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I’ve made this recipe many times with great success. The only variation employed is occasionally adding a white chocolate ganache.
I’m giving this two stars because my husband liked it, but the rest of the family didn’t care for it at all. Obviously one would have to really like bourbon to appreciate this recipe, and while I drink bourbon occasionally, we all felt that it was overpowering. Will not make again.
Hi, Denise! You are correct, this is a boozy cake. Glad your husband liked it. Thanks for letting us know your thoughts. You can reduce the alcohol to 1/2 cup and the cake will still work fine. Or you might prefer this chocolate cake instead.
Followed this almost to the letter. 3/4 cup of Jack Daniels. Semi sweet dark chocolate chunks melted down and sprinkled crushed pecans on the top of the batter (after spooning it in the pan). Staggered blending of the JD cocoa mixture and flour was gold. Nailed it. Was going to bring some to work to share but having second thoughts.
Wasn’t crazy about this recipe. Needed more whisky for starters, and would use sweetened chocolate next time. Might try it again.
Horrible……made it exactly as directed. Dry and uneatable! Brought it to work and threw 3/4 away. Embarassing!
Hi Deb, I’m so sorry you didn’t have a good experience with this recipe! I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve made this cake. It’s on the top of our list of favorites. So, I don’t know what happened for you when you made it. Everyone has different ovens, baking pans, and brands of ingredients, so perhaps your oven runs hotter than mine, perhaps it was a dry day, who knows? If it was dry, it was probably cooked too long for your oven environment. I would recommend decreasing the cooking time.
I have made this several times and it is absolutely fantastic. Biggest recommendation is to really make the butter super fluffy and also really give the time to add the sugar and vanilla and follow the instructions for really beating everything together. It makes a fantastic, fine crumb cake, that has always been met with rave reviews.
We love this recipe in our family. I originally made this as my husband’s groom cake for our rehearsal dinner. Since then it’s become a favorite birthday cake of the male’s in our family. I’m about to make one for my dad on his request.
This recipe has worked perfectly for me twice, both times to rave reviews. It is so good! The only change I made the second time was to dust the pan with cocoa instead of flour, which I preferred visually. Thank you!
I just made this cake. I read some of the comments. I used 1/2 of the recipe but with a few changes. I used Godiva liquor with the bourbon, added 1/3 more flour (someone mentioned that), used the original chocolate, dried, used 2 oz dark unsweetened, two eggs, and really followed the ‘beat until fluffy’ under every step. My first time making a cake from scratch. Excellent!
I halfed the recipe with 2 eggs for a 6 cup bundt pan. The cook time was 45 min. Make it great with a good 90 proof wheated bourbon.
I really want to make this cake. Today! Has anyone ever used a regular strong brewed coffe in place of the instant/espresso water mixture? If so, what did you do?
any recommendations on instant espresso to use?
I’ve used Medaglia D’Oro. I don’t think the brand makes much of a difference in this case.
thank you! i wasn’t concerned with the brand so much, but i’ve never seen instant espresso in the shops. figured if someone provided some brand examples, i could search online!
Made this for my daughter’s birthday and followed the directions exactly as written and the cake fell like a souffle. It also tastes terrible. Very disappointing for all the time and ingredients that I put into it. I do think that one cup of flour is not enough.
Hi Kelly, the recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, not 1.
Hi Elise, I’d like to make this cake but have a question: for “1/4 cup instant espresso (can use instant coffee)”, is that 1/4 cup of powder of instant espresso, or 1/4 cup of liquid made from powdered instant espresso+water?
Hi Sasha, it’s powder. I’ve clarified it in the instructions, thank you!
I’ve made this cake every year (and sometimes twice) since the recipe was published. It has always come out great. Today for some reason it fell. I make it in a dark bundt pan and the cake is at least one inch shorter than it should be. I’m sure it will still taste wonderful. I’ve looked into reasons it may fall. One is the oven temp – it did not use an oven thermometer so maybe the temp is off. Another reason might be that I beat it too long putting too much air into the batter. I’ll be testing out the oven temp first and then I think I’ll try another…… it freezes well too ! Merry Christmas !
I made this cake several years ago for a holiday dinner I go to every year. I had planned on making the egg nog pound cake for tonight’s dinner, but instead made this one again. Wow! It was good the first time, but this time I did something different, and it seems to have come out even better. Won’t really know until tonight when we cut into it, but just eating some of the scraps I shaved off to even out the top (well, really bottom), I could tell how good it is. The thing I did differently has to do with the butter. Whenever I make a cake where I have to cream the butter in the Kitchen Aid and then add sugar til fluffy, I forget to leave the butter out, or even to take it out of the freezer. Being as the Kitchen Aid paddle does such a great job of beating the butter, I never thought it was a big deal, since the paddle could cream even cold or frozen butter. Well this time, I did remember earlier in the day to take the butter from the freezer, and it was quite soft by the time I made the cake late last night. When I beat the butter, I could see how much fluffier it was that usual, when the butter is very cold, and it remained super fluffy throughout, after adding all other ingredients. I was amazed at the difference! Also, I was having a hard time getting the chocolate to melt well, and it wasn’t as liquid-y as usual, and I had to keep mixing it up with a fork to make sure it didn’t thicken. It was definitely thicker than usual when I melt chocolate, but when I moved it around with a fork, it would get shiny, so it wasn’t seized. But it did worry me that when I added it to the other ingredients, it would seize up and ruin the whole batter. But it didn’t! It might have even added to the luscious texture of the batter. I also was nervous about adding the baking soda with the wet ingredients and mixed it in with the flour.
Sorry for the long story, but it was such a beautiful batter that it actually got me excited. :) And it baked beautifully and smells wonderful and tastes very bourbon-y, but in a very subtle way. Wow. Can’t wait to eat it tonight. I know everyone will ooh and ahh a lot when they see my new Bundt shape. I’ve always used the rose-shaped pan, but this time I used the one that’s very geometric, angle-y, and very striking. Ooh la la! (By the way, I baked it at 340 and it was done in an hour.)
Followed the recipe to a “T” and it fell like a house of cards after about 45 minutes.
Mine too! Happened tonight.
I actually make this cake with cherry bourbon and add in just a touch of cherry extract. Comes out amazing.
Sounds great! I love the combo of cherries and chocolate.
January 2015; new life as HuffPost links to this recipe. I really like the unusual pan design but can’t find it anywhere. Source?
Hi Jim, it’s a Nordic Ware Star Bundt Pan, about 10 cups. Looks like Nordic Ware doesn’t make it anymore, but I just did a search for it on ebay and found several.
does anyone know how long to bake the cupcake versions?