Home » Pumpkin Caramel Bourbon Poke Cake

Pumpkin Caramel Bourbon Poke Cake

I’m sitting at home with my Christmas decorations up, sipping a hot cup of tea. I only wish that my neck felt better – I got a full-body check during my hockey game on Sunday. My teammate said my head hit the ice before anything else. Annnnd, that’s consistent with how I’m feeling. Ow.

But, thankful for sure. Our local hospital is nearing capacity and alternate patient floors are being made to accommodate the surge. Wishing you and yours are not in a similar place – it’s pretty scary, for sure. Working healthcare in 2020 has certainly been an unprecedented challenge. Does anyone else hope that after this year we never hear the word ‘unprecedented’ ever again?

It’s Tuesday, November 17th and I’m off work until November 30th. I’m whittling down my PTO bank, despite canceling our trip to Florida…which was the consolation prize for our canceled trip to Mexico. I got real crazy and booked Maui for April 2021 – here goes nothing! Leaving work today was weird. I took my laptop with me, never even shut it down. I’ll for sure be working some because with the pace of what’s going on, I’d be coming back to a complete and total nightmare. And for what? My staycation where I can’t do much of anything? Lame. 🙂

I’ve got a list going of what I want to accomplish during staycation 2020. In addition to working ahead on blog posts and podcast episodes (always on my to-do list), I also want to get Christmas shopping and crafting done, get some cleaning/organizing/purging in, slay some workouts, make some freezer meals (POT PIE!), and plan one heck of a Thanksgiving dinner…even if 2 out of the 4 of us won’t appreciate it. I’m making it feel like Thanksgiving, darn it!

I may even do something crazy: a turkey-less Thanksgiving. Except, my kids are actually quite fond of turkey and less so of all the crave-worthy sides I’m going to make and enjoy: stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, and salad. I’m good to pass on the turkey, but no Thanksgiving is complete without stuffing and mashed potatoes!

I may also forego pecan pie this year because I’m the only one who likes it (HOW?!?!). Also, we’ve had pumpkin pie recently so I’m eyeing a repeat of this Pumpkin Caramel Bourbon Poke Cake. It will go along nicely with my theme drink (for 2): Ginger Cranberry Whiskey Cocktails.

Foodies, it’s our time to shine and enjoy! A little glimmer of good in this terrible, no good year! 

Pumpkin Caramel Bourbon Poke Cake

Pumpkin Caramel Bourbon Poke Cake

Yield: 8 slices
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Spiced cake, homemade whipped cream, caramel and bourbon throughout. Perfection!


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup caramel sauce
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon, divided
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mist a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla until well-combined.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula, evenly spreading the batter into the dish.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick is cleanly removed.
  6. Combine caramel sauce and 1/2 the bourbon in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium-low heat until warmed through and thinned.
  7. Poke holes over the surface of the cake. Reserve 2-3 teaspoons of the caramel mixture and pour the remaining caramel mixture over the top. Cool cake completely.
  8. Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/2 tablespoon bourbon and heavy whipping cream in a large bowl. Beat on high with an electric mixture until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. When cake is cooled, spread the whipped cream evenly over the surface of the cake.
  9. Heat the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Heat for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant, jiggling the pan every minute or so.
  10. Sprinkle the pecans over the surface of the cake and drizzle with the reserved caramel sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Recipe from All Recipes

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice (1/8 cake)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 486Total Fat: 30.6gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 216mgCarbohydrates: 49.3gFiber: 1.6gSugar: 30.8gProtein: 4.0g

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 All about pumpkin? Let’s do it!

Be well,

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  1. Kat
    November 18, 2020 / 8:29 am

    We’re having a solo thanksgiving this year. Yay? Whatever…. it’s 2020.

    We’re definitely skipping Turkey. I’m giving my husband free reign to cook whatever he wants on the Treager. He’ll be happy. And I’ll be happy with sides. And this cake. And pumpkin pie. Haha!

    • Nicole Morrissey
      November 18, 2020 / 2:50 pm

      That’s the spirit! Right there with you! 2020, PEACE!

  2. Joan
    November 18, 2020 / 10:55 pm

    By what can we replace the caramel sauce? Unless you have a recipe?

    • Nicole Morrissey
      November 19, 2020 / 9:27 am

      Hi Joan! Not sure I understand the question. The caramel sauce can be purchased in a jar pre-made.

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