Drunken Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Cake
Drunken Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Cake

Drunken Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Cake

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yield: 9-12 servings

This cake whips up quickly, but then sits overnight to let the flavors meld. It’s a great holiday or company cake — or a great Monday cake, let’s be real. If you’re not a huge fan of rum, feel free to substitute bourbon or whatever you enjoy — or leave out the alcohol altogether.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
6 tablespoons water
1 1/8 cups cake flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons rum

Cinnamon Maple Icing Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (not powdered sugar)
1 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
Toasted Pecans*
*To toast pecans, bake at 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes, tossing regularly, until fragrant. Allow to cool completely.

Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare an 8-inch square baking pan (I brush the pan with Wilton’s Cake Release and place a square of greased parchment in the bottom to ensure the cake will come out clean.) In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the butter and water to a boil. In the meantime, in a separate large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves before mixing in the egg, sour cream, pumpkin, and molasses. While mixing, slowly pour in the boiling butter and water mixture. Mix to combine completely. Your batter will be very runny. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool for about 10 minutes before gently poking holes in the cake with a fork. Sprinkle the rum over the top of the cake evenly and allow the cake to cool completely.

Make the frosting: Immediately after leaving your cake to cool, start your frosting, since it will need cooling time as well. Heat the milk, flour, cinnamon, and granulated sugar together over medium heat, whisking constantly. Once it starts to boil, continue whisking and heating it for around 4-5 minutes or until it’s very thick, like cake batter consistency. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the maple syrup. Remove the mixture to a shallow pan and let it cool completely (it’s very important that it’s completely cool, or your frosting will be runny. I let the frosting mixture and the cake both cool for at least 2 hours.)

Once the mixture is cool, beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft and fluffy. Add the cooled flour mixture and beat on high until you have fluffy frosting the consistency of stiff whipped cream (this takes several minutes, so be patient). Frost your completely cooled cake and top with toasted pecans and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Let the cake chill overnight in the fridge before serving to let the flavors fully meld, and then let it sit out for at least 30 minutes before serving to let the frosting re-soften.

22 Comments on Drunken Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Cake

  1. Elle
    October 6, 2014 at 2:48 am (8 years ago)

    What a delicious looking recipe! I’m noticing all the pumpkin recipes on the American blogs I frequent, a definite sign that fall has arrived for you guys. I’m in Australia and I love the weather here. Cold, but not too cold in winter (no snow in Sydney!) and gloriously warm in summer with days spent at the beach. If it rains more than a few days in a row, it definitely impacts my mood, but that doesn’t happen too often. Sometimes, I’d like to live somewhere where it snowed – just to see what it is like!

    • Joads
      October 13, 2015 at 5:25 am (7 years ago)

      LOVE fall around here in the states. We’re getting into peak color and it’s breathtaking. Lots of fresh produce and thus pumpkins and gourds. So of course this recipe is gonna be tried. Australia sounds wonderful. The snow here is nice however when the temps., get down into the – 0 digits NOT fun.

  2. Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    October 6, 2014 at 8:12 am (8 years ago)

    Pretty much by the middle of EVERY winter I wonder why I still live somewhere so cold… then there are about three solid months when daydream about living in San Diego.

    I would really like a giant slice of this cake, that would warm me up:-)

  3. Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig
    October 6, 2014 at 8:47 am (8 years ago)

    I could only live in those cold temps with the promise of this cake and many others to grace my dinner table. What’s funny is, you’d think there would be a trade off, like completely amazing summers in those areas…but it’s often horribly humid.

  4. DessertForTwo
    October 6, 2014 at 9:07 am (8 years ago)

    if I had this cake, I think I could tolerate the cold. Maaaaybe 🙂

  5. Anna
    October 6, 2014 at 11:20 am (8 years ago)

    I live in Wisconsin and yes it gets brutally cold, the wind physically hurts your face, and the roads are horrible. But if you bundle up you can still enjoy the subzero temps. There is something awesome about surviving winter that seems to pull people together. A bit of “we’re all in this together” attitude that I actually enjoy. And after a cold winter day when I’ve dug out my car after work, drove a snails pace carefully home, snowblowed my drive way, bundled up my dog for a walk in the dark around the neighborhood, and finally get to cuddle up in the blankets on the couch that is so satisfying. It’s like ya gotta be tough to live here and I feel proud.

  6. Megan
    October 6, 2014 at 11:40 am (8 years ago)

    I live in Minnesota and yeah, it can get pretty cold here and…okay, I sort of hate everything starting in about January or February through the end of March. But then spring comes. And the lilac comes out and it’s heartbreakingly beautiful.
    You survive winter with your trusty sets of long underwear, vitamin D supplements, and good winter gear. Also, it helps to walk around outside, even on the coldest days. No, seriously. If you bundle up right, you can learn to enjoy winter hiking or winter strolls through the neighborhood.

  7. Leslie
    October 6, 2014 at 11:41 am (8 years ago)

    First off – that recipe looks awesome! But I’m not at all surprised, because most of yours do. 😉

    Second point – I live in a cold part of the world, but am soon moving to a not-as-cold part. (San Fransisco actually). Currently I’m upstate NY right by Niagara Falls. Last year we got snow in early November, and had snow up until past Mother’s Day. (It was a particularly bad winter) So why? and how do I deal? Why: because I wanted to go to college here (fell in love with a school), and afterward stayed for a boy and a job. It just kind of happened. Dealing though, that is another matter entirely. It gets me SO down; and I *like* winter! The cold doesn’t bother me, it’s the perpetual gray for 6 – 7 months that is so much worse. Cold with snow on the ground, but clear skies? I LOVE those days. (They’re actually some of my favorite days) Dealing with cold makes you feel alive, and proud. There is something immensely satisfying about sitting by a fire with a hot cup of chocolate/cider/coffee while wind howls outside and you’re nestled in a blanket. Plus, I like to downhill ski and snowshoe. It’s hard to describe. Unfortunately here winter is cloudy in addition to cold and snowy. And it’s too long. After 10 years here I need to get out. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing. I literally cannot wait to get to California! (although no snow at Christmas will be weird)

  8. Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel
    October 6, 2014 at 1:46 pm (8 years ago)

    I live in the desert and it’s been triple digits since May, JUST cooling off to mid-90’s in the last week or so. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with it. I grew up in Boston and HATED the cold… definitely had a touch of seasonal defectiveness disorder (as my hubby calls it lol). So while I love that we have 360 sunny days a year… the heat is a LITTLE brutal after a few straight months of it. I’d love to some day live in the Carolinas…. I think that’s my perfect weather!!

    PS– this cake looks AMAZING! I am loving all the fall treats even though it’s still summer here!

  9. Angela @ The Dancer Bakes
    October 6, 2014 at 6:46 pm (8 years ago)

    I went to college in Buffalo and those four winters were the most excruciating periods of my life. My senior year, we had snow through April! And it was FRIGID till mid-May when, thankfully, it warmed up just in time for my outdoor wedding. I moved a little further south to New York City, so hopefully winter won’t be quite as long, but I’m fully anticipating misery. My coping mechanisms? Hot soup, multiple layers, fuzzy socks, and a parka that touches the tops of my boots.

    Also, since I’m fully in the thralls of Pumpkin Season for the first time in three weeks, this recipe’s going on my list! It looks incredible!

  10. Beth @ The First Year
    October 6, 2014 at 10:25 pm (8 years ago)

    I’m a Minnesotan born girl living in Illinois, and every year I ask myself why I don’t live in Hawaii!!

  11. Kathy
    October 6, 2014 at 10:29 pm (8 years ago)

    We have company coming next week and I’m definitely making this. It sounds wonderful.

    We used to live in San Jose, CA and, while I liked it and we have life long friends there, we got tired of just about the same weather year around. We now live in the PNW where we can get some cold, some snow but usually just grey skies and rain and that gets really old, fast but our summers and falls are just about perfect and this year October feels like August. I hope it lasts awhile longer.

  12. Wicked Goodies
    October 7, 2014 at 3:49 am (8 years ago)

    Hey that sounds familiar. I once dressed up as “Drunken Pumpkin” for Halloween. This cake is all neat and put together in comparison 😉

  13. someone
    October 8, 2014 at 10:29 am (8 years ago)

    Can the molasses be substituted with anything Ernst? Can’t find it

  14. Jenny @ BAKE
    October 9, 2014 at 7:15 am (8 years ago)

    I would love for it not to be so chilly right now, and I can’t say that London is even that cold at the moment! I don’t think I could deal with it be snowy for more than it is over here! This cake looks amazing, I love that it’s drunken!

  15. Megan
    October 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm (8 years ago)

    Boston is definitely rough in the winter. There’s lots of shoveling, digging out cars, dealing with ice and below-freezing temperatures, etc. Fall in new England is the best and almost makes up for our brutal winters. The weather can range from chilly to warm (I think it’s going to be almost 80 this week), and the changing leaves and the scenery and smells that come with them make me happy I live here. Summer’s pretty nice here too.

  16. Karen
    October 18, 2014 at 6:15 pm (8 years ago)

    I grew up and lived in the south until I was over 30. I HATE, HATE, HATE, the never-ending oppressive heat. I finally was able to move away to somewhere with 4 distinct seasons and love every one of them. First I lived in Wyoming where the winters are like something from a postcard. The storms come and dump a ton of snow and then the sun comes out and everything is so bright, sparkly, and beautiful and everyone tends to embrace the outdoors. They snowshoe, x-country sky, play ice hockey, ski, snowboard, ice skate on frozen ponds, etc. Now I live in New England and love it (although I admit last winter started to get old by March)! I even (mostly) love shoveling the snow. The cold makes me feel so alive – so cold, crisp, lungs burning…I run in it (even w/windchills below zero), snowshoe, snowboard, etc. The key is tech wear; there really is no excuse for anyone to be really cold these days if you’re dressed properly (and that no longer means thick bulky layers) and moving. When that’s done, nothing is nicer than coming into the house, building a cozy fire, having hot spiced cider or hot cocoa and schnapps, filling the house with smells of baking…. and at the end, crawling into a cozy bed of thick German flannel sheets and a bit down comforter. I keep my house at 55 during the night in winter and sleep like the dead! Now by the time spring is on its way in, I’m definitely ready to say good-bye to winter but I feel that way about every season. I love living where each season has a fairly predictable expiration date, unlike the never ending summers in the south! Now that the cooler temps are on their way in this week, I can’t wait to try this cake to enjoy with a little Baileys in front of a roaring fire!

  17. Mary
    December 2, 2017 at 11:53 am (4 years ago)

    How can I make this in a 9×13 pan?

    • Julie Ruble
      December 2, 2017 at 12:01 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi Mary, you can double the whole recipe to fit a 9×13 pan, but you have to check for doneness early and often with a toothpick – it’s done when you get just a few moist crumbs on the toothpick.

  18. Natalie
    August 1, 2021 at 9:20 am (10 months ago)

    Has anyone actually made this recipe?

    • Julie Ruble
      August 1, 2021 at 9:19 pm (10 months ago)

      Ha well yes, I have. Do you have a question?


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