Caramel Nut Spice Cake

Sara's Tiny Kitchen
by Sara's Tiny Kitchen
53 min

Caramel Nut Spice Cake is a masterpiece of an autumn cake that is made with boxed cake mix but jazzed up with caramel sauce and chopped pecans. Easy to make and perfect to serve after a dinner with friends or family.

This recipe is another one from Grandma’s recipe shoebox. At the top she has written “excellent cake - do again for coffee hour”. At the retirement home where she lived, they had a coffee hour three days a week, and her baked goods were often the star of the show. I know that if she has anything about coffee hour on a recipe that it’s going to be a keeper and this cake is no exception.


You use boxed spice cake mix here which makes prep simple and quick, but I imagine you could use your own spice cake recipe if you’d like. The cake then gets topped with caramel and chopped pecans. The caramel sort of soaks into the cake making it super moist and delicious. This is a really great recipe, and one I’m glad I found and that I’ll make for years and years to come.

Shopping List for Caramel Nut Spice Cake

  • Spice cake mix
  • Instant butterscotch pudding
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Caramels
  • Pecans (or walnuts)

Let’s talk about spice cake

If you cant find spice cake mix, or if you just want to make a cake NOW and don’t have spice cake mix, you can make it on your own by adding the following to a box of yellow cake mix.

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground cloves

Recipe Highlights

  • Easy to make
  • Great for sharing
  • Full of autumn flavors
  • Can be dressed up or down
  • Delicious caramel topping


Why use a box mix? Honestly, while I believe that all frosting should be homemade, I’m a fan of box cake mixes. They’re easy and delicious and while I’ve definitely had issues with homemade cakes coming out too dry or too dense or not dense enough or not rich enough or whatever the case may be, boxed cake mix turns out pretty much perfect every time.

Why so many eggs? This is a large cake, so three eggs will do if that’s all you have, but that extra eggs just provides for a little more density and richness to the finished cake. It’s a game changer.

Can I use butter instead of vegetable oil? Of course! The final result may have a bit of a different texture, but the fat is what’s important there.

How do I store the cake? Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for 5 days.

I don’t like pecans? You can use walnut here or really any kind of nut you prefer. Or you can leave them out entirely – it’s your cake!

Tips and Tricks for perfect Spice Cake

Don’t overmix the cake. I always say this in homemade baked goods, and it stands here as well. The more you mix, the tougher the cake will be. Only mix until you can no longer see streaks of flour remaining.

Make sure you grease the pan well. I just Baker’s Joy which you can find in the baking aisle of your grocery store, and is non-stick spray already mixed with flour. It’s a lifesaver. When it comes to Bundt cakes that you can’t line the pan for, using extra grease on the pan is essential.

Start checking your cake about 5 minutes before the timer goes off. All ovens are different and yours might bake at a faster rate than mine does.

You can wait until the cake is completely cool to add the caramel, but if you add it while the cake is still a bit warm it will soak into the cake itself for an extra delicious caramel flavor.

Recipe details
  • 12  SLICES
  • Prep time: 8 Minutes Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 53 min
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Caramel Nut Spice Cake
  • 1 15.25 ounce package spice cake mix
  • 1 3.5 ounce package instant butterscotch pudding 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 24 soft caramels (or you can use this recipe for salted caramel)
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
To Make Caramel Nut Spice Cake
Preheat the oven to 350.
Combine the cake mix, pudding, eggs, water, and vegetable oil in a large bowl and beat until just combined.
Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan, and pour the batter into the pan.
Bake for 43-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn over and finish cooling on a serving plate.
In a medium microwave safe bowl, add the caramels and the water, and microwave on 80% power for 3 minutes (stir after each minute) or until the caramels are melted. Stir in the chopped pecans.  
You can also use this recipe for salted caramel sauce instead.  If you do that, just use it as it is, you don't need to add the water.
Drizzle the caramel over the cake while it's still warm and then allow the cake to cool completely.
Sara's Tiny Kitchen
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  • Tma29197018 Tma29197018 on Dec 04, 2021

    Can't find regular butterscotch pudding mix only sugar free 1ounce boxes. Worried about people having allergies to aspartame

    • Sara's Tiny Kitchen Sara's Tiny Kitchen on Dec 04, 2021

      Hello! In that case, I would just substitute vanilla pudding for the butterscotch! It will be a slightly different flavor, but still delicious! I dont like sugar free substitutions either!

  • Becky Becky on Nov 05, 2022

    I am 100% with you on boxed cakes and homemade frostings! :-)