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Walnut-Praline Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Walnut-Praline Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe
photo by:kraft
This Southern-inspired cake with smooth cream cheese frosting topped with walnuts and chocolate is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
30 min
1 hr 55 min
16 servings, one slice each
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What You Need

pkg.   (6 oz.) PLANTERS Walnut Pieces, divided
pkg.   (2-layer size) white cake mix
cup  granulated sugar
Tbsp.  water
pkg.   (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
cup   (1 stick) butter, softened
pkg.  (1 lb.) powdered sugar
oz.  BAKER'S Bittersweet Chocolate, divided

Make It

PREHEAT oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Process 2/3 cup of the walnuts in food processor or blender until finely ground; set aside. Prepare cake batter as directed on package. Stir in ground walnuts. Pour evenly into prepared pans. Bake 25 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans 10 min. on wire racks. Remove cakes from pans; cool completely.

MEANWHILE, cover baking sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray. Mix granulated sugar and water in small saucepan. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 min. or until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining walnuts; spread onto prepared baking sheet. Cool completely. Carefully remove walnuts from foil; break into small clusters.

BEAT cream cheese and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well after each addition. Remove 2 cups of the frosting; set aside. Melt chocolate as directed on package; cool slightly. Add two-thirds of the chocolate to remaining frosting in bowl; beat until well blended.

CUT each cake layer horizontally into two layers. Stack cake layers on serving plate, spreading chocolate frosting between layers. Frost top and side of cake with reserved plain cream cheese frosting. Gently press walnuts into top of cake. Drizzle with remaining melted chocolate. Store in refrigerator.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Make Ahead
Cake layers, walnut praline and cream cheese frosting can be made 1 day ahead. Keep cake layers covered at room temperature; store praline in airtight container at room temperature. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use; soften before spreading over cake.
Substitute PLANTERS Slivered Almonds or Pecan Pieces for the walnuts.
Praline Coating Cooking Tip
After mixing sugar and water in saucepan, brush down side of saucepan with a clean wet pastry brush. This will help prevent the sugar from caramelizing on the side of the pan. For best results, continue to brush down side of saucepan as needed with clean wet brush to ensure even cooking of the praline coating.
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