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Caramel pecan spice cakes

1 Package spice cake mix

1 Package (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding mix

4 Eggs

1 Cup Water

1/3 Cup canola oil

1-1/2 Cups pecan pieces, toasted and finely chopped (See tip)


Carmel glaze:

3 Tablespoons butter or margarine

3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

3 Tablespoons whipping cream

1/2 Cup confectioner's sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pecan halves, for garnish

Maraschino cherry halves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 inch loaf pans.

For cake: combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water and oil in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in toasted pecans. Pour into pans. Bake at 350 F for 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Loosen loaves from pans. Invert onto cooling racks. Turn right-side up. Cool completely.

For caramel glaze: combine butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and whipping cream in small heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium heat; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; cool 20 minutes. Add confectioners sugar and vanilla extract; blend with wooden spoon until smooth and thick. Spread evenly on cooled loaves. Garnish with pecan halves and maraschino cherry halves before glaze sets.

Makes two loaves

Tip: To toast pecans, spread pecan pieces evenly on baking sheet. Toast in 350 F oven for 8 minutes or until fragrant. Cool completely.