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close up on the top of a pumpkin bundt cake with slices laying in their sides

Butterscotch Pumpkin Bundt Cake

  • Author: Jenna Barnard
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes + 1 hour cooling
  • Yield: 16 slices 1x


Moist pumpkin bundt cake baked and topped with homemade butterscotch sauce



Butterscotch Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (110g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (180g) dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp rum*
  • 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar

Pumpkin Cake

  • 3 1/2 cups (445g) all purpose flour **see notes for GF option
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp clove
  • 1 cup (215ml) oil
  • 2 cups (360g) light brown sugar
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup homemade butterscotch sauce, cooled
  • 4 large eggs, room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (230ml) buttermilk***, room temp


Butterscotch Sauce

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Once melted, mix in the brown sugar and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it bubble for 6 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and mix in the salt, vanilla, and rum. It should look thin, dark, and slightly translucent. 
  4. Pour out 1/2 cup of the sauce to use in the cake, then mix in the powdered sugar to the remaining sauce.
  5. Pour the extra sauce into a separate container and allow it to cool at room temperature while you bake the cake. It will thicken and lighten in color as it cools. (You should now have two containers of sauce, one of 1/2 cup for the cake batter and one with powdered sugar mixed in to pour on top of the cake.)

Pumpkin Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare a 12 cup bundt pan. You can do so however you like, but my preferred method is to cover the entire inside with butter, chill the pan while I prep the batter, then dust the pan with flour right before I pour in the batter.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, pumpkin, and 1/2 cup of butterscotch sauce. Make sure it’s not too hot before adding it to the batter.
  4. Whisk in the eggs two at a time, followed by the vanilla.
  5. Pour in half of the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Then mix in the buttermilk until smooth.
  6. Whisk in the remaining dry ingredients. The batter should be fairly thick.
  7. Pour into the bundt pan and spread it even. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cake to cool inside the pan for 15 minutes. Then turn it out onto a cooling rack while it’s still a bit warm. Let the cake cool before pouring over the sauce (about 30-45 minutes).
  9. By the time the cake has cooled, the reserved sauce should be thickened and opaque. You can either pour it over the cake at this consistency (as shown in photos) or you can use a toothpick to poke holes all around the cake and pour warmed butterscotch sauce on top. When it’s warm, the consistency will be thin. This allows it to sink into the cake to create a soaked bundt cake. It’s delicious either way!


*RUM – If you prefer to not use real rum, you can substitute 1 tsp rum extract. 

**GLUTEN FREE – Although I haven’t tested it, I believe this cake would do well with gluten free flour. Sub the flour with a good quality gluten free baking flour. I like Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour. I also suggest weighing the flour, rather than measuring by cups, to ensure accuracy.

***BUTTERMILK – You can also make your own buttermilk. Measure out one cup of milk and omit one tablespoon. Then mix in a tablespoon of white vinegar (apple cider vinegar is also OK). Let it sit for 10 minutes to thicken and curdle before use. 

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour

Keywords: pumpkin bundt cake, bundt cake, pumpkin cake, butterscotch

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