Bourbon Spice Cake


Newly fallen leaves crunch below tightly laced shoes while hoodies and sweaters hide favorite t-shirts. Red and yellow begin to dot the landscape as piles of color are tediously constructed by neighbors tidying their littered lawns. Brisk winds carry in cold nights. The smell of near and distant fireplaces roaring to life fill the dark, frigid air.


Leftover unwanted candy, once passed out to masqueraded kids, is packed away high up in a pantry to be forgotten. Jack o Lanterns are replaced with browns and golds, and little turkey decorations. Soon snowmen and Santa Clauses will take their places.


Open windows are traded for blankets and quilts, nights out under the stars traded with evenings curled in front of favorite movies. Kitchens though remain filled with sweet treats. Pies are still baked, cookies still stuffed into jars and cakes still stand proud on tall cake stands. Sweet teeth still call out for their satiation.




The bourbon in this moist cake provides a scrumptious sweetness, its layers of spice play perfectly with the cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg that help this cake scream autumn. On its own or dusted with powdered sugar, this cake is a scrumptious, easy fall-time treat.


If you are not a fan of bourbon you can substitute rum, or another liquor of your choice. You can also substitute it with milk and add a teaspoon of vanilla if you are looking for an alcohol-free cake.


Bourbon Spice Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe by:
  • 3 ounces walnuts, crushed
  • 1 ounce melted butter
  • 14 ounces granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 10 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 5 ounces bread flour
  • 5 ounces whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Brush the melted butter in a bundt pan. Toss the crushed walnuts in and one the pan around to coat the sides and center tube of the pan with the walnuts. Toss out the remaining.
  3. Cream together the butter, sugar and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon) until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the bourbon and mix in completely.
  5. Mix the eggs and milk together and set aside. Add the flours and baking powder together and set aside.
  6. Add half of the dry mix into the butter sugar mixture and mix until combined. Add all of the liquid to the mixture and mix until combined. Add the remaining dry mixture and mix until the batter comes together.
  7. Pour the batter into the bundt pan (leaving room at the top for it to rise and expand).
  8. Bake in a preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in the bundt pan before removing.


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AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Food nerd. Cookbook author. Founder of Chasing Delicious. Pastry cook at Fluff Bake Bar. Lover of hot dogs. Russell van Kraayenburg founded Chasing Delicious in 2010 and has been chasing delicious recipes ever since. Russell is author of the cookbooks Haute Dogs and Making Dough.


  • nicole {sweet peony}

    oh it’s so pretty & it sounds delicious too :)

  • Apron of Grace

    Looks really good and great photos Russell:)

  • christina @ ovenadventures

    wow so pretty. I think i need me some bourbon!

  • Cassie [Bake Your Day]

    Beautiful imagery by your writing. I want this cake!

  • kitchenriffs

    You do know your desserts. And I like bourbon, so that’s what I’ll use – but you’re right, rum (particularly a nice dark rum) would be delicious in this. Thanks.

  • Ryan

    Beautiful writing, beautiful pictures, and beautiful cake! You are so talented Russell!

  • Lora

    I love bourbon in desserts and this looks perfect!

  • Brian

    You and your bourbon… I love it. A man after my own heart :-)

  • Kiri

    This looks so simple and delicious. Perfect! :)

  • Steph@stephsbitebybite

    Sounds so comforting and warm! Perfect with a hot cup of coffee

  • Tina@flourtrader

    As usual, this post is well written and offers a unique and tasty recipe for the season. The things that make this one stand out is the awesome blend of bourbon, nuts and spices. Also, the triplets of flour types here are definitely the keys to its wonderful texture. Very creative and no doubt delicious!

  • The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time

    This has already been printed and may actually get made today if I get the time. It’s gorgeous. I love cardamom and you had me sold as soon as I saw it as one of the spices. The bourbon is just an added bonus. Thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe.

  • Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

    Russell your cakes (or anything you make for that matter) always looks so gorgeous. Bravo for such good photographic work, as everything just looks like it is straight out of a wonderfully expensive cookbook.

  • Kelly

    What a gorgeous cake, this looks delicious!! :)

  • RavieNomNoms

    You know me and bourbon! I am all over this. Sounds so frekkin amazing! Thank you so much for sharing it and your gorgeous pictures!

  • Scene Magazine

    I love working booze into dessert! By the way, wonderful photographs!

  • Sandra

    I am so in love with that pan and this recipe is a must make. Thanks Russell.

  • Happy When Not Hungry

    This cake looks beautiful! I love the bourbon too. Def have to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jen

    Lovely and I bet it tastes amazing.

  • Carol Egbert

    I love cardamom and rum so this is a perfect recipe to add to my collection. Thanks.
    I hope you have time to visit my blog and read about English deserts.

  • lisaiscooking

    Bourbon and spice is a perfect mix. I wouldn’t change a thing!

  • Carolyn

    That is gorgeous! Love the addition of bourbon to a spice cake.

  • Kim Bee

    One day when you launch your cookbook tour I am going to be first in line waiting for that pen of yours to write something this beautiful inside the pages that I can cherish and pass down to my kids. I am sure your note will not be a run on sentence like mine.

  • Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen

    “If you are not a fan of bourbon you can substitute rum”

    That is crazy talk! Bourbon is the best, and I want everyone to embrace it :)

    This cake looks delicious!

  • Cristina - Teenie Cakes

    I luv incorporating liquors in desserts because it gives it such a great flavor. Beautiful looking cake, especially the shape of the pan you used…looks like it released from the pan perfectly {I always have such a hard time with bundt-type pans :) }

    Beautiful post, Russell: images and writing. I luv your compositions and color treatments.

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

    Congrats on the Top 9! Love the addition of cardamom in this.

  • BigFatBaker

    Oh Russel, this looks amazing! I love your budnt pan pretty.

  • Words Of Deliciousness

    This cake looks wonderful, I bet it taste as good as it looks. You have a beautiful blog!!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • Nicole@The Galley Gourmet

    I am one off those odd people who wants to like bourbon or other strong liquors, but can’t (fire water on the throat) unless it is baked or cooked with. This recipe is right up my alley. One question– what size bundt pan did you use? I know the size and baking time make a difference. I am already thinking about a browned butter caramel sauce to go with this!

  • Jana @ delectablymine

    So pretty, and I bet it smells and tastes delicious too!

  • Magic of Spice

    What a lovely cake…spice cakes are so wonderful especially around the holidays :)

  • Angela@mytastyliving

    Looks amazing, would be nice for a chilly Fall night. :)

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I love and can’t get enough of your food styling Russell! Your bourbon spice cake looks very adult cake and I’d love to have some. I have 2 little kids and end up with always kiddish cake. ;-)

  • Trevor Sis. Boom.

    Looks like we both had the bourbon cake munchies this week! Yours, of course, has much more ‘there’ there so it will be my next iteration of the art form. Beautiful shots!

  • RisaG

    This looks so good. I want a slice or two with some coffee. Very warming. I will eat anything that is laced with bourbon.

  • foodfashionandflow

    I am very tempted! Loved reading the intro to the recipe. I must admit, I love cakes that use booze, but I have never had one with Bourbon. This is a nice change of pace from the rum cake I always make. This looks delicious!

  • Amber, RD

    I just bought some bourbon to put in a sweet potato pie I made. But I don’t drink much bourbon so this looks like another recipe I can use to get rid of my extra booze. Thanks!

  • Sasha

    This is fabulous. I’m so giving it a go. Is there anything I could substitute for bread flour??
    Those intro paragraphs, by the way, are pure poetry.

    • Russell

      You can substitute all purpose flour. Bread flour just has a slightly higher gluten content – which helps build structure. All purpose flour can do this too with no problem.

      Thank you very much for the kind words! Let me know how you like it too!

  • Vanessa

    Lovely. =)

  • Reem | Simply Reem

    Russell this looks so chic…
    Delicious and stylish, just the way I want my cake to be…

  • Natalie

    This looks like my kind of cake! yummm!

  • Cheryl and Adam @

    Beautiful tribute to fall, Russell, so evocative! And a scrumptious cake, too.

  • Maria

    I would love a slice of this cake!

  • Amy

    I absolutely LOVE bourbon in my baking. This is just another recipe I will be adding to my box. Love it!

  • Things I Should Be Doing.. « I'll Have What She's Having

    […] on my list of things to make is this Bourbon Spice Cake from Russell at Chasing Delicious. I’m a big fan of Russell’s blog, everything he makes […]

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    new to your blog; we were both linked in the same post by whatsheshaving and wow, ill have this! yum!

  • Trish

    Lovely. My kind of cake.

  • Debbi

    I live in UK never heard of wholewheat pastry flour over here so would wholewheat plain flour be suitable

    • Russell

      I would suggest using plain white or cake flour. Wholewheat flour can be too corse to be substituted with wholewheat pastry flour.

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