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Bourbon-Chocolate Tipsy Cake

  • Makes: 12 servings
  • Prep: 35 mins
  • Cool: 15 mins
  • Bake: 1 hr 325°F


  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon 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 sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3/4 cup caramel-flavor ice cream topping
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 10-inch fluted tube pan. Add cocoa powder. Shake and tilt pan to coat bottom, side, and tube; shake out any excess cocoa powder. Set pan aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl combine unsweetened chocolate and sweet chocolate. Microwave, uncovered, on 100-percent power (high) for 1 minute; stir. Microwave, uncovered, for 30 seconds more; stir until smooth. Cool slightly.
  3. In a 2-cup glass measure combine coffee crystals and boiling water, stirring to dissolve coffee crystals. Add enough cold water to coffee to measure 1-1/2 cups. Stir in the 1/2 cup bourbon.
  4. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and coffee mixture to chocolate mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly.
  5. Bake about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted near center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan; cool completely on rack.
  6. Brush top and side of cake with the 2 tablespoons bourbon.
  7. For sauce, in a small saucepan combine caramel topping and 2 tablespoons bourbon. Cook and stir over medium heat until warm. Spoon sauce over cake.

From the Test Kitchen

Blogger Variation by Amanda Rettke of I Am Baker Blog

For Amanda's version, divide the batter equally among three 8-inch round cake pans. Bake in a 325 degrees F oven for 32 to 36 minutes. Do not brush baked cake with bourbon. Make Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting and spread one cup between each layer. Top cake with Hard Sauce, substituting 3 tablespoons milk and 1 tablespoon bourbon in place of the 1/4 cup rum, brandy or milk.

Hard Sauce


  1. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl; beat with a fork until combined. Set aside. In a small heavy saucepan, combine butter and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is bubbly. Gradually whisk butter mixture into egg yolks. Return egg yolk mixture to saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-low heat about 15 minutes or until mixture reaches a temperature of 170 degrees F. Remove from heat. Stir in whiskey. If necessary, stir in hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach desired consistency. If desired, cover and let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour (if sauce becomes too thick, stir in hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to thin sauce).

Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting


  1. In a saucepan melt semisweet chocolate pieces and butter over low heat, stirring frequently. Cool about 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth and easy to spread.

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