Oh. My. Goodness. This is indeed a showstopper - it's one of the tastiest and most beautiful cakes I ever made. Such a moist, robust cake with crunchy praline pecans in caramel baked onto each layer, and it feeds a crowd. Kind of like a cake, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie all in one dessert with lots of whipped cream on top. According to my taste, though, I changed the spices to switch out the nutmeg for ground cloves, in the same ratio I use for pumpkin pie: in this case 1-1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, and 1/2 tsp cloves. One caution - be careful if you're taking it to a party or somewhere out. It's easy for the top layer to break with movement since it's a heavy cake; it did so for me. No disaster though, the whipped cream hid the break and no one could tell. I'm thinking of either doing it in three layers next time, or spreading the cream in the middle all the way out to the edge to make sure it's level. Whatever, I can't wait until Christmas when I'm making it again.
My go-to recipe in the fall. I frost the sides of the cake as well....add 1 t. cinnamon to the whipped cream. This cake stores well IN THE FRIDGE-can do day ahead.
This is a wonderful recipe - fairly easy to make, and impressive. The best thing is the taste and the compliments you'll get. If you love pumpkin, this is the best recipe!! Sometimes I underfill the cake pans and have some leftover to put in tiny loaf pans without the pecans or whip cream. They taste like cupcakes - I think I'm going to make cupcakes with cream cheese frosting from this recipe next!
I have made this cake many, many times. It always comes out fantastic and everyone raves about it and wants the recipe. I have cut down the white sugar to 1 1/3 cup and the vegetable oi to 3/4 cup and it is perfect that way.
So I baked this for a thanksgiving potluck at work and every one raved about it. I didn't actually get to eat it but one of my co-worker's told me that this was the best cake he had had in the past 40 years. I think that says enough. Will be making again!