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Chocolate Praline Crunch Cake 6.07 Twenty-one is the Loneliest Number

“And the chocolate praline crunch is the cake.” “A chocolate praline crunch cake. Ah, a chocolate praline crunch cake completely covered with pearls. Ah, to be 21 again.”


For the chocolate cake:

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • ¾ cup milk

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • ½ cup water

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup cocoa powder

  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp salt

For the praline crunch:

  • ½ cup butter

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 1 ½ cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds (or a mixture)

For the chocolate drip:

  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips

  • ½ cup heavy cream

For the chocolate buttercream:

  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar

  • ⅓ cup water

  • 3 egg whites

  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar

  • 3 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (6 sticks)

  • ¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder

  • ½ tsp salt

To decorate:

  • 1-2 oz Sugar pearls (I found these at Walmart)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prep two 13-inch cake tins by greasing and lining with parchment paper.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients: sugar, eggs, milk, oil, water, and vanilla until fully combined.

  3. Slowly sift in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt). Mix until fully combined.

  4. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake tins.

  5. Bake at 375 F for about 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

  6. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

  7. While the cakes cool, prepare the praline by placing a medium saucepan over medium heat.

  8. Add the butter and allow to melt. Then stir in the sugar and heavy cream until fully combined.

  9. Allow to reach a boil and simmer for about 1 minute after it boils. Then stir in the nuts until the mixture becomes thick.

  10. Allow to cool, but you may need to warm just slightly in case the mixture hardens too much to spread.

  11. While the praline is cooling, prepare the buttercream by combining the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Allow to boil and with a candy thermometer, allow to reach soft ball stage- 235 degrees F.

  12. While the sugar and water are boiling, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Using your electric mixer, whisk until soft peaks form.

  13. Carefully remove the sugar mixture from the heat and gently pour in a stream into your egg whites while mixing on the lowest speed.

  14. Turn the speed up to medium and whisk for 5-10 minutes or until the bowl is no longer hot to the touch.

  15. Add in the butter one tablespoon at a time while still whisking the buttercream. Stir in the cocoa powder and salt until incorporated.

  16. To create the chocolate drip add the dark chocolate and heavy cream to a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until the chocolate has fully melted.

  17. Remove from heat and allow to completely cool.

  18. Once your cakes have cooled, trim off a thin layer to level your cake if needed.

  19. Spread a thick layer of the buttercream on top of one cake. Create a border around 1 inch around the diameter of the top of the cake and add another layer of buttercream. This will create a wall and help your praline from running over.

  20. Then spread a layer of the praline crunch over the buttercream. If your praline is still too warm and begins to melt the frosting, place the cake in the freezer to harden up.

  21. Place the other cake on top of the praline to sandwich the filling.

  22. To frost the cake, first spread a thin crumb coat of the buttercream over the top and sides of the cake. Wrap the cake with plastic wrap and allow the crumb coat to set for 30 minutes in the fridge.

  23. Remove the cake from the plastic wrap and fully frost the cake with the buttercream, using an offset spatula or knife.

  24. Spread the remaining praline across the top of the cake, but again, leave a 1-inch border along the diameter.

  25. Slowly (and I mean very slowly, slower than you think) pour the chocolate drip along the 1-inch border and allow it to drip down the sides of your cake.

  26. Line the bottom of the cake with the sugar pearls.

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m starting to get “caked-out.” Doing another chocolate cake 4 episodes after the dark chocolate s’mores wedding cake probably wasn’t the best move, but these two cakes are so iconic that I couldn’t help it! I do have one more cake planned for this season, but luckily it’s a few more episodes away. And then after that, I think I need a break on cakes! My freezer can’t fit too many more!

There was a lot of food and drinks mentioned in this episode from the Rory to the candy apples to the link sausages Lorelai wanted to pull out of Luke. I considered making the Rory, but for now, that will have to wait for my possible Gilmore Girls cocktail collection that I keep teasing. I do have a different cocktail planned coming up very soon, so stay tuned!

For this cake, I decorated it in my own style but still tied in Emily’s beloved pearls. I tried, for the first time in my life, a chocolate drip. And let me tell you, it was way more challenging than it looks. You have to get the consistency thick enough so that it does run down your cake, but thin enough so that it actually does drip. Then you have to pour super slowly, otherwise, it will run too quickly. I kept shoving my cake into the freezer, hoping to stop the drips from taking off too fast!

Happy cooking from the hollow!

If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!


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