This easy to make praline cake uses French style pralines for an irresistible nutty flavor. Perfect as a pairing with afternoon tea, you will love how quickly and easily this tasty cake comes together.
This is your traditional 1-2-3-4 cake. For those that have never heard of this measurement before not to worry – chances are you’ve made plenty of cakes in this style before! This praline cake, unlike a pound cake for example, uses 1-2-3-4 to calculate how much of the primary cake ingredients to use.
Using a measurement system like this is great for people who don’t have a kitchen scale. Which means this cake is so easy and a perfect experiment for first time bakers. Unlike some of my more difficult baking recipes like French madeleines, or the unbelievably time consuming, multiple-parts fancy entremet cake, this praline cake comes together in a snap.
What Are Pralines?
Believe it or not, I feel I have to explain what are pralines because not everyone knows. The reason being is the word praline is used to describe three different desserts! Yes, I use the French style praline in this recipe, but there is also a Belgian style and a Louisiana (U.S. South) style.
- French Pralines: Individual nuts that are cooked in a sugar syrup until hard. Basically your standard caramelized nuts like hazelnut or almond.
- Belgian Pralines: This refers to clusters of French pralines covered in chocolate. It can also refer to crushed/powdered French pralines that are used as a filling for fancy filled chocolates.
- Louisiana Pralines: Often made with pecans cooked in a sugar and milk/cream slurry. The end result is more of a nut fudge than a hard candy.
How To Make A Praline Cake
As mentioned above, this praline cake uses the 1-2-3-4 measurement system. This is the most popular style for bundt or other molded cakes. Compared to pound cakes which use a 1-1-1-1 measurement, or tiered cakes which use a variety of styles to keep them light enough to stack.
- 1 cup Butter – unsalted
- 2 cups Sugar – white
- 3 cups Flour – AP
- 4 Eggs – large, room temperature
- 200 ml Milk – I’m doing this measurement in metric since that’s how I normally measure, but this is 4/5 of a cup
- 1 tsp Salt
- 15 grams Baking Powder – this is about a tablespoon. If you are a little over or under it isn’t a huge deal.
- 2 grams Vanilla Powder – if you want to use vanilla extract you can, just measure out a teaspoon instead.
- 200 grams French Pralines – I am using half hazelnut and half almond. You can use any nut praline you want though, it is your cake after all.
Baking a French Praline Cake
The first step in making a praline cake is to beat together the butter and sugar. I use a stand mixer for this as it removes a lot of the hard work. Just let it run on medium-high until you have a fluffy whipped butter mix.
While the butter is beating you can prepare the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, vanilla powder (if using extract do not add it to the dry ingredients, but rather to the wet after the eggs), and salt.
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the eggs one at a time.
Next add half of the flour mix and let it incorporate. Then add all of the milk, and finish with the rest of the flour. Once the flour is fully combined turn off the mixer. You do not want to overmix a cake or it will be too dense.
Place your French pralines in a sealable bag like a Ziploc and beat with a rolling pin. I like a rough crush as opposed to a full powder, but you can stop when you reach your preference.
Fold the crushed pralines into the batter. Also grease and flour your bundt pan. This will help the cake come out easily after baking.
Add your praline cake batter to the bundt pan and smooth the top. The cake will puff up quite a bit, but that isn’t a huge deal. Place the pan in the oven to bake at 175C or 350F for 55 minutes, or until a long toothpick or chopstick comes out clean.
Remove the praline cake from the oven and let rest on the counter for 10 minutes. If you want to slice away the excess risen part you can do that now. I suggest a long bread knife. Then simply invert the cake onto your presentation plate and let cool completely.
Frosting The Praline Cake
For the frosting I just made a very simple sugar glaze. That’s just 200 grams of powdered or confectioner’s sugar whisked together with 3.5 tablespoons of milk. Wait until the cake is completely cool and spoon over the glaze letting it drip down the sides.
- 1 Oven | for baking
- 1 Bundt Pan | or other cake mold
- 1 stand mixer | with paddle attachment
- 1 cup Butter unsalted
- 2 cups Sugar white
- 3 cups Flour AP
- 4 Eggs large, room temperature
- 200 ml Milk I'm doing this measurement in metric since that's how I normally measure but this is 4/5 of a cup
- 1 tsp Salt
- 15 grams Baking Powder this is about a tablespoon. If you are a little over or under it isn't a huge deal.
- 2 grams Vanilla Powder if you want to use vanilla extract you can just measure out a teaspoon instead.
- 200 grams French Pralines I am using half hazelnut and half almond. You can use any nut praline you want though it is your cake after all.
- 200 grams Confectioner's Sugar aka powdered sugar
- 3.5 tbsp Milk
- Preheat your oven to 175C or 350F
- In the bowl of your stand mixer begin by creaming together the butter and sugar.
- While the butter is creaming, whisk together your dry ingredients in another bowl.
- Lower the speed and add the eggs one at a time.
- Add half the dry ingredients on the lowest speed setting. Next add in the milk, and when it is combined add the rest of the dry ingredients.
- Fill a sealable bag with the pralines and beat with a rolling pin until crushed to your desired consistency. I like a pretty rough crush, so you get chunks of nut spread throughout the cake for texture.
- Fold the crushed praline into the batter.
- Grease and dust your bundt pan with flour, then pour in the batter. Shake it a bit on the table so it settles in all the grooves of the pan, then pop in the oven for 1 hour. Test at 55 minutes to see if a wood chopstick comes out clean. If it does then you can remove it early.
- Let the cake sit on the counter for ten minutes, then invert and let cool completely.
- Glaze the cake only after the cake is completely cooled. Then decorate, cut, and serve. Enjoy!
- Whisk together the milk and sugar. Spoon over the top of the cake to glaze.