chocolate spice cake and brown butter 

Prepare yourself for a cake that’s the epitome of indulgence. Our Pecan Praline Chocolate Spice Cake with Brown Butter Buttercream is a masterpiece of flavors and textures. From the rich chocolate and warm spices to the crunchy pecan praline and velvety brown butter buttercream, this dessert is a symphony of sweet sensations.

Who Should Savor This Cake?

This cake is for the discerning dessert lover who craves a delightful departure from the ordinary. If you appreciate the fusion of deep chocolate, aromatic spices, and the luxurious nuttiness of pecan praline, this recipe is your next baking adventure. Whether you’re an experienced baker or looking to impress your guests with a show-stopping dessert, this cake is an ideal choice.

Why This Cake Is a Must-Try

There are several compelling reasons to try your hand at this Pecan Praline Chocolate Spice Cake:

  • Complex Flavors: The combination of cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves creates a rich, multidimensional flavor profile that’s a delight for the palate.
  • Decadent Frosting: Brown butter buttercream adds a nutty, buttery dimension to the cake’s sweetness, making it an irresistible treat.
  • Impressive Presentation: With its layers of cake, praline, and buttercream, this dessert looks as exquisite as it tastes. It’s perfect for special occasions and celebrations.
  • A Perfect Fall Dessert: The warm, spiced flavors make this cake an excellent choice for autumn gatherings and Thanksgiving feasts.

Before we dive into the details of the recipe, let’s ensure you have all the kitchen equipment you’ll need:

Kitchen Equipment You’ll Need

  • Three 8-inch round cake pans
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Sifter
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Skillet
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Wire rack
  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer (hand or stand mixer)

With your equipment ready, let’s move on to creating this extraordinary cake.

The Recipe


For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the Pecan Praline:

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

For the Brown Butter Buttercream:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk or heavy cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. Add the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.
  4. Stir in the boiling water. The batter will be thin, but that’s okay.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Pecan Praline:

  1. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pecans for a few minutes until they become fragrant. Remove and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir constantly until the sugar melts and turns a deep amber color.
  3. Stir in the toasted pecans.
  4. Pour the pecan praline mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let it cool and harden, then break it into pieces.

For the Brown Butter Buttercream:

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter turns a light golden brown and has a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the browned butter, powdered sugar, milk or cream, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.


  1. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread a layer of brown butter buttercream over it.
  2. Add some pecan praline pieces over the buttercream.
  3. Repeat with the next cake layer.
  4. Place the final cake layer on top and cover the entire cake with the remaining buttercream.
  5. Decorate the top with more pecan praline pieces.
  6. Slice, serve, and enjoy your Pecan Praline Chocolate Spice Cake with Brown Butter Buttercream!

Recipe Tips and Variations

  • Storage: Store any leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. The praline pieces may soften over time.
  • Gluten-Free Option: You can experiment with a gluten-free flour blend to make this cake suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.


Q: Can I use a different type of nuts for the praline?
A: Absolutely! Feel free to use your favorite nuts, such as walnuts or almonds, to create a different flavor profile for the praline.

Q: Can I prepare the cake layers in advance and assemble it later?
A: Yes, you can bake the cake layers ahead of time, wrap them well, and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

Q: Is it okay to use salted butter for the brown butter buttercream?
A: It’s best to use unsalted butter to have better control over the saltiness of the buttercream. If you only have salted butter, you can reduce the added salt in the buttercream.

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