Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Bourbon Buttercream Frosting

My boss, Kaye, is wonderful to me. It was her birthday last month and I wanted to make a special cake so I kind of combined a number of recipes and came up with this one. It was perfect. Not too sweet, and the bourbon smell… wonderful.


Prepare a boxed dark chocolate cake as directed, adding 1 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to batter. Bake as directed in 9-in. round cake pans. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then flip onto wire racks to cool. After completely cooled, slice cakes in half horizontally.


  • 2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. chopped pecans

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. In separate bowl, combine butter, eggs and pumpkin; mix well. Slowly add dry ingredients and then chocolate chips and pecans. Grease and flour 2 9-in. cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pour into cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then flip out onto wire racks to cool completely. Slice cakes in half horizontally.


  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 2 (16-oz.) bags powdered sugar
  • 1/3 c. milk (more to thin if needed)
  • 1/3 c. bourbon (I used Jack Daniels)
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. cocoa (don’t add until later)

Combine butter, powdered sugar, milk, bourbon and vanilla. Add cocoa once cake layers are stacked. (Also, I purchased the mini bottles of bourbon at the liquor store instead of buying a huge bottle – it only cost $3 instead of $15.)

Carefully layer alternating layers of dark chocolate and pumpkin cake, spreading a thin layer of frosting between each layer – staying 1/8-in. away from the edges. The cake will be 8 layers thick. Once the top layer is on, add cocoa to remaining frosting and frost cake.

I drizzled the cake with melted Dove dark chocolate.

I promise that if you try this, you will LOVE it! 🙂



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