Bourbon-Laced Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake

Bourbon-Laced Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake: A moist, spicy cake with a crumb crust, classic gingerbread spices and a hint of flavor from good Kentucky bourbon.

This is a deliciously spicy cake that gets a subtle flavor boost from a bit of Kentucky bourbon. Sort of like a crumb cake turned upside down, a portion of the dry ingredients in this recipe are blended with butter and pressed into the bottom of the pan to create a crumbly crust. Serve topped with a dollop of bourbon whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg or vanilla ice cream.

Bourbon-Laced Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Yield: 16 2-inch squares

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 16 2-inch squares

  • Ingredients:
  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup ground walnuts
  • 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cut into 16 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
  • Bourbon Whipped Cream (see recipe below) or vanilla ice cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F and generously grease an 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, ground walnuts, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter and blend until combined and crumbly.

Scoop out a cup of the crumb mixture and gently press it into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Add the baking soda and salt to the remaining flour mixture and blend well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the molasses, pumpkin puree, egg, buttermilk and bourbon. Add to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spread the batter evenly over the crumb mixture and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cake pulls away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Recipe Notes:
For best flavor, be sure your ground spices are very fresh. Ground ginger loses its potency rather quickly, so buy small quantities and replace frequently.

Bourbon Whipped Cream
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Using an electric mixer, whip the cream on the medium-high setting until soft peaks form. Add the bourbon, vanilla extract and confectioners' sugar and whip for another 20 to 30 seconds.

Makes about 1-1/2 cups

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