BOURBON PUMPKIN SPICE CAKE

This Pumpkin Spice Cake is one you will want to make again and again. If you love pumpkin this is the perfect Fall cake!

Pumpkin Spice Cake

If you love this recipe, you may also want to try our delicious Pumpkin Cobbler. It’s super easy to make and wonderful with ice cream.

❤️WHY WE LOVE THIS CAKE

This cake is made with some of our favorite spices and then you add pumpkin and it’s just so good. The bourbon gives it a wonderful flavor but we have made it without the bourbon and it’s still delicious. This dessert is versatile and one your family will love during the Fall or for Thanksgiving or Christmas!

🍴KEY INGREDIENTS

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • oil (I used Olive)
  • vanilla flavoring
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • ground cloves
  • allspice
  • salt
  • buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup bourbon (If you don’t use alcohol, you could just soak your raisins in water)
  • pumpkin
  • raisins
  • walnuts or pecans

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

  • butter 
  • cream cheese
  • confectionery sugar
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • pumpkin
  • bourbon – optional
  • milk
Pumpkin Spice Cake

SWAPS

You can use pecans or walnuts in this cake or leave the nuts out altogether. You can leave the raisins out if you life too. The bourbon is of course optional.

🍽️HOW TO MAKE

The hardest thing about this cake is organizing the ingredients, so get all of those set up and then you can just add as we go.

COOKING STEPS

Step 1
Pour the bourbon into a small bowl and add the raisins. Set aside to let the raisins soak up the bourbon while mixing the other ingredients. In a large mixing bowl mix the eggs, sugar, oil, and buttermilk.

Step 2
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt and vanilla and mix well. Mix in the 1 cup of pumpkin. The raisins probably won’t soak up the entire 1/2 cup of bourbon. Fold in the raisins, walnuts and what is left of the bourbon into your batter.

Step 3
Pour into a sprayed bundt pan and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 – 50 minutes. Let cake cool 20 to 25 minutes before removing from pan. This cake is wonderful without frosting.

Step 4
Mix ingredients together with mixer. Pour over cake. (Add more milk for thinner frosting or more sugar for thicker frosting until you reach the desired consistency)

⭐TIP

If you plan to use the raisins in this cake definitely soak them, it makes all the difference in how they plump up in the cake.

RECIPE VARIATIONS

If you bake this cake in a 9 x 13 pan and you use the frosting above, you will probably need to double the frosting recipe. If you have frosting left over, it is wonderful to heat in the microwave and pour over the cake, too. I use Kentucky bourbon in my cake because Kentucky has the best!

❓FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make this cake in advance?

Yes, you can make this cake a few days in advance. Keep in a cool place in an covered cake pan.

Is this pumpkin pie mix or 100% pumpkin in a can?

This is the 100% pumpkin a can.

Can I make this cake in a 9X13?

Yes you can, all ovens vary so check it at around 35 minutes.

HOW TO STORE THIS CAKE

I just store this cake in a cool place covered in a cake carrier or cake stand.

Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake

Many ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ reviews on this delicious cake! Perfect for the holidays!

Impossible Pumpkin Pie

No crust is needed for this super easy pie! This one is no fuss!!

Pumpkin Bread

This pumpkin bread is easy to make and makes a wonderful gift during the holiday season.

SERVING SIZE

This cake will make 10-12 servings. Depending on how you slice the cake.

Bourbon Pumpkin Spice Cake

This Bourbon and Pumpkin Spice Cake is a wonderful dessert. 
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, southern
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil I used Olive
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup bourbon If you don’t use alcohol, I have listed two other cakes at the bottom of this recipe you might be interested in or you could just soak your raisins in water
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped

Pumpkin, Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectionery sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions
 

  • Pour the bourbon into a small bowl and add the raisins. Set aside to let the raisins soak up the bourbon while mixing the other ingredients. In a large mixing bowl mix the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk.
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt and vanilla and mix well. Mix in the 1 cup of pumpkin. The raisins probably won’t soak up the entire 1/2 cup of bourbon. Fold in the raisins, walnuts and what is left of the bourbon into your batter.
  • Pour into a sprayed bundt pan and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 – 50 minutes. Let cake cool 20 to 25 minutes before removing from pan. This cake is wonderful without frosting.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions

  • Mix ingredients together with mixer. Pour over cake. (Add more milk for thinner frosting or more sugar for thicker frosting until you reach the desired consistency)

Notes

If you bake this cake in a 9 x 13 pan and you use the frosting above, you will probably need to double the frosting recipe. If you have frosting left over, it is wonderful to heat in the microwave and pour over the cake, too. I use Kentucky bourbon in my cake because Kentucky has the best!
Keyword Pumpkin Spice Cake
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Recipe Rating




58 Comments

  1. Thanks to Judy, Leigh, and Anne –

    This cake is delicious, I made it a couple times during the holidays and it got rave reviews. It’s worth soaking the raisins overnight in a nice Kentucky Bourbon before assembling.

    Happy New Year!5 stars

    1. That’s wonderful!! We’re thrilled it was a hit for you. Happy New Year!!

  2. Curious about the mixing order. After creaming the eggs and sugar first, then adding the oil and buttermilk, I might normally add the pumpkin puree and vanilla with these ingredients before mixing in all the dry ingredients, then just folding in the raisins, bourbon, and nuts last.

    Maybe the ingredients’ order in this recipe doesn’t affect the cake’s density? Thanks if you can advise, looking forward to making it for Thanksgiving!

    1. You can try it however you like, the way the directions is written is how we make this cake.

  3. John Sabo says:

    Can I substitute hubbard squash for the pumpkin for the Bourbon pumpkin spice cake?

    1. I can’t answer that as I’ve never tried it with squash. Let us know how it works out. Thanks!

  4. DOREEN ALEXANDER says:

    A wonderful “ADULT” cake! Made without the icing, it did not need it. Next time will let the raisins soak longer..5 stars

  5. Best cake! Everyone loved it!5 stars

  6. Okay to be honest, I was not expecting ting for this cake to come out this amaaazzziiinnnggg!!!! Pumpkin, bourbon.. of course I thought it would be delicious, but this recipe was beyond my expectations. And the frosting was delicious as well. I can’t wait to make it again!!!5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Jackie, I am so glad to hear you enjoyed this cake. We love this one too! The frosting is delicious!!

  7. How far in advance can I make this cake? I want to make it for Thanksgiving – can I make it the weekend before?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Yes, I think it would be ok but I would be sure to keep it in a cool place, Theresa.

  8. Could you soak the raisins in the bourbon for a few days in advance??

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Yes, I think that would be fine Lee.

  9. The Southern Lady says:

    You could just leave them out if you want.

  10. The Southern Lady says:

    this comment was posted on Facebook by Angel. Copying here for those who want gluten-free: made it gluten free lastnight – turned out great – for anyone needing GF just substitute flour for GF flour blend and its perfect!

  11. Sandy Stephens says:

    Judy,
    This cake sounds fantastic!! WE love the flavor that the bourbon or Rum leave in cakes. I make a Rum cake every Christmas and it is so moist! We love the flavor that the Rum leaves in there. I also have a Rum Sauce that goes over it. My family & friends just LOVE this cake. Now I will have yet another one to make for the Christmas Season! I just made ginger snap cookies and a Pumpkin Pie Dip to eat with them for a Fall Festival at church tomorrow night. Hope it lasts that long! Thanks again for great Southern Recipes! We live in the NW corner of Tennessee ya’ll!!
    Sandy

    1. Debby Peffer says:

      Judy, I’ll bet that sauce for the rum cake would be good over the bourbon cake. Of course sub. the bourbon for the rum. I also make rum cake & love the glaze on it, am going to try it on this cake.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Yes, you can.

      1. Jerry Gregory says:

        How much pumpkin pie spice as a substitute?

      2. The Southern Lady says:

        I am totally guessing Jerry. Maybe a tablespoon? Try tasting the batter and see if you think you have enough and it’s spicy enough for you.

  12. Joni Joble says:

    May have to skip a pie this year and do this instead. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. I have been looking for something alittle different and fallish to take to my brothers dinner next weekend. Thank you for the post. I shall look no further.

  14. Can you tell me what is the best bourbon to use when baking? I have never baked with it so not sure. Thanks!

    1. I usually just use anything I have on hand which is some kind of Kentucky bourbon. Right now I am using Ezra Williams, Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

      1. Anything that says Bourbon Whiskey on the label is great. If it just says Whiskey the flavor is not the same. Brands are Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Ezra Brooks was my dad’s fave (probably because it was cheapest) or Maker’s Mark for a few…

  15. This cake sounds wonderful just by reading the ingredients. I can’t wait to go to the store and get the ingredients to make one for my family to try. I will let you know how it turns out. Regina Hawks

  16. Maybe a silly question, but want to make sure you are meaning the smaller can of pumpkin.

    1. Yes, Millie! You would get like a 14 ounce can (or what used to be a 15 ounce can). The bigger cans are 28 ounces. You will have enough in the smaller can.

      1. Thank you. I don’t know what to do first, book the water aerobic class or print the recipe. It looks marvelous and I am sure my Sunday dinner crowd will love this.

      2. I hope you and your crowd like it. We love this cake and I always get good reviews on it. Have a great weekend, too.

  17. This recipe looks great and I’m dying to try it. Is the pumpkin canned or do you use pumpkin that you have boiled and mashed?

  18. Is there something comparable to the bourbon I could use in this recipe? It all sounds yummy but I can’t over burden my budget with alcohol I won’t use ever again. Thanks!, …. Donna

    1. Donna, I think you could just leave it out all together and it would not make a big lot of difference. You just won’t get a bourbon taste in the cake but more pumpkin. You could try using a rum flavoring instead, too. You could add that instead of the vanilla flavoring. Hope this helps. Let me know how it turns out for you.

      1. You could always go to the liquor store and buy the very small bottles of bourbon. That way you don’t spend a fortune and don’t have any leftovers on the booze.

        I made this cake yesterday and it’s one of the best cakes I have ever made!

        Greg C

      2. Great idea, Greg! I am so happy you enjoyed the cake! Have a good day and thanks for being a fan.

  19. Rae Ann Parsons says:

    Looks like a Thanksgiving recipe for my house this year! Well, it even looks like a “this weekend” recipe for my house! LOL

  20. Looks so delicious! I would love moist pumpkin and I love cheese so this would be my favorite cake!

  21. The picture and the ingredients have won me over! The cake looks so moist and the handful of fall flavors make this a real winner. Delicious.

  22. The perfect cake for Thanksgiving!

  23. hopeisendless@gmail.com says:

    This recipe looks amazing! Could anyone tell me if the alcohol from the Bourbon will be cooked out? Otherwise I will just have to try this sans bourbon 🙂

    1. Yes, It will. You can just faintly taste the alcohol. If it were still there I would have been drunk as “cooter brown” yesterday. I could not leave this cake alone all day. lol.

      1. hopeisendless@gmail.com says:

        Thanks!! I can’t wait to try it 🙂

      2. I was shocked to see “drunk as cooter brown” in this post. I have heard and said that my entire life but I surely thought it was just a part of the McCurtain County Oklahoma culture. Loved it. The recipe sounds wonderful and I am off to the store to get the ingredients.

  24. This looks wonderful! Wish I could crawl right in to that picture and take a bite..haha. Mmm, I love the smell of Bourbon. I may have to have a little extra in a glass on the side….just for sniffing purposes ya’ know! 🙂

  25. Judy, this cake caught my eye from your Facebook post…what a terrific introduction to fall! Thank you for sharing.

  26. Valerie Williams says:

    Oh my! I think you have just posted what I will be taking to my high school reunion this weekend! We always have it during the Sorghum Festival (West Liberty, KY if anybody’s in the neighborhood, GREAT festival!) so naturally I was looking for Fall recipes to take. This aloing with your divine molasses cookies will do the trick, thank you so very much Judy!

    1. You are so welcome Valerie. I hope they like the cake and cookies. Have a great time at your reunion.

  27. This look delicious, thanks for sharing.