Bourbon-Chocolate Tipsy Cake

What makes this chocolate cake recipe tipsy? Plenty of bourbon in the batter, plus we call for brushing on a bit more after the cake cools. To finish the bourbon-chocolate cake, drizzle with a spiked caramel sauce.

Bourbon-Chocolate Tipsy Cake
Photo: Kritsada Panichgul
Prep Time:
35 mins
Cool Time:
15 mins
Bake Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
35 mins


  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 3 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped

  • 2 ounce sweet baking chocolate, chopped

  • ¼ cup instant coffee crystals or instant espresso coffee powder

  • 2 tablespoon boiling water

  • ½ cup bourbon

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 cup sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 tablespoon bourbon

  • ¾ cup caramel-flavor ice cream topping

  • 2 tablespoon bourbon

Hard Sauce

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1 cup butter

  • ½ cup sugar

  • ¼ cup whiskey or milk

  • Hot water

Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting

  • 1 6 ounce package (1 cup) semisweet chocolate pieces

  • ¼ cup butter

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • 2 ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 325°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.

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.

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°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.

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