1. Prepare the cake. Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 (8 or 9-inch) round cake pans. Dust the inside of each pan with a thin layer of flour. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the 2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat butter with both sugars until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
4. Add a third of the flour mixture, then 1/3 cup buttermilk. Mix until batter is well combined. Repeat alternating dry ingredients and buttermilk twice more. Stir in chopped pecans.
5. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 23 to 26 minutes. Cool cakes in pans for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto racks to cool completely, about 1 hour.
6. Prepare the frosting. When cakes are cool, melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler, stirring until smooth; remove from heat. Alternatively, microwave on high for 1 minute, stir, and heat in 30-second increments until smooth and melted. Stir in bourbon and vanilla and cool 10 minutes.
7. While chocolate cools, add butter to a large bowl. Use an electric mixer on high speed to beat until butter is almost white, about 2 minutes. Add cocoa, beat until incorporated, then add 11/2 cups of the confectioners' sugar and 2 Tbsp. milk. Beat on low until blended, then add remaining sugar. Beat to combine.
8. Add melted chocolate mixture and mix on low to combine. Raise speed to high and beat until frosting is light, fluffy, and spreadable, about 1 minute. If needed, add additional milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time.
9. To frost, place one cake layer top side down on a serving plate. Spread frosting over the surface. Turn second layer bottom side down on top of first layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting, smoothing the surface. Decorate as desired with pecans or chocolate. The frosted cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, November - December 2014