Bourbon Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

We are always on the lookout for perfect pumpkin recipes that celebrate fall to treat our family and friends. This boozy bake ticks every box and can easily be decorated so many ways. Try a cake comb and color for the buttercream, top with your favorite sprinkles, stack as a naked cake, or add a wreath of sugar autumn leaves on top.

Chef Amanda Schonberg is an award-winning pastry chef located in Baton Rouge, LA. From NBC and FOX News to her desserts catering company—Chef Schonberg’s Sweets—she has been featured on multiple blogs, television channels, and in magazines. Chef Schonberg specializes in alcohol-infused dessert cakes and confections. With a passion for helping other bakers, in 2017 she co-founded Sugar Coin Academy along with sweets business coach Cydni N. Mitchell. Sugar Coin Academy is devoted to helping bakers worldwide operate a more profitable and knowledgeable business.


  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (237ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (200g) white sugar
  • ⅔ cup (135g) dark brown sugar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/8 cup bourbon
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste



Bourbon & Vanilla Bean Buttercream

  • 3 sticks (340g) butter
  • 7 cups (770g) powdered sugar (icing/confectioners’ sugar)
  • 1 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • ½ tsp cinnamon



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/160°C fan/Gas mark 4. Prepare and grease three 6-inch baking pans.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set this bowl aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together your eggs, oil, both sugars, pumpkin, bourbon, and vanilla bean paste.
  4. Add your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and mix together until combined.
  5. Pour into pans and bake for about 32 to 37 minutes, depending on your oven, or until done.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow cakes to completely cool before adding buttercream.


To Prepare Buttercream:

  1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add butter and whip until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in extract, bourbon, and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until incorporated.
  4. Whip on medium-high for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.


For more inspiration by  Amanda Schonberg, check out the American Cake Decorating Digital – Sep / Oct 2020 Issue 428. For instant access, click here!

Author: Chef Amanda Schonberg

Leeanne Cooper

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