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Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Bourbon Buttercream for Halloween

Chocolate Bourbon Pumpkin Cake

Chocolate Bourbon Pumpkin Cake made with pumpkin, dates, hazelnut flour, chocolate bourbon buttercream, topped with chopped hazelnuts and chocolate shards.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 367kcal


Cake Batter

  • 2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Hazelnut Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter room temperature
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 15 oz Can of Pumpkin Puree, (425 g)
  • 1/3 Cup Chopped Medjool Dates

Chocolate Bourbon Buttercream

  • 2 Cups 460g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 5-6 Cups 420g Powdered Sugar
  • 3/5 cup Extra Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 6 Tbsp Almond Milk
  • 4 Tbsp Bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract


  • 2 Cups Chocolate Chunks
  • 1 Cup Chopped Hazelnuts


Make Batter

  • Preheat Oven to 350 F (190 C) and prepare three 6 inch cake pans.
  • In a medium bowl, hand whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
  • In bowl of stand mixer with whisk or paddle attachment, beat together sugars and butter on medium high speed until smooth.
  • Add one egg at a time, continuing on medium speed until incorporated and mixture is fluffy.
  • You may need to scrape sides and bottom of the bowl periodically to make sure all ingredients are well mixed.
  • Add vanilla and pumpkin puree. Mix until incorporated.
  • Slowly spoon flour mixture into wet mixture, continuing on medium speed until a smooth batter is formed.
  • Remove bowl from stand mixer and fold in chopped dates with a spatula.
  • Spoon batter into cake pans, dividing evenly amongst all three. (I prefer to weigh my batter with a kitchen scale to be exact.)
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • (Bake on low to middle rack. I check each cake individually. )
  • Once cake are done, place on cooling rack for 10-15 minutes.
  • Next, place your hand on top of cake and flip upside down, to release cake from pan. (You can also fo this with a plate.)
  • Wrap each layer in plastic wrap gently and place in freezer for 45 minutes.

Make your Chocolate Bourbon Buttercream

  • In bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment whip butter at medium high until smooth.
  • Add chocolate powder, salt, bourbon, vanilla and almond milk and whip again until creamy.
  • Slowly spoon a cup of powdered sugar at a time into the mixture. Make sure each cup is well mixed before adding the second. (Again, you may need to scrape sides and bottom of bowl.)
  • If you find your mixture is too thick add more almond milk a Tbsp at a time.
  • If you find your mixture is too thin, add more powdered sugar, mixing until desired thickness is reached.

Assemble Cake

  • Remove layers from freezer.
  • Unwrap and Peel the parchment paper from the bottom and set layers face up on counter.
  • Take serrated knife and trip the tops of each layer, just enough to create a level surface.
  • Grab your cake stand or serving dish and dollup a half dollar size of buttercream frosting onto the center.
  • Place one layer onto cake stand, trimmed side up.
  • Spoon and smear a layer of chocolate buttercream across the top. Slightly going over the edges.
  • Repeat with second layer.
  • Add top layer of cake trimmed side down. Cover with chocolate buttercream.
  • Using an icing spatula or piping bag, fill in open sides with additional frosting.
  • Then, take a bench scraper in one hand, while holding the cake stand in the other. Gently rotate the cake as you scrape the sides with an angled bench scraper.
  • Place cake in refrigerator to set icing before decorating.

Make Shards

  • While cake is setting, melt your chocolate morsels and pour onto parchment lined cookie sheet. (see post for tips!)
  • Set chocolate in fridge or freezer to harden.
  • Once chocolate is hard, break into shards with hands.


  • Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts onto the top of the cake.
  • Insert chocolate shards gently into icing.


Calories: 367kcal