bitter blackstrap kind for health drinks and tonics. Blackstrap molasses isn't typically used in baking, and opting for the lighter kind, as Shungu puts it, allows the ginger flavor to shine through in this holiday-ready dessert.

Assemble the ingredients for this pecan praline gingerbread cake

The cake is made from flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, vegetable oil, boiling water, and an egg and is flavored with ground ginger, cinnamon, and molasses. The topping comes together with brown sugar, butter, and pecans, while Shungu also likes to use whipped cream as an extra embellishment.

Step 1: Warm up the oven

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Step 2: Prepare a pan

Grease a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.

Step 3: Combine the dry cake ingredients

Place 1 ⅔ cups flour, baking soda, ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl, and whisk to combine.

Step 4: Beat the wet ingredients

In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, and molasses.

Step 5: Mix in the oil and water

Whisk vegetable oil and boiling water into the egg mixture.

Step 6: Stir up the cake batter

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until a batter forms.

Step 7: Bake the gingerbread cake

Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 25 minutes.

Step 8: Make the praline topping

Meanwhile, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons flour, remaining ½ teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, melted butter, and pecans.

Step 9: Put the topping on the cake

Remove the cake from the oven and crumble the pecan praline mixture over the top evenly.

Step 10: Bake the topping onto the cake

Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Step 11: Cool and cut the cake

Let cool before slicing and serving with whipped cream.

Pecan Praline Gingerbread Cake Recipe
5 from 42 ratings
A soft spiced cake with crunchy pecans on top, this gingerbread dessert evokes the sweet flavors of the fall and winter holidays.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
9
servings
gingerbread pecan cake slice with whipped cream
Total time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅔ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.
  3. Place 1 ⅔ cups flour, baking soda, ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl, and whisk to combine.
  4. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, and molasses.
  5. Whisk vegetable oil and boiling water into the egg mixture.
  6. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until a batter forms.
  7. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons flour, remaining ½ teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, melted butter, and pecans.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and crumble the pecan praline mixture over the top evenly.
  10. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  11. Let cool before slicing and serving with whipped cream.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 431
Total Fat 23.2 g
Saturated Fat 4.9 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 33.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 53.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Total Sugars 33.4 g
Sodium 254.0 mg
Protein 3.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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How should I serve this pecan praline gingerbread cake?

"The whipped cream on top is a must" to contrast with the sweet crunchy pecan glaze baked onto this cake, Shungu says — feel free to make it yourself or use canned whipped cream instead. If you're lactose-intolerant or fresh out of cream, though, you can certainly skip it. Conversely, if you want an even more over-the-top topping, you could always opt to go a la mode with a scoop of vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.

Shungu's preference for a beverage pairing is coffee or milk, as both help to temper some of the sweetness of this praline-topped cake. Chai tea would also work well since the mixture of spices used to flavor it would pair nicely with the ones used in gingerbread. You could also choose to go all-in on the cake's gingery taste by accompanying it with ginger tea or even a spicy ginger beer.

How long does this pecan praline gingerbread cake last?

This pecan praline gingerbread cake is baked in a 9x9-inch pan in a single layer, meaning it makes for about 9 moderately sized pieces in all. Shungu describes it as "a nice-sized dessert for a smaller gathering," making it ideal for low-key holiday meals with family and friends (or individual households that want the perfect snacking cake to dole out throughout the week).

If you do end up with leftovers, you can store them either at room temperature or in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for longer. Whichever location you choose, Shungu recommends that the cake be "tightly covered," so you'll want to wrap it in plastic or foil or stick it in a Tupperware-type container. For even longer storage in the freezer, wrap the cake (or individual slices) tightly in plastic, followed by a layer of foil.