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LOUISIANA STRANGER CAKE {Caramel Pecan Bundt Cake}

This Louisiana Stranger Cake is an easy, extra moist, and unique bundt cake to take to a new neighbor, church pot-luck, or to freeze for a future party. It comes together with a box of cake mix and a can of frosting!

bundt cake on cake stand

If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

LOUISIANA STRANGER CAKE

What is a Stranger Cake? Short answer, is the easiest, moistest, best tasting, bundt cake you have every put in your mouth.

Think caramel, pecans, coconut, butter pecans cake…

Not only that, but it’s super easy to make!!! The secret to this bundt cake, is the way you make the cake batter. Intrigued?

If you didn’t already know, I am a collector of cooking, and ANYTHING to do with food, magazines. I use the word collector, but really I have a problem that is teetering on the edge of getting me on one of those hoarding shows where they find “collectors” buried under their belongings along with various pets.

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close up of bundt cake with powdered sugar

One of my favorite’s is Cook’s Illustrated. I don’t currently subscribe because I have so many back issues already and running out of bookshelf space.

Like most other food magazines, there is a mail section in the front of Cook’s Illustrated where people send in their recipe requests or questions.

Some are funny, like “which end of the fork do I use when I eat with it?”, and some are actually useful, like “I lost my grandmother’s recipe for  ____ cake and I can’t live without it!”

They actually reunite those grieving people with their recipes and achieve superhero status! In an added bonus, we get recipes for cakes we have never heard of before.

SOUTHERN PRALINE BUNDT CAKE

One such lucky person was brought back from the abyss of sorrow when they found their lost recipe for Louisiana Stranger Cake and they kindly reprinted it for them.

I couldn’t understand this reader’s loss until I read the recipe, made it (I already had the ingredients on hand because I love German chocolate cake) and proceeded to eat half of it.

The Louisiana Stranger Cake, AKA Southern Praline Bundt Cake, is the moistest bundt cake I ever put in my mouth! I made it for a church pot-luck and it quickly became my most requested cake.

I can’t take credit for this Louisiana Stranger Cake recipe so I am glad to pass it on so that others can revel in the joy of having this cake in their lives!

WHY IS IT CALLED A LOUISIANA STRANGER CAKE?

I really wish I knew where the name comes from because I ALWAYS get asked, and I am sad to say that Cook’s Illustrated did not explain the origins of the recipe in the reader’s mail question or response.

I can speculate that it might be because:

  • that it was considered strange to put frosting in the cake batter prior to baking.
  • that people brought it to strangers that moved into the neighborhood as a welcome gift.
  • that a gifted culinary stranger lost this recipe in Louisiana and a lucky person picked it up!

SOUTHERN PRALINE BUNDT CAKE INGREDIENTS

  • Butter Pecan Cake Mix
  • Oil
  • Eggs
  • Pecans
  • Caramel Pecan Frosting

HOW TO MAKE A LOUISIANA STRANGER CAKE

FIRST: Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a bundt pan with nonstick spray or other cake release coating.

SECOND: In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs. Mix to combine.

THIRD: Fold in the pecans and caramel pecan frosting. Mix to combine.

FOURTH: Pour into prepared bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Invert on a cooling rack and let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

mini bundt cakes on a white platter

CAN I FREEZE IT?

Yes, you can! Up to 3 months and it comes out just as moist as when it was cooked. Just be sure to wrap tightly in plastic wrap!

CAN I USE A DIFFERENT CAKE MIX?

Yes you can! The original recipe called for a Butter Pecan cake mix but sometimes it is not always available. Feel free to use a plain yellow cake mix, just add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the batter. Chocolate is also a great option!!

CAN I MAKE THIS FROM SCRATCH AND NOT A CAKE MIX?

Yes you can!  Here is a recipe for the coconut pecan frosting and a cake batter.

CAN I BAKE IT IN ANOTHER PAN OTHER THAN A BUNDT PAN?

Yes you can! I have made it as a sheet cake, a 9-inch layer cake, and mini bundt cakes too!

For more insider tips & tricks, and a candid behind the scenes look follow me on social media! Check use out on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter (yes, people still use Twitter, LOL!)

CAN ANY CAKE BE A BUNDT CAKE?

Only if it is made in a Bundt pan which is a distinctive ring-shaped pan.

CAN I USE REGULAR CAKE MIX IN A BUNDT PAN?

Yes. The batter for a two-layer, 9-inch cake will fit into a bundt pan that holds 15 cups of batter.

close up of bundt cake covered in powdered sugar

HOW DO YOU KEEP A BUNDT CAKE FROM STICKING TO THE PAN?

  • Use a good non-stick pan that isn’t scratched, old, or peeling. The non-stick coating must be intact.
  • Grease the pan completely, right before adding the batter so it doesn’t slide down the sides and pool at the bottom of the pan, and use liquid oil/shortening.
  • DO NOT USE BUTTER! And make sure you get it into all the cracks and crevices of your intricately designed bundt pan with a pastry brush if it’s a fancy one! Get the center tube too!
  • Don’t use flour as it gets gummy and comes out like glue, instead I use almond flour or granulated sugar. Yes, sugar is sticky but is liquid when warm so the cake will come out when still warm.
slice of cake on a white plate

HOW LONG DO YOU WAIT TO TURN IT OUT?

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, take a spatula or non-sharp knife and loosen the cake from the edges of the pan. Including around the center tube!

Rest the cake a few before flipping it over and trying to remove it from the pan. You can also, leave the bundt pan inverted on a cooling rack for a few more minutes to see if it will drop out on its own.

If the cake still won’t come out, give the pan a tiny shake.

close up of bundt cake with text "best bundt cake"

Whatever the origin of the name, keep this recipe for the Louisiana Stranger Cake, and the ingredients on hand, for any cake emergency that arises!  It could save your life… It’s the best bundt cake from a cake mix!

MORE EASY RECIPES

Louisiana Stranger Cake Bundt Cake on a glass cake platter

Louisiana Stranger Cake

Yield: 20 pieces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This moist and delicious Louisiana Stranger cake comes together quickly and freezes beautifully!

Ingredients

  • 1 box butter pecan cake mix
  • 1 can caramel coconut pecan frosting
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup pecans (toasted and chopped)

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together. Yes, add the frosting to the cake batter!
  2. Pour into a well-greased bundt pan.
  3. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes (depending on your oven, cook until toothpick comes out clean).
  4. Let cool in cake pan for 5 minutes.
  5. Invert on a cooling rack and leave in pan for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the cake from the pan.
  7. Cool completely.
  8. Dust with powdered sugar to serve or you can wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until needed.

Notes

*If you like this recipe, leave me a comment and rate it with some stars.  Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 20
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 234mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 3g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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The original source of this recipe was Cook’s Illustrated. Tips on Bundt cakes inspired from here.

{originally published 02/19/15 – photos updated 10/23/18}

@TakeTwoTapas.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

Ann Rogers

Friday 15th of October 2021

I keep thinking a German Chocolate mix! I'll let ya'll know how it turns out!!

Jennifer

Sunday 17th of October 2021

That would be great too!

Carolyn Rhinehart

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

I have been making this for almost twenty years--the first few years with a yellow cake mix, but the butter pecan is by far the best (I've used it ever since I was able to find it.) I recently made this in a jelly roll pan. Superb! I always frost it with my homemade praline-type frosting. This cake is one of the best!

Jan

Thursday 29th of July 2021

Who makes Caramel Coconut Pecan Frosting or where can I buy it? If I must substitute, I should probably know what size can is used in the recipe, also. Thank you

Jennifer

Friday 30th of July 2021

Dunkin Hines and Betty Crocker both make it and the cans are 15.5 ounces. You can also look for frosting for German chocolate cake. Thanks!

E Nancy Mazrolle

Wednesday 14th of July 2021

Well today it the day I decided to try this cake. Went to local store, couldn't find either the icing or the cake mix so I used a yellow cake mix with the cinnamon as you suggested and I made m y own icing (didn't quite turn out the way I wanted) but I used it anyway. Sprayed my bunt pan just before adding the mixed cake to it, baked it for 40 m inutes let it settle for 7 minutes and turned it out on a plate.--most of it came out intact but the top side stuck. I manage to get them out and kind of stuck them back together--I tastes outstanding and smells wonderful. Stick or no stick this is one I will do again. Oh and it's a brand new pan--no nicks or dings but oh well. It's good

Ann Rogers

Friday 15th of October 2021

@E Nancy Mazrolle,

Over the years I've discovered nothing beats the old - grease the pan with vegetable shortening (not oil) and dusting the pan with a Tbsp or 2 of flour, turn it around to get the pan coated with the flour and discard any extra...I have recently started using the baking spray (spray oil+flour) and that works well too - but I am quite liberal with that spray. Don't know whether that sheds any light on the sticky cake issue or not, but I hope so!

Kathy

Saturday 10th of July 2021

I can only find pecan coconut frosting. Could I use that instead?

Jennifer

Wednesday 14th of July 2021

Yes absolutely! Thank you for pointing that out. I will make a note in the post that you can also use that frosting.

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