Cooking, Baking & Cocktail Shaking

Sweet Potato Bourbon Bundt Cake

I’ve been known to throw back a cocktail or two (or three), so when I heard that December’s bundt theme was “Boozy Cakes,” I did a little dance. I love incorporating alcohol into my baked goods. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a little cake with their booze? Wink, wink.

The idea for this cake derived from my grandfather’s love for sweet potato pie. Every year I ask him what he’d like to see on the dessert table for Thanksgiving, and every year his answer is always the same, “I wouldn’t mind a sweet potato pie.” I don’t even know why I continue to ask. I didn’t make  him a pie this year, but I sure did fancy up a sweet potato bundt cake for him.

Since this month’s theme is “Boozy Cakes,” I decided to give my sweet potato bundt a little bourbon buzz. The bourbon is not shy in this cake, but it’s not overwhelming either. It’s the perfect balance of earthy sweet potato and warm, spicy bourbon.

I’m going to let the cake speak for itself. Drum roll, please!

Isn’t she a beauty?

I swear the cake knew she was the best dessert at the table. She had this haughty attitude going. “Hmph, you other desserts have nothing on me. I mean, just look at me with my gooey, sweet maple bourbon glaze and my dense, moist interior. I’m the star of Thanksgiving!”

I gotta hand it to her; she was right. Everyone adored this cake. There were oohs and aahs echoed throughout the room as everyone passed the cake dishes around. My grandmother even tried stealing a sliver before dinner, but I shot her down.

I was nervous as I handed my grandfather the first slice of cake, then I proceeded to stare at him intently, waiting for him to take the first bite and for his approval. I received a thumbs up, which is code for yum. I don’t think he’ll be missing the sweet potato pie any time soon.

This cake is my new favorite cake. It’s moist, slightly sweet, but not overly sweet. The sticky glaze soaks into the cake, creating a crisp, sugary crust. The toasted pecans add a warm crunch, and the bourbon kisses your lips with its warm, boozy tingle.

Have a boozy holiday…responsibly, that is.

Sweet Potato Bourbon Bundt Cake

A sinfully moist sweet potato cake spiked with bourbon and drizzled with a brown sugar maple glaze.

Yield: 1 bundt cake

Prep Time: 15

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes



  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pureed sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease and flour a bundt pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar at high speed (speed 6 on my Kitchen-Aid) for 3 minutes or until thick and pale. Add oil, melted butter, and vanilla, beating at a low speed until just combined. Add the sweet potato puree, beating until just combined and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Whisk to combine.
  4. In a measuring cup, whisk together the bourbon and buttermilk.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, alternating with the buttermilk mixture. Beat at a low speed after each addition until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool fully on the wire rack.
  7. Glaze: While the cake is baking, bring brown sugar, butter, and maple syrup to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Boil for 2 minutes, then add the pecans. Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon.
  8. Drizzle the glaze slowly over the warm bundt cake, allowing it to soak into the cake.
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39 Responses to “Sweet Potato Bourbon Bundt Cake”

  1. #
    CCU — December 1, 2012 at 5:37 am

    This is one of my favourite Bundts so far my friend :)

    Choc Chip Uru


  2. #
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen — December 1, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Mmmm…. so, so gorgeous! Besides loving the flavors here, the spiral shape is the absolute best for parking the glaze. I love this Jennie!


  3. #
    shannon @ a periodic table — December 1, 2012 at 8:26 am

    now THAT is a beautiful bundt. i have that style pan, and you just reminded me that it’s very much time to get it out and make something with it. :) very possibly, it will involve sweet potatoes and booze. because hey…it’s the holidays.


  4. #
    Laura Dembowski — December 1, 2012 at 8:41 am

    That bundt is gorgeous! I always love baking with alcohol. It brings incredible flavor to just about everything.


  5. #
    Stacy — December 1, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I am not surprised that your family gave this a thumbs-up. It is absolutely gorgeous!

    Also, I am in love with your Bundt pan.


  6. #
    Lora @cakeduchess — December 1, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I could just picture you waiting for your grandfather’s approval. I bet he would want this gorgeous cake now every year. You’ve inspired me to bake this for Thanksgiving next year and skip the pumpkin pie I normally bake. Gorgeous, Jennie. Thanks for baking with us and #BundtaMonth!xx


  7. #
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — December 1, 2012 at 11:19 am

    This is one gorgeous bundt cake! Well done, Jennie!


  8. #
    Family Foodie — December 1, 2012 at 11:35 am

    She is truly a beauty! The shape and the nuts on top make this cake look fabulous!


  9. #
    Angie@Angie's Recipes — December 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    This looks so gorgeous! Awesome shape.


  10. #
    Whitney @ The Newlywed Chefs — December 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Oh yes. This looks simply fabulous. I put a bundt pan on my Christmas list so hopefully I can join in the fun soon!


  11. #
    Renee — December 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I thought today would never come because I have been waiting patiently for this recipe ever since you posted the sneak peek in the group. Pecans stole my heart and sweet potatoes is just a bonus. It is like my mom’s sweet potato casserole in a cake. I must make this some time.


  12. #
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom — December 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Jennie, this bundt is absolutely gorgeous!!! I am lusting after your bundt pan!! Wow!!! so pretty . . and I LOVE the recipe!


  13. #
    Deb @ knitstamatic — December 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Stunning! Bourbon and sweet potato are a match made in heaven, yum!


  14. #
    Laura — December 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Love the cake but love the grandpa story even more!


  15. #
    Kate | Food Babbles — December 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I know how you love your cocktails, so I knew you’d come up with something completely amazing and you did!! Your cake is simply GORGEOUS!! I want to dive right into it. It’s so beautiful too. I adore the shape of it. I have to buy a pan like that. I’m bored with my classic pan :)


  16. #
    Holly — December 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    With your grandfather’s sign of approval I know this must be a stellar cake! Making a grandfather happy is so special, I hope you all enjoyed the holiday together. Looks like your family has a new dessert tradition!


  17. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — December 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Oh my word. That bundt shape is beautiful! Prettiest I’ve ever seen. And interesting combination. :) I LOVE boozy cakes. I made a rum cake yesterday and I declared it the best thing I’d ever eaten. It was insane. Hooray for boozy cakes! :)


  18. #
    The squishy monster — December 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Yum! and I love your topping—I just may feature this on my Christmas dessert bar =)


  19. #
    Terra — December 2, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Awww, thumbs up from Grandpa means that cake was rockin’ :-) Seriously that bundt pan mold is freaking awesome, and your cake is beyond beautiful! What a fun post, and love that your Grandpa’s recipe inspired you, that is so wonderful! Hugs, Terra


  20. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — December 2, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Love this! The presentation is absolutely stunning! And I’ve always wanted to bake with sweet potato so this here is just screaming my name. Plus, the bourbon? Major plus!


  21. #
    Kate@Diethood — December 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Your bundt is beyond gorgeous!! I just saw it on one of the food porn sites and drooled a bit.


  22. #
    Baker Street — December 3, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I love the generous amounts of bourbon in this cake! A sweet potato cake sounds exquisite, Jennie! And your bundt looks perfect! Love this boozy treat! Thanks for baking along! :)


  23. #
    Suzanne — December 15, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I made this and it looked great! But, when I cut it, there were little green specks in it! Something in the sweet potatoes reacting with the bourbon or buttermilk? It tasted fine and looked ok since it’s Christmas, but it was very odd. Anyone have a clue?


    • Jennie replied December 15th, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Suzanne, that’s very odd. I didn’t have any problems with green specks in the cake. My cake was orange on the inside. I know when I make banana bread there tends to be some specks from the bananas. Maybe that’s what happened with the sweet potatoes.


      • Suzanne replied December 15th, 2012 at 11:27 am

        Very odd indeed! But it tasted fine and looked festive!

        • Suzanne replied December 15th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

          At first I thought it was mold but it was very dark green & only inside the cake and only a day and 1/2 after I’d made it. Stumped, I am!

          • Jennie replied December 15th, 2012 at 9:16 pm

            I’m just as stumped. I used canned sweet potatoes; not sure if that has anything to do with it. I’m glad it tasted good. Weird.

  24. #
    Karen — November 16, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Just made your delicious cake. I thought that it sounded like a lot of Bourbon and put in one half the amount and more buttermilk. I wish I hadn’t because you could hardly taste it. Next time I will add the full amount. This was a great recipe!!! The glaze was perfect, but I don’t think I would cook it as long. It got a little hard (yum though, like candy). I was test driving for Thanksgiving, will be on my menu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  25. #
    Karen — November 16, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Just made your delicious cake. I thought that it sounded like a lot of Bourbon and put in one half the amount and more buttermilk. I wish I hadn’t because you could hardly taste it. Next time I will add the full amount. This was a great recipe!!! The glaze was perfect, but I don’t think I would cook it as long. It got a little hard (yum though, like candy). I was test driving for Thanksgiving, will be on my menu


  26. #
    Garietta Falls — November 16, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Made this cake yesterday and omg! Soooo good. Thanks for this recipe. May lighten up on the bourbon when the in-laws come to visit but I see it becoming family favorite in our household



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