Bourbon Bundt Cake


Sundays have a tendency to feel like a lot of work. There’s so much meal prepping to get ready for the coming week. I feel like I spend all day in the kitchen cooking. Ben feels like he spends all day in the kitchen cleaning up after my cooking. It’s usually worth the effort, since planning lunch in advance helps me move on autopilot in the mornings before work. Today seems extra busy with trying make super bowl party food for our two person party. **Update:  Buffalo chicken meatballs are gross. 0/10. Do not eat.** I’ve been looking forward to sharing this bourbon bundt cake recipe and post for over a week, so I’m also attempting to squeeze some writing into my Sunday!

When I started this blog I made a long list of recipes I currently had and things I wanted to try. All the recipes posted so far are not new to me or experiments. However, this bourbon cake is an idea I wanted to test. I think my most favorite cake is my mom’s rum cake. That being said, for a while I’ve thought that the swapping bourbon for the rum might be a fun experiment and make an excellent variation of the classic cake. Conveniently, my dad’s birthday was coming up soon, which was the perfect opportunity to try my bourbon bundt cake idea. It also gave me an excuse to do some shopping for a fun bundt pan. 🙂

The Cake

The original recipe calls for a box of yellow cake, but I didn’t really want to buy a boxed cake when I knew I had all the cake baking ingredients stocked in my pantry. I searched to find a rum cake recipe that made the cake from scratch. Eventually, I found a Caribbean rum cake recipe from King Arthur’s that looked like the perfect foundation for my bourbon cake. All I needed to do was change the boozy parts and add a generous amount of toasted pecans.

Maker’s Mark was the bourbon of choice for this cake. The party was on a Saturday, so I started baking on Thursday night to allow plenty of time for the bourbon syrup to soak into the cake. Giving this type of cake time to rest is key. Unfortunately, this also meant I was looking at a very enticing cake on my counter for nearly 48 hours! Willpower was tested. However, Saturday night finally arrived and the cake was a success! This bourbon cake is considerably more dense than my favorite rum cake, but it’s not dry and the bourbon flavor is prominent. Definitely don’t skip the toasted pecans and serve with coffee.


Bourbon Bundt Cake


  • Bourbon Cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup instant french vanilla or vanilla pudding mix, dry
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour to dust the bundt pan
  • Bourbon Syrup
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecan. chopped


  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • In a large bowl, add all of the cake ingredients except for the bourbon and vanilla.
  • Using a hand mixer at medium speed, blend the ingredients together for 2 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape batter off the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • After 2 minutes, add the bourbon and vanilla. Mix on low for 1 minute.
  • Thoroughly coat the inside of the bundt pan with cooking spray or melted butter and dust with flour.
  • Gently pour the cake batter into the bundt pan and level with a rubber spatula.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes. The cake is done when an inserted knife or toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack while your prepare the syrup.
  • In a saucepan, combine all of the bourbon syrup ingredients except for the vanilla.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Let the syrup simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, so that it begins to thicken.
  • Remove syrup from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  • Leaving the cake in the pan, use a skewer (a thermometer probe also works), poke several holes all over the cake. The holes will help the cake absorb the syrup.
  • Pour about 1/4 of the syrup over the cake. Once the syrup soaks in repeat until about 1/4 cup of syrup remains
  • Reserve the remaining syrup in a small, covered bowl.
  • Loosely cover the pan with foil or plastic wrap and let the cake rest overnight at room temperature.
  • Carefully, turn the cake pan over onto a serving plate to remove the cake from the bundt pan.
  • Toast the pecans in a skillet over medium heat until they become fragrant.
  • Reheat the reserved bourbon syrup in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.
  • Add the toasted pecans to the bourbon syrup and stir together so that all pecans are coated.
  • Spoon the pecan mixture evenly over the top of the cake.
  • Keep cake covered until ready to serve.The cake will keep for several days at room temperature.


If you want to have fun and feel like a scientist, get a food syringe and use it to inject syrup directly into the cake rather than letting it soak in overnight.This might also help if you are not able to make the cake a day in advance.


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