The Speckled Palate
November 2, 2016

Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake

Combine two favorite fall flavors to make the ULTIMATE Thanksgiving dessert: Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake! Bourbon pralines create the base/top of this cake, then pecans add decoration. Once the pecans are in place, pour the thick pumpkin cake batter into the cake pan, and bake! Flip after removing from the oven and free from the pan, then drizzle with bourbon caramel sauce for the finishing touch. This cake is decadently moist and perfect!

Combine two favorite fall flavors to make the ULTIMATE Thanksgiving dessert: Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake! Bourbon pralines create the base/top of this cake, then pecans add decoration. Once the pecans are in place, pour the thick pumpkin cake batter into the cake pan, and bake! Flip after removing from the oven and free from the pan, then drizzle with bourbon caramel sauce for the finishing touch. This cake is decadently moist and perfect!

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My grandmother, Memother, was a firm believer in eating dessert first.

I’m talking order dessert at a restaurant before the main course.

You can imagine the kinds of looks we received, and the ones we still receive because my dad and I sometimes order dessert first in honor of her when we’re together.

So today, the second day of November, I’m talkin’ dessert first instead of starting off with our more traditional Thanksgiving meal.

And I think my Memother would approve!

Combine two favorite fall flavors to make the ULTIMATE Thanksgiving dessert: Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake! Bourbon pralines create the base/top of this cake, then pecans add decoration. Once the pecans are in place, pour the thick pumpkin cake batter into the cake pan, and bake! Flip after removing from the oven and free from the pan, then drizzle with bourbon caramel sauce for the finishing touch. This cake is decadently moist and perfect!

But before we talk about this cake… could we just take a second to freak out that it’s NOVEMBER? It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is in just a few short weeks! In celebration of the upcoming food lovers’ holiday, I’ve teamed up with several friends to create recipes for Cake ‘n Knife and Feast + West‘s third annual Blogsgiving dinner!

We’ve got a little bit of everything for y’all today, and I am so thrilled to be a part of this group. Because Thanksgiving is all about family, friends and delicious food… and the food blogging community is all about these things, too!

The idea is based on an old-fashioned potluck dinner party. Each blogger is bringing a dish to the party, so be sure to stop by each one and get some ideas for your own Thanksgiving meal. We’ll be posting to social media with the hashtag #blogsgivingdinner, but you can see the entire menu beneath my recipe.

Combine two favorite fall flavors to make the ULTIMATE Thanksgiving dessert: Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake! Bourbon pralines create the base/top of this cake, then pecans add decoration. Once the pecans are in place, pour the thick pumpkin cake batter into the cake pan, and bake! Flip after removing from the oven and free from the pan, then drizzle with bourbon caramel sauce for the finishing touch. This cake is decadently moist and perfect!

The dish I’m bringing today combines two of my favorite fall flavors: pecans and pumpkin.

Last year, I wondered if I could somehow combine the things I love about Bourbon Pecan Pie with a pumpkin dessert and quickly realized that yes, I could… in the form of a seasonal upside down cake.

Honestly, this recipe was a total experiment that I threw together on Saturday while making all the Thanksgiving dishes… and it baked up so beautifully that I couldn’t not share it!

The texture is spot-on, and that drizzle on top? Heavenly! (You know, if you like butter and brown sugar and bourbon cooked together.)

We ate a quarter of this after dinner… gave a quarter of it to our friends to take home… and ate the other quarter on Sunday.

Cake perfection, y’all.

Combine two favorite fall flavors to make the ULTIMATE Thanksgiving dessert: Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake! Bourbon pralines create the base/top of this cake, then pecans add decoration. Once the pecans are in place, pour the thick pumpkin cake batter into the cake pan, and bake! Flip after removing from the oven and free from the pan, then drizzle with bourbon caramel sauce for the finishing touch. This cake is decadently moist and perfect!

Essential Tools/Products for Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake

Get the look!

Be sure to scroll down beneath the Blogsgiving menu to get the recipe for this beautiful cake!

Combine two favorite fall flavors to make the ULTIMATE Thanksgiving dessert: Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake! Bourbon pralines create the base/top of this cake, then pecans add decoration. Once the pecans are in place, pour the thick pumpkin cake batter into the cake pan, and bake! Flip after removing from the oven and free from the pan, then drizzle with bourbon caramel sauce for the finishing touch. This cake is decadently moist and perfect!

Now, who’s ready for some Blogsgiving goodness?

Blogsgiving Drinks

Ginger Pumpkin Beer Shandy by Feast + West
Glühwein/Mulled Wine by Tag&Tibby
White Chocolate Pumpkin Martini by The Culinary Compass
Apple Ginger Punch by The Little Epicurean

Blogsgiving Appetizers

Cheesy brussels sprouts dip by Living Well Kitchen
Sun Dried Tomato & Goat Cheese Spread by Life’s Ambrosia
Cranberry Goat Cheese Tarts by Cake ‘n Knife
Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Ginger Soup by The Secret Ingredient Is

Blogsgiving Soups & Salads

Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Ginger Soup by The Secret Ingredient Is
Brussels Sprout Salad with Farro and Walnuts by Sugar Dish Me
Sheet Pan Carrot Soup by Macheesmo

Blogsgiving Side Dishes

Kale + butternut squash mac and cheese by Family Food on the Table
Twice Baked Parmesan Butternut Squash by A Mind Full Mom
Twice The Onion Green Bean Casserole by Melanie Makes
Lightened Up Green Bean Casserole by Dash of Herbs
Easy Corn Casserole by Love Bakes Good Cakes
Cranberry Honey Butter by Little Dairy on the Prairie

Blogsgiving Entrees

Butternut Squash Lasagna by Hello Little Home
Beer-Brined Stuffed Turkey Loin by Beer Girl Cooks
Roasted Mushroom Pot Pie by The Cookie Writer

Blogsgiving Desserts

Chocolate Pumpkin Fudge by Around My Family Table
Carrot Cake by bell’alimento
Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake by The Speckled Palate
Roasted Banana Pecan Cheesecake by Lady Behind The Curtain
Chai-Spiced Apple Crumble Blondies by The Crumby Cupcake
Pecan Pie Crumble Bars by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
Pecan Pie Milkshake by Brunch-n-Bites

Come celebrate Blogsgiving with some of your favorite bloggers today!

Now… are y’all ready to bake?

Here’s how you make this gorgeous cake:

Combine two favorite fall flavors to make the ULTIMATE Thanksgiving dessert: Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake! Bourbon pralines create the base/top of this cake, then pecans add decoration. Once the pecans are in place, pour the thick pumpkin cake batter into the cake pan, and bake! Flip after removing from the oven and free from the pan, then drizzle with bourbon caramel sauce for the finishing touch. This cake is decadently moist and perfect!
3.67 from 3 votes
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Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake

Combine two favorite fall flavors to make the ULTIMATE Thanksgiving dessert: Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake! Bourbon pralines create the base/top of this cake, then pecans add decoration. Once the pecans are in place, pour the thick pumpkin cake batter into the cake pan, and bake! Flip after removing from the oven and free from the pan, then drizzle with bourbon caramel sauce for the finishing touch. This cake is decadently moist and perfect!
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 1 9" cake
Author Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate

Ingredients

Topping

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 oz . bourbon
  • 1 cup pecan halves

Pumpkin Cake

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon allspice

Bourbon Caramel Glaze

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 oz . bourbon

Instructions

Make the Topping

  1. Heat a 9" round cake pan over medium-heat on the stovetop.
  2. Melt the butter, and when the butter is melted, add the brown sugar.
  3. When the brown sugar begins to bubble, add the bourbon.
  4. Stir constantly until the bourbon has cooked off, then remove from the heat.
  5. In the bottom of the pan, arrange the pecan halves in the pattern you'd like for the top of the cake. (Please note that you should put the pecan pieces into the pan upside down so they are facing the right direction when the cake is turned out.)
  6. Set aside.

Make the Pumpkin Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large glass bowl, melt the butter in the microwave.
  3. When the butter is melted, add the pumpkin to the mixture with the sugar. Whisk together until smooth and combined.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla, whisking until smooth.
  5. In another glass bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until smooth and combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick, so use a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon to mix at this point.
  7. When the batter has come together, pour onto the prepared topping in the cake pan.
  8. Smooth out the batter until it's evenly distributed in the pan.
  9. Place in the oven, and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. The cake will be a dark golden brown color.
  10. When the cake has baked through, remove from the oven, and let sit for 5 minutes. (No longer than this!)
  11. Run a knife along the edges of the cake. Place a heatproof cake plate on top, and carefully flip the cake to remove it from the pan. Some of the pecans may have gone astray, so you can rearrange them here.
  12. Let the cake cool completely before serving.

Make the Bourbon Caramel Glaze

  1. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add the brown sugar, stirring as it heats, then pour in the bourbon.
  3. The mixture will bubble and pop, so continue stirring and remove from the heat.
  4. Immediately drizzle on top of the cake, and enjoy!

What are you bringing to the Thanksgiving table this year?

55 Comments

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  6. Julia Mueller

    Your Memother sounds like one smart lady! This definitely looks like the perfect dessert to serve guests on Thanksgiving – I love that it’s jam packed with fall, and that praline element is driving my taste buds berzerk! Bravo, m’dear!

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  10. Lora @savoringitaly

    What fantastic Thanksgiving event…so many ideas! This cake looks absolutely divine. I want to try it before Thanksgiving!

    • Erin

      We have so much fun with Blogsgiving every year, Lora! And thank you – this cake totally rocked our worlds this November!

  11. Des @ Life's Ambrosia

    Oh my gahhhhhhhh! This is amazing!

    • Erin

      Thanks, Des!

  12. Melanie | Melanie Makes

    That praline looks absolutely unreal!

    • Erin

      Thanks, Melanie. It’s pretty scrumptious!

  13. Sabrina

    What a fantastic cake! I love baking with pralines!

    • Erin

      Thanks, Sabrina! Baking with pralines is fun and delicious!

  14. Brandy | Nutmeg Nanny

    I am OBSESSED with this! I’ll be making this VERY soon!

    • Erin

      Thanks, Brandy! I hope you and yours enjoy it as much as we did!

  15. Jessica | The Novice Chef

    This looks incredible! I’m literally trying to grab it through the screen!

    • Erin

      Thanks, Jessica! I wish there was a way for me to send you a slice via the Internet.

  16. Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen

    This looks delicious and would make a wonderful dessert for the holidays! A twist on the traditional pies and cakes.

    • Erin

      Thanks, Kimberly! That’s what I was thinking when I made this. It’s delicious and perfect for a crowd this holiday season.

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  18. Cathy Trochelman

    I’m completely drooling over this gorgeous cake!!! Such a perfect addition to a holiday meal!

    • Erin

      Thank you, Cathy! It’s a delicious way to end a holiday meal!

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  20. Amanda Mason

    Beautiful picture!! Just so beautiful! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • Erin

      Thank you, Amanda! I hope you and yours enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

  21. Monica

    This looks absolutely incredible. Can you send some over here please? 🙂

    • Erin

      Thanks, Monica! I’ll just send it via the Internet… wait for it… 😉

  22. Elaine @ Dishes Delish

    Erin, this looks so delicious! I have got to make this! Tout de suite!

    • Erin

      Aww, thank you, Elaine! You totally have to make this!

  23. Katrin

    What a boozy, rich cake! Your photos are incredible – it looks to die for!

    • Erin

      Thank you, Katrin! This cake is utterly delicious!

  24. Michele

    You had me at praline! This will be perfect on our buffet table for the weekend brunch we do!

    • Erin

      Thanks, Michele! You should totally make this for brunch!

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  26. Shannon @ Pass Me Some Tasty

    This cake looks absolutely divine Erin!

    • Shannon @ Pass Me Some Tasty

      I wanted to give this 5 stars but my comment went through before I clicked the 5th star!

      • Erin

        Oh no! I wonder if there’s a way to fix that?

    • Erin

      Thanks, Shannon! It truly is!

  27. Fiona

    Oh my goodness! You had me at bourbon! This looks incredible

    • Erin

      You can never go wrong with bourbon in my book… 😉

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  29. Diana Helou

    Yum! I just made this and it was absolutely delicious! The only complaint I have is my presentation was not as pretty as yours! My pecans were sunked into the crust and did not stand out like yours. Any tips? Im hoping you’d also clarify one thing, warming the cake pan on the stove top, is that on the direct flame? Or do you place the cake mold on top of another pan? Thank you!

    • Erin

      Diana! Apologies on the slowest response ever! I’m so glad that the cake was absolutely delicious, even if the presentation wasn’t as pretty as mine. I had to rearrange my pecans a bit once the cake was flipped, but they weren’t sunken in. Maybe they got mixed in when you poured the batter over them?

      To clarify, yes, warm the cake pan on the direct flame. You could also do that in a saucepan if you don’t want to heat your cake pan. 🙂

      Thanks for your feedback. I’m tickled pink that you enjoyed this recipe!

      • Diana Helou

        Haha no worries!! I tried the recipe again and this time cooked the topping in the cake pan and it came out perfect! Delicious! Thank you!!!

        • Erin

          HOORAY! So happy to hear it came out perfectly this time! Well done, and HAPPY BAKING!

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  31. Helene

    Can I substitute margarine for butter or use vegan butter? I’m allergic to real butter/milk products

    • Erin

      Hey Helene. I’ve never used margarine or vegan butter in this recipe, but I think it should work. (I’m not 100% on this, though, as I’ve never used either in the baking of this cake.) If you make it, please let me know how it turned out!

  32. Daisy

    Hi, I cannot have alcohol. What would you recommend as substitutes for the bourbon in this recipe? I’d love to try it!

    • Erin

      Hey Daisy. I think you can leave out the whiskey in the caramel, and it’ll still be delicious. If you give it a shot, let me know what you think!

  33. Yaron

    this cake looks soooo good, great wet spongy texture, I have to make it soon.

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