Pumpkin Bourbon Cake With Brown Butter Bourbon Buttercream

We start with a moist pumpkin cake. Super simple. Nothing too fancy. Nothing you should have to run to the store for. We get our first bump of bourbon once the cake has cooled. We make super simple, simple syrup (as one does) and throw in a heavy hand of bourbon. Think of it as a little cocktail for your cake. Pour that evenly over the top. Yes, that's right. Drink it all up my little love...
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Pumpkin Bourbon Cake With Brown Butter Bourbon Buttercream | recipe via DisplacedHousewife Rebecca Firth

Pumpkin Bourbon Cake With Brown Butter Bourbon Buttercream. Did you get that? There’s a heavy hand of bourbon in this cake and it’s a lovely thing. And I have a strong affection for alliteration. So there’s that.

Let’s just get this out of the way first: Yes, yes indeed you can make this cake without alcohol. I’ll tell you how in the notes below. So hang tight while we talk about her. Give her a good look…she’s a stunner.

We start with a moist pumpkin cake. Super simple. Nothing too fancy. Nothing you should have to run to the store for. We get our first bump of bourbon once the cake has cooled. We make super simple, simple syrup (as one does) and throw in some hefty glugs of bourbon. Think of it as a little cocktail for your cake. Pour that evenly over the top. Yes, that’s right. Drink it all up my little love.

Lastly, we whisk together a very simple (again with the simple) American buttercream. We start with our brown butter, then we let it cool. Once cooled, we then blend it well with some milk + bourbon. Are you getting the theme here? Throw in some spices and powdered sugar and hey-o, you’ve got yourself some right fit buttercream. Smear it over the top, make some swoops and swirls if you’re feeling fancy, and it’s done. If I might suggest a side of bourbon with your bourbon cake, I think that’s the proper way to do this, don’t you?

Pumpkin Bourbon Cake With Brown Butter Bourbon Buttercream | recipe via DisplacedHousewife Rebecca Firth
Pumpkin Bourbon Cake With Brown Butter Bourbon Buttercream | recipe via DisplacedHousewife Rebecca Firth

Pumpkin Bourbon Cake With Brown Butter Bourbon Buttercream

We start with a moist pumpkin cake. Super simple. Nothing too fancy. Nothing you should have to run to the store for. We get our first bump of bourbon once the cake has cooled. We make super simple, simple syrup (as one does) and throw in a heavy hand of bourbon. Think of it as a little cocktail for your cake. Pour that evenly over the top. Yes, that’s right. Drink it all up my little love…
5 from 6 reviews
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: Sheet Cake, Snacking Cake, Fall, Baking, Dessert, Pumpkin, Bourbon, Brown Butter, Buttercream
Servings: 1 8×10 cake

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 12 tablespoons (170 g/6 ounces/ 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (105g) light or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (215 g) pumpkin puree (not pie filling; 100% pumpkin)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (272 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon   allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon   nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon   ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon   cloves

For the Bourbon Simple Syrup

  • 1/3 cup (63 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon

For the Brown Butter Buttercream

  • 8 tablespoons (113 g/4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 cups (390 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

For the Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350 F (177 C), make sure a rack is in the center of the oven and and grease a 8 x 10 (2.8 qt.) baking dish and line with parchment paper, letting the excess fall over the sides.
  • Place the 12 tablespoons butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium until creamy and well blended, about 4 minutes. Add in the pumpkin and mix for 1 minute more. Periodically scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is well blended. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time mixing completely before adding in the next. Add the water and vanilla and run the mixer on low for 1 minute more.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, allspice, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Pour into the stand mixer and mix on low until barely combined and you still see streaks of flour. Take the bowl out of the mixer and gently fold the batter several more times until you see no more streaks. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, smoothing the top and gently tapping on the counter several times to release any trapped bubbles.
  • Bake in the center of the oven for 40-45 minutes. I like to lightly press the center of the cakes to see if it’s done…if it springs back it’s done. Let cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then use the parchment overhand to pull the cake from the pan and finish cooling on a cooling rack. Once the cake has cooled, place it back in the pan.

For the Simple Syrup

  • In a small saucepan heat the sugar and water, stirring until the sugar has melted; set aside to cool. Once cool, whisk in the bourbon and pour over the cooled cake.

For the Buttercream

  • To prepare the buttercream, place the 8 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat. Once melted, crank up the heat to medium high. Stand by, stirring and watching. Small golden bits will start to settle on the bottom of the pan and it will start to smell delicious and nutty. Once this happens, take it off the heat and pour into a small, heat-safe bowl to cool completely.
  • In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the cooled brown butter, bourbon and milk and mix on low until combined.. Add in the powdered sugar and mix on low until fully blended and smooth. Add in the cinnamon, nutmeg and mix until smooth. Spread over the top of the cake…I like to leave a ½-inch gutter around the edge of the cake so that you can see it when looking over the top. But you do you! Enjoy!! **I sprinkled some nutmeg over the top (because I love it), but again, you do you!
  • Thank you so much for making this Pumpkin Bourbon Cake With Brown Butter Buttercream — I hope you love it as much as we do!! Please tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your gorgeous cakes! Happy October!!
Thanks for baking with me! Please tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo

11 Comments

  • Constance A. Rowe September 14, 2021 at 2:47 PM

    5 stars
    For cake:
    Used half oat and half allpurpose flour
    1/4 cup butter and 1 1/4 cup Brummell yogurt spread
    1/3 cup bourbon
    1/4 cup each of white and light brown sugar
    1/2 cup Stevia
    1/2 cup real maple syrup
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    Very yummy and the exchanges worked perfectly

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth September 14, 2021 at 3:08 PM

      Thank you so much for the notes—I love when people leave adaptations that work!! I’m so happy you liked the recipe!! xo

      Reply
  • Liz November 16, 2020 at 1:26 AM

    5 stars
    This cake is delicious! Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

    Reply
  • Christine October 1, 2020 at 5:21 PM

    Oh-em-gee! This recipe is begging for Fireball Bourbon and a cupcake sleeve. Will post my results

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth October 3, 2020 at 11:51 PM

      I can’t wait! I hope you love it!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Joyce September 26, 2020 at 10:33 PM

    I know nothing about choosing a good quality bourbon. Suggestions please?

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth September 27, 2020 at 3:15 AM

      Hi Joyce! That’s fair! ;) …I would recommend Buffalo Trace as it’s pretty easy to find and it’s not too expensive. Bearcat is also good, a bit harder to find. Let me know if you need more recommendations!! xox

      Reply
  • Rosella Porro September 25, 2020 at 1:48 PM

    I’m going to make this for my son’s birthday. I’d like to use a round cake pan so as to make a layer cake. Do you have any advice as to size and amount + cooking time?
    Thank you in advance,
    Rosella

    Reply
  • Carly J Czech September 23, 2020 at 6:14 PM

    5 stars
    This is very very good cake. I had to split it to make a kid friendly version, so I adjusted to do the bourbon syrup on the bottom of the bowl and then a drizzle on top of vanilla ice cream for adults and just cream cheese frosting for kiddos with plain vanilla ice cream. Love it ❤❤❤

    Reply
  • [email protected] October 26, 2019 at 9:20 PM

    5 stars
    Damn…..that’s GUD cake. May I have another?

    Reply

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