For fans of whiskey, and of cake, there’s nothing better than a great whiskey cake. The whiskey cake is a delectable treat for any time of year. Unlike the types of rum cake, which is more of a holiday tradition, there’s never a bad time to make a whiskey cake. In part, this versatility is due to the variety of whiskey cakes you can make. A lot of whiskey cakes start off with a similar base and the variety comes into play with the type of whiskey itself. There are many types of whiskey out there, so your options when it comes to what to put in your cake are never-ending. When you’re learning how to make a whiskey cake the most important question is: what type of whiskey do you want to use? The rest will work out from there.
Does Whiskey Cake Have Alcohol?
There are plenty of baked treats, drinks, and other snacks out there often associated with alcohol without actually using alcohol. That isn't said for a traditional whiskey cake. The inclusion of whiskey, be it bourbon or another type, really brings the flavor to this sweet treat. That said, for anyone with baking skills, it would certainly be possible to work out how to make a whiskey cake without alcohol. However, when you search for cake recipes or go to a restaurant to enjoy this treat, you can expect some whiskey in your cake. But, for the most part, whiskey cake doesn’t have a very high alcohol content. This can change from location to location and baker to baker. If, however, you want to enjoy a boozy treat without feeling the effects too much, most whiskey cakes will generally fit the bill.
Irish Whiskey Cake
As it goes with everything whiskey-related, whiskey cake is closely linked to Ireland and all the amazing whiskey that comes from Ireland. The first records of whiskey in Ireland come from 1405. Ireland has been through more than its fair share of turmoil since then, resulting in many issues with whiskey-making along the way. However, Irish whiskey remains some of the best whiskey in the world. Irish whiskey production survived the Irish War of Independence, Prohibition in America, and so much more.
These days, Irish whiskey is appreciated worldwide for its rich history and equally rich flavors. It’s no wonder Irish whiskey is used in some of the best whiskey cakes. A lot of the best whiskey cakes originated in Ireland, because you just can’t go wrong with mixing Irish whiskey and cake. If you want a traditional Irish whiskey cake, you can’t go wrong with a whiskey cake recipe that uses Jameson.
Irish Whiskey Cake Recipe
The thing that really makes Irish whiskey cakes stand out is their use of Irish whiskey to bring some excellent flavor. There are plenty of options out there, as there are so many great Irish whiskeys. You can’t go wrong with a classic, like this recipe from Food.com. This recipe calls for:
- 1 box of yellow cake mix
- ½ cup of vegetable oil
- 1 box of instant vanilla pudding
- 1 cup of milk
- 1-2 ounces of whiskey (Jameson is a great choice)
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1 egg
And for the glaze:
- ¾ cup of white sugar
- ¼ pound of butter
- ½ - ¾ cups of whiskey
To mix this delicious cake up:
- Combine the pudding, cake mix, milk, egg, and oil in a bowl, and beat them together on medium speed for two minutes.
- Flour the walnuts and mix them into the batter.
- Bake your cake in a round tube cake pan for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
- As the cake bakes, start the glaze by combining the white sugar, butter, and whiskey, and cook it until the sugar is melted.
- Once the cake is done and cooled, leave it in the pan, pour the glaze over it, and leave it in the pan overnight.
- The next day, your cake will be ready to enjoy! Be sure to flip the cake every day, to keep the moisture consistent throughout the cake.
Chocolate & Whiskey
This classic Jameson cake is a delicious option for learning how to make a whiskey cake. There are, however, other options out there if you want to branch out and try something a little bit different. This chocolate Irish whiskey cake from Fine Cooking, for example, brings even more sweet delights to this cake. For this chocolate treat, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter to coat the pans
- 10-1/8 oz. (2-1/4 cups) of unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of granulated sugar
- 2-5/8 oz. (3/4 cup) of unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of table salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1/2 cup of canola oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup of hot coffee
And that’s just for the cake layers. For the coffee-whiskey whipped cream, you’ll need:
- 1 tablespoon of instant espresso granules
- ¼ cup of Irish whiskey
- 3 cups of heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons of packed dark brown sugar
And for the finishing touch ingredients, you’ll need:
- 1 4-ounce block of semisweet chocolate of about 1-inch thickness, at room temperature
- 1 4-ounce block of white chocolate of about 1-inch thickness, at room temperature
The Baking Instructions
To mix this all into a delicious chocolate-whiskey treat, start with the cake preparation:
- Position your oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9×2 round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment and butter the parchment.
- Blend the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt briefly on a low speed. Add in the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, and mix them in at a low speed. Scrape the bowl as needed, until the mixture is thick and creamy. This will take around five minutes. Gradually add in the hot coffee with the mixer still running at low speed to mix the coffee in. Divide the batter equally between the pans.
- For baking directions, be sure to switch and rotate the pans on the racks halfway through the 20 to 25 minute bake time.
- Check the cakes with a toothpick to make sure there are hardly any crumbs, and check that the center of the cake is firm. Let them cool completely in the pans on a rack.
For the whipped cream:
- Chill the cleaned mixing bowl and mixer. Stir the instant espresso into the whiskey in a measuring cup until it is completely dissolved.
- Whip the cream, brown sugar, and whiskey and espresso mix together in the chilled bowl, using a medium speed until medium-sized peaks form. This will take 2 to 3 minutes.
And for the finishing touches and setup of the cake:
- To get the cakes out of the pans, run a thin knife around the inside edge of the pans. Flip the cakes out onto a cutting board, then peel off the parchment.
- Move one of the layers to a cake plate, and spread one-third of the whipped cream you’ve mixed up on top of the layer. Leave a ½-inch border around the edge. Repeat this with the second cake layer.
- Place the top layer and spread the remaining cream out all the way to the edge.
- For the chocolate shavings, put a piece of waxed paper or foil on a baking sheet. Microwave each chocolate block on medium heat for around 20 to 30 seconds until they’re slightly soft. Use a vegetable peeler on the edge of the chocolate to get the curls. Let the curls land on the waxed paper or foil for ease of the next step. Make enough curls of each chocolate flavor to coat the cake to your desired amount of chocolate.
- Move the shavings into the refrigerator, and once they’re hardened in the refrigerator, arrange them on top of the cake.
- Enjoy this delicious cake (this borders on fitting the aphrodisiac meaning).
How to Make a Whiskey Cake: Conclusion
Whichever way you choose to start with learning how to make a whiskey cake, you're in for a sweet treat. For whiskey lovers and cake enthusiasts alike, the varieties of whiskey cakes available mean that there's something for everyone. Personally, we'll be making this chocolate variety the next time a sweet tooth need comes up.