This easy-to-prepare cake is spectacular to serve and marvelous to eat! It's best if made a few hours ahead and refrigerated before serving.
This recipe was the grand prize winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in 1988.
Heat oven to 325 degrees F. In a small heavy saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup whipping cream and brown sugar. Cook over low heat just until butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Pour into two 9 or 8-inch round cake pans; sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, water, oil and eggs; beat at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Carefully spoon batter over pecan mixture.
Bake at 325 degrees F. for 35 to 45 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled.
In a small bowl, beat 1 3/4 cups whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.
To assemble cake, place 1 layer on serving plate, praline side up. Spread with half of whipped cream. Top with second layer, praline side up; spread top with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with whole pecans and chocolate curls. Store in refrigerator.