Bourbon Chai Pumpkin Snack Cake

Susan Palmer | Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

This bourbon chai pumpkin snack cake is so simple to make! Hello fall, you look delicious.

Bourbon Chai Pumpkin Snack Cake Photo

I feel like there are two types of people in this world. Those that love pumpkin and those that are just sort of meh about it. I guess technically we can include the third group, the haters but that’s a conversation for another time.

Me? I fall somewhere in between the lovers and the “I can take or leave it” fans. A great pumpkin dish, be it sweet or savory, can sum up Autumn in one tasty morsel, but I’m not someone who goes gaga over it the moment the calendar turns to September.

At the very least, I wait until October when it truly feels like fall outside and there are pumpkins adorning stoops, windows and every shop in my neighborhood.

Bourbon Chai Pumpkin Snack Cake Picture

This cake though… this cake will turn all those fair-weather pumpkin fans into pumpkin lovers. First we’ve got bourbon, then we’ve got chai spices, and then the best part of all - it only takes one bowl to make the cake.

Technically, it’s a two-bowl type of cake, but it’s one for the cake, one for the frosting. This Bourbon Chai Pumpkin Snack Cake is exactly what is missing from your Autumn menu plans. It’s simple enough to make for a special afternoon snack (just eliminate that bourbon from the icing) but still special enough to include for any tailgating, Halloween parties or harvest festivals. I mentioned it all gets baked in one single layer and iced in the same pan too right?

Bourbon Chai Pumpkin Snack Cake Image

So, I’ve won you over with the ease factor, but how does it taste? Like a dream, or more specifically a pumpkin cloud. Light, moist, airy, dreamy… name an adjective and it can probably apply to the cake.

I’ve switched some the spices up a bit too, by taking out traditional pumpkin spice and replacing it with chai spices. After a while, I feel like you get palate fatigue tasting the same thing over and over. By keeping the flavors exciting, this makes everyone become that pumpkin lover - at least while they enjoy a big slice of cake!

Bourbon Chai Pumpkin Snack Cake Pic

Bourbon Chai Pumpkin Snack Cake Recipe

    9 Servings


For the Cake:
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour, Unbleached
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 large Eggs, Room temperature
For the Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, Room temperature
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2-2 cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 2 ounces Bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Pecans


  1. Heat your oven to 350°F. and grease a 9x9 square baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add in the oil, pumpkin and eggs and whisk to combine completely.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  5. Once the cake is cool prepare the frosting.
  6. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment cream the butter, brown sugar and confectioners sugar (starting with 1 1/2 cups) on low speed.
  7. Add in the bourbon and vanilla extract and begin to increase in the speed on the mixer until the frosting is light and airy.
  8. Taste and if necessary add more confectioners sugar.
  9. Frost the cake in the pan and top with chopped pecans.
  10. Cut into 9 pieces and serve.
  11. Wrap tightly and the cake will stay fresh for about 3 days at room temperature. 


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Susan Palmer

About Susan

Susan bakes up delicious treats as the Girl in the Little Red Kitchen at home in Brooklyn. She's joined Food Fanatic as a Cocktails and Boozy Desserts Fanatic, and we could not be more excited!