Bourbon Chocolate Cake

A boozy fudge-like Bourbon Chocolate Cake with bourbon cream cheese frosting and a simple bourbon-caramel glaze.  Add pecans to give it a nutty crunch and flavor and this will be the highlight of your holiday dessert table. 

Perfect for fall baking. 

Bourbon Chocolate Cake | URBAN BAKES

Chocolate and cake pretty much runs through my veins for as long as I can remember.  As a child, I always found an excuse to bake sheet cakes in my mother’s kitchen. Now that I’m older and willing to handle more sophisticated cakes, I decided to give you a bit of an adult version of my childhood favorite and spike it with bourbon.

For a dramatic pop of flavor, I drizzled a bourbon-caramel sauce over the top which is simply a mix of caramel topping and bourbon.  Easy, right? Just don’t be fooled on the small amount of bourbon; it’s enough to give this cake an extra punch of boozy flavor!

Bourbon Chocolate Cake | URBAN BAKES

If you prefer a rich fudge-like chocolate cake, then this recipe is for you.  Furthermore, this cream cheese frosting remains one of the best frostings to work with.  Its smooth silk-like texture is easy to manipulate in designing the sides and top of the cake or if you want to go for a straight edge finish as seen here, easy!  Plus the flavor of the cream cheese frosting is mild therefore, less sweet which compliments the chocolate perfectly.

If you’re looking for a change to place onto your dessert table for the upcoming holidays, this cake is it.  Bourbon is perfect for this time of year and is sure to please many around the table.

Bourbon Chocolate Cake | URBAN BAKES

Did you enjoy this recipe? Consider rating and commenting below. I love to see your feedback and help answer any questions you may have. Don’t forget to check below for related recipes.

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Bourbon Chocolate Cake | URBAN BAKES

Bourbon Chocolate Cake


  • Author: URBAN BAKES
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 layered, 8-inch cake 1x

Description

A boozy fudge-like chocolate cake with bourbon cream cheese frosting and a simple bourbon-caramel glaze.  Add pecans to give it a nutty crunch and flavor and this will be the highlight of your holiday dessert table. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

CAKE

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces sweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup instant coffee crystals or instant espresso coffee powder
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

CARAMEL SAUCE

  • 3/4 cup caramel flavor ice cream topping
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

FROSTING

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 to 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped (optional)

Instructions

CAKE

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Using a baking spray with flour, generously coat the bottom and sides of 2 8-inch round baking pans; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl combine unsweetened chocolate and sweet chocolate and microwave on HIGH power for 30 seconds; stir. Repeat microwave heating and stir after each 30 second interval until smooth, about 1 ½ minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a small bowl, stir coffee (or espresso) and boiling water until coffee completely dissolves. Increase water to measure a total coffee-mixture of 1 ½ cups. Stir in ½ cup bourbon.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium to high speed, beat butter and sugar for 30 seconds or until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and continue beating for another minute. Add in cooled melted chocolate and vanilla and beat until chocolate is thoroughly mixed.
  5. On low speed, beat in alternating portions of flour mixture and coffee mixture until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pans; spread evenly.
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center of each cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in pans over a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove cakes from pans. Brush the top and sides of both cakes with 2 tablespoons bourbon and allow to further cool on wire racks before frosting.

CARAMEL SAUCE

  1. In a small saucepan combine caramel topping and 2 tablespoons bourbon. Cook and stir over medium heat until warm. Remove from heat; set aside.

FROSTING

  1. In a large bowl using an electric mixer on low to medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until thoroughly combined. Beat in bourbon and powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  2. Frost the top of the bottom layer of the cake. Stack the second layer and frost the top and sides of cake. Before frosting dries, lightly press chopped pecans onto the sides.
  3. Using a piping bag with a fitted 2D tip, pipe swirls on top. If desired, place a pecan onto each swirl and drizzle bourbon-caramel sauce on top. ENJOY!
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes

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18 thoughts on “Bourbon Chocolate Cake”

  1. Hello!

    I love the flavor, fudge texture and moistness of this cake! I really want to make for my son’s first birthday, but I don’t think bourbon is appropriate, lol! Any way to alter this cake recipe to be alcohol free? Would buttermilk or something else serve as a replacement?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Rachel, I’m so glad you love this cake and Happy 1st Birthday to your son!
      I haven’t tried using buttermilk in this recipe but know water is generally a great substitute. I would use water in the same amount as the bourbon (1/2 cup). In total there should be 2 cups of water added. If you could, I recommend practicing beforehand. Good luck and happy baking!
      – Connie

  2. Mine also sunk in the middle and I’ve made this recipe at least 5x before. (successfully) However, I think I followed the original BHG recipe previously and did 1 tsp baking soda. Worth a shot.

    1. Hi Alyssa,
      Thank you for sharing your experience. The BHG recipe posted on their site is my own. Between that recipe and the one here, the only change I made was increasing the baking soda from 1 –> 2 teaspoons in hopes that for those who had issues with rising of the cake that the increase of leavening agent could help. I’m glad to see that the 5 times before it’s worked out successfully! Sometimes I, too, will have off days in baking. If 1 teaspoon works well for you, keep doing just that. 🙂
      – Connie

  3. Overflowed all over my oven, and then even with extra baking, ended up too crumbly to get out of pans or ice, ultimately. So ended up with no cake, and an oven that now has to be cleaned. bummer.

  4. This is an amazing recipe. I made it into cupcakes instead, baked them for 22 min at 350 degrees. Will definitely be saving it to make again.

    1. Hi Tatum! So happy you found this recipe amazing! It’s one of my favorite cake recipes. If you make the cupcakes again, feel free to take a photo and tag me in it so I can see and share, if you like! 🙂

  5. This is an amazing recipe. I made it into cupcakes instead, baked them for 22 min at 350 degrees. Will definitely be saving it to make again.

  6. Amazing! I tried this recipe today because I wanted to try something new and turned out to be one of the best desserts I have made in a long time. The directions and ingredients were easy to follow – making the process simple. Very delicious and highly recommend to anyone who craves a tasty dessert as much as I do.

  7. Love. Love. Love. I made cupcakes instead of a layered cake for a family birthday. I ended up with 28 cupcakes. Amazing! Cake was fluffy and moist. Icing wasn’t too sweet. Bourbon flavor didn’t overpower. I was told to keep this one in my book for future family events, and I am.

    1. Hi Jennifer!
      I am so happy to hear you loved this recipe! I just made it myself tonight and posted several Instagram stories about them. If you make this again, feel free to tag me in your photos, I’d love to see them cupcakes 🙂

    1. Hi Jacque,
      I am sorry to hear this recipe didn’t work for you. I have used this recipe as a base for several others and looking at the proportions of the ingredients on the recipe card, I don’t see how this cake could have fallen apart. As you may know, baking is a science and there could be many reasons that could cause one to not work. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns I may answer to help get the cake you are looking for.
      – Connie

      1. Hi Connie,
        I do think you may need to check the quantity of ingredients on this cake… I loved the idea of a bourbon cake but the cake batter was the consistency of running water, when cooked the surface of the top was covered in fine bubbles and when I have tried to ice it, it is just crumbling every time I touch it… I’ve made plenty of cakes and never seen anything like this! I think maybe the coffee liquid amount is too much? Thank you

        1. Hi Zarina,
          I am so sorry this cake did not work out well for you. I understand how frustrating this may be. This cake was originally created in 2014 so it’s a little difficult to know at this moment where it could have gone wrong. As I reviewed the quantity of the wet ingredients, it’s possible it may be a little more than what’s usually called for with 2 cups of flour. I will look into this in more detail over the weekend and give you an update of my findings below this message. Again, my sincerest apologies. It’s important to me that my recipes work out well. Thank you for your time. You will hear from me soon.
          – Connie

          1. Hi Jacque and Zarina,
            I remade this recipe today following the exact ingredients and quantities and the cake came out perfect! The only change made was increasing the baking soda from 1 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons but that wouldn’t count for making a cake fall apart or having too much liquid. If it helps, I just posted a few Instagram stories (videos) where you can see the texture of the batter and the end results of the cake. If you don’t see it there and would like to view them, I am happy to email you the videos. You may email me at connie@urbanbakes.com. I hope you can give this one another try. And if you have any questions, please let me know.

      2. The cake recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of boiling water listed in ingredients. Step 3 calls for instant coffee mixed with boiling water to equal 1 1/2 cups then adding 1/2 cup bourbon for a total of 2 cups. I made the cake before and it turned out great. Made it again today. First batch was very runny with the 1 1/2 cup coffee and water mixture, plus the 1/2 cup bourbon. Second batch I used 2 tablespoons boiling water with coffee. Cakes sunk in middle. All ingredients I bought today. I just want to make a great bourbon cake again !

        1. Hi Larry,
          Sorry to hear your cakes sunk in the middle. There could be a number of reasons why this occurred. The most common reason is that the cakes may need more baking time. Cakes can be deceiving in appearing to be ready and after a few minutes out of the oven, it can sink which is important why we test for readiness as noted in step 6. Another possibility could be the leavening agent. I would ensure this is kept in a cool and dry area. As for the batter, if made too thin, the leavening agent would react in a way where you would visibly see the cakes bubbling out. If the batter was too thick, there wouldn’t be enough strength for the leavening agent to rise the cakes due to the weight of the batter. Or, it could be that the oven may need to be calibrated. Have you recently checked using an oven thermometer that the temp is correct?

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