Spiced Chocolate Whiskey Cake

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1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons), cut into pats
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (85 grams), plus additional for dusting cake pans
1 1/2 cups brewed strong coffee
1/2 cup whiskey
1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
1 cup light brown sugar (156 grams)
2 cups flour (240 grams)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped chocolate

8 ounces mascarpone
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
hefty pinch salt
squirt corn syrup (optional, to keep it glossy)
1/2 cup cream
1/4—1/2 cup milk, as needed


Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Grease to 9-inch cake pans, and dust them with cocoa powder.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Turn off the heat, and add the cocoa powder, coffee, and whiskey, and stir until dissolved. Add the sugars, and cool completely (seriously make sure it's cool, lest you later cook your eggs/melt your chocolate).

In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and cloves. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream (if using), and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture, whisking to combine. Add the dry ingredients, whisk until just combined, then fold in the chocolate chunks. 
Quickly pour the batter into your prepared pans, then bake until a tester comes out clean, ~20-25 minutes. Let cool.
To make the frosting, simply mix all of the frosting ingredients together until smooth, adding more milk or cocoa powder as needed for consistency. Turn out the cooled cake and frost, then serve with candles and sprinkles and all sorts of festivities.