For the Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 vanilla bean pods, split open and beans scraped
- small splash almond extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
For the Praline Topping
- ½ cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecan halves, some halves left whole
- To make the cake, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Generously grease a bundt pan, dust it with flour, and knock out the excess flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Beat on medium speed until the the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Occasionally stop the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure the mixture creams evenly.
- Reduce speed to low and beat in eggs, one at a time, for 1 minute between each addition.
- Beat in the vanilla bean scrapings until evenly combined. Add the splash of almond.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the mixer and, mixing on low, slowly stream in the buttermilk. Add the remaining flour and mix until just combined.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish incorporating the mixture with a spatula to ensure that all of the ingredients are evenly mixed.
- Dollop batter into the prepared pan and smooth to even.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Invert cake onto a sire rack and allow to cool completely.
- To make the praline topping, in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat combine brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, and salt. Stir until the mixture is melted, well combined, and smooth, about 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and pecans. Allow to cool slightly until the consistency is thick and spoonable. Spoon over cooled cake and allow to rest until the praline sets.
- If you find that the praline sets before drizzling the cake, gently reheat it over low heat, adding a dash more heavy cream if necessary.
- Store cake, in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Serving Size: 10