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The Baltimore Sun

Chocolate Praline Layer Cake

Cake 1/2 cup butter or margarine 1/4 cup whipping cream 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans 1 (18.25-oz.) pkg. Pillsbury® Moist Supreme® Devil's Food Cake Mix 1 1/4 cups water 1/3 cup oil 3 eggs Topping 1 3/4 cups whipping cream 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 16 pecan halves, if desired 16 chocolate curls, if desired 1. Heat oven to 325°F. In small heavy saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup whipping cream and brown sugar. Cook over low heat just until butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Pour into two 9 or 8-inch round cake pans; sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans. 2. In large bowl, combine cake mix, water, oil and eggs; beat at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Carefully spoon batter over pecan mixture. 3. Bake at 325°F. for 35 to 45 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. 4. In small bowl, beat 1 3/4 cups whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form. 5. To assemble cake, place 1 layer on serving plate, praline side up. Spread with half of whipped cream. Top with second layer, praline side up; spread top with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with whole pecans and chocolate curls. Store in refrigerator. Recipe note: Developed by Julie Bengtson, Bemidji, Minn. and $40,000 winner.PILLSBURY