For the Praline Layer:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups pecans, toasted
For the Cake:
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/3 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, then line the bottom and sides with parchment paper and butter the paper. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil.
Make the praline layer: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the brown sugar, corn syrup, kosher salt and vanilla. Spread in the prepared pan and scatter the pecans on top; set aside.
Beat the butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 10 minutes. With the mixer on low, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with flour. Fold in the pecans.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool on a rack, 30 minutes. Remove the springform ring, invert the cake onto a plate and remove the paper. Serve with ice cream.
Photograph by Marcus Nilsson