Chocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

30 June 2015

Chocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Chocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Anyone fancy a decadent, chocolate cake laced with whiskey? This does sound quite rich for this time of the year but if you were offered a slice of this, I'm sure you wouldn't say no, right? I have been meaning to add this cake to the blog and it has been on my "to do" list" for a couple of months. I finally found the time to bake it and share it. I first made this cake for Mark for his big birthday back in April, and it was so well received that I wanted to share it.

I combined chocolate with whiskey because Mark has a weakness for both. You can leave the whiskey out entirely, if you wish. I made a much bigger version for his birthday and it was only when I presented the cake did I realise how enormous it was. It was only right that we shared it around the pub, as there was no way we could finish the entire cake. This version is smaller version but can easily feed a party of around 15 people.

Chocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Chocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Chocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

If you're a keen foodie, you have probably heard of Life & Thyme, which I am a huge fan of. I enjoy reading their foodie stories and I have been following them for some time, which is why I am so excited and honoured that they published this story I wrote on Newtown & Pott - a modern day preserver creating hand made artisanal preserves in London. I'm supportive of independent makers and have been lucky to meet so many inspiring and creative people already. I'll be sharing more of the exciting brands I have met in the coming months.

I'm also heading to Sweden next week, which I am really excited about. I planned this trip 5 months ago and I can't wait to spend the start of my summer in Stockholm and Bohuslän coast. You can follow my journey on instagram.

In the meantime, I have a cake to finish.

Chocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel ButtercreamChocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Chocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Chocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel ButtercreamChocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Chocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Chocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel ButtercreamChocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream


12-16 servings


FOR THE CAKE

225g unsalted butter
2 cups plain flour sifted
150g dark chocolate
¼ cup instant coffee
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup boiling water
1 cup whiskey
¼ tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla essence


FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL

1 cup caster sugar
1 1/4 cup double cream
60g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp sea salt


FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

350g unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp whiskey (optional)
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup salted caramel (see above)


METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line 2 x 18cm round cake tins.

Melt the dark chocolate and set aside to cool. Dissolve the coffee & cocoa powder in a bowl with the boiling water. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter until light and creamy. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and continue to beat. Mix in the whiskey with the coffee/cocoa powder mixture and add it to the batter along with the sifted flour and baking powder. Continue to beat until well combined. Divide the batter evenly into the 2 pans. Bake for 40 mins or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the salted caramel, heat the sugar in a large pan over medium heat for about 10 mins until the sugar dissolves and turns a dark amber colour. Do not stir the pan but swirl the sugar in the pan to ensure it all dissolves. In a separate pan, heat the cream and butter on medium-low heat until the butter melts and is combined with the cream. Once the sugar is completely melted, turn off the heat and quickly whisk in the warm cream/butter mixture. If you get solidified sugar bits, you can re-heat it on the pan. Stir in the salt.

To make the butteream. Whip the butter until light and creamy then add the salted caramel. Slowly add in the icing sugar. If the buttercream is too soft, add more icing sugar until you achieve a thick but workable frosting.

Once the cakes have cooled completely, slice each cake lengthways into 2 layers so you have 4 layers in total. Add buttercream to one layer, and a thin layer – about ¼ of the remainder salted caramel on top of the buttercream. Place the next cake layer on top and repeat this process for the next 2 layers. Buttercream the top and sides of the cake. Finally, drizzle the remainder of the salted caramel on top. Garnish with brittle or nuts.

Chocolate Whiskey Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

34 comments

  1. Wow this looks so good your photos are amazing xxx

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  2. Such a gorgeous cake! The caramel drizzle is so pretty. I'll take a slice of this any time of the year! :)

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    1. Thank you June! I'd happily have a slice of this any day of the week myself ;)

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  3. I would love to make this for my daughter's birthday! I'm wondering if I omit the whiskey is there something I should replace it with?

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    1. Hi Jess,

      Whiskey can be a hard one to substitute. If you want to leave out the whiskey you could try doubling the cocoa/instant coffee mixture – ½ cup cocoa + ½ cup instant coffee + 1 cup boiling water. You can also buy non-alcoholic whiskey but this may not be as easy to source. Otherwise, if you are making a smaller version of the cake – you could just leave the whiskey out altogether. Hope this helps!

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  4. Just stumbled on your site and this cake looks fabulous. Tell me, does it really feed 16?

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  5. Thanks and welcome. Yes it is quite a big and heavy cake!

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  6. OK then I'm going to make it next week for a friend's birthday. I'll let you know how it goes. Cheers!

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  7. This looks wonderful!! If I wanted to make a smaller version, say to feed about 8 people, could I just cut the ingredients in half?

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  8. This cake looks AMAZING!! If I wanted to make a much smaller version, say for 8 or so people, could I just cut the ingredients in half?

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    1. The cake I made was quite large with 4 layers! But if you want to make a smaller version you could just make it 2 layers only by baking just the 1 cake in 1 tin, as opposed to 2 cakes in 2 tins. You would half the cake mixture. The baking time for the cake itself would be the same but I would half the buttercream but keep the same amount of salted caramel. Hope this helps!

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  9. Hi! This looks amazing and I can't wait to make for my boyfriend's birthday. I do have a couple of questions though...

    1. For the 2 round cake tins, how deep are they? 2 inches? I found this, but I am not sure this is the right dimensions - http://www.webstaurantstore.com/7-x-2-round-cake-pan-coated/327907026.html?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=GoogleShopping&gclid=CLzum83vl8kCFQutaQodJAULeg

    2. When do you add in the Whiskey and vanilla essence when making the buttercream? Is it when you're combining the icing sugar?

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Joelle,

      The tin I used was 7cm so just slightly over 2 inches. So I say the ones in the link will be fine.
      You can add the whiskey & vanilla essence after the icing sugar has been incorporated to make the buttercream. Enjoy!

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  10. Hi, I know nothing about whiskey and I'm wondering what kind I should buy for this recipe! Thanks so much.

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    1. Hi Liz - I used a single malt Whiskey but you can use any other type of whiskey you prefer like bourbon, blended or rye whiskey. Since you are cooking with it, you can use a cheap brand. It doesn't have to be expensive. Hope this helps!

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  11. I have seen this on pinterest and I just love the pictures and the flavors in this cake. Whiskey at this of the time should be mandatory in cakes!!! :)

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  12. Thank you for stopping by! Yes, whiskey is very appropriate at this time of the year!

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  13. Hello! I am absolutely in love with this cake but I'm wondering about the density of it - from the photos it's looking more like a fudge type of consistency, a little denser than a typical fluffy, moist cake - am I incorrect in saying this??

    I'm searching for the perfect cake to make for a baking contest with friends and think this could be the winner! :)

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    1. Hi There, thanks for stopping by. You are right - this cake is dense but very easy to eat! Hope you like it if you try it.

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  14. This cake looks amazing! Can you tell me about the density of it? From the photos it looks like it carries a little bit more light a fudge than a typical moist and fluffy cake -- am I wrong in seeing that?

    I'm searching for something to win a bake off bet with friends and this could be the one! :)

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  15. Everything about this sounds amazing and it looks so beautiful too!

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  16. Hi there! I made this last night - definitely not as tall and beautiful as yours, but it was so delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

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    1. Hi Hannah - so glad you liked it & thanks for sharing your feedback!

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  17. Hi there,
    Can I replace plain flour with cake flour?
    Thanks.

    Cheng

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    1. Hi Cheng, I've not done the substitute myself but I don't see why not. Check out this link for the right substitution between cake flour & plain flour - http://bakingbites.com/2007/05/subbing-all-purpose-flour-for-cake-flour

      Happy baking!

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  18. I am making this fabulous looking cake today.....does the salted caramel sauce require water with the sugar to melt?? Jane

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  19. I am going to make this fabulous cake today......to make the salted cameral do I add water to melt the sugar...

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  20. Hi there, no water is required. It's a case of melting the sugar in the pan on its own but making sure you don't stir it. Instead swirl the pan until the sugar dissolves. Hope this helps.

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  21. I found your beautiful photos on pinterest. I made this cake today for my husband's birthday since he loves both whiskey and salted caramel. he loved it! I converted everything to my US measurements and had no problem. I never made caramel before so was amazed at how easy it was. I used wider pans, just kept an eye on it. thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Helen, So glad you liked this cake and also made it for your husband. He's a lucky guy ;)
      Caramel is easier than people think! Thanks for stopping by.

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  22. can i pre-bake this and keep it overnight? I've seen some videos to put simple syrup on each layer so it doesnt dries out the cake when it's kept in the fridge.
    I'm planning to bake it and keep it for about 24hours in the fridge before our friend's birthday. Any tips on keeping the cake without it drying out?

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    1. Hi there, yes you can pre-bake just the cake and let it sit at room temperature covered air tightly over night. I've done this with other cakes before and didn't have a problem with it drying out, as long as it is in an air tight container. You can then add the icing the next day. Hope this helps!

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