New Construction ~ Remodel ~ Restoration ~ Contract Management

420 South Division Street • Traverse City • 231.932.9700

<< Back to Recipes



Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake

Ingredients for the cake layer:

  • Unsalted butter for the pans
  • 10 ⅛ oz. (2 ¼ cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 ⅝ oz. (¾ cup) unsweetened natural dark cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee

Ingredients for the coffee-whiskey whipped cream:

  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso granules
  • ¼ cup Irish whiskey, such as Jameson
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

To finish the cake:

  • 1 4-oz. block semi-sweet chocolate (about 1-inch thick), at room temperature
  • 1 4-oz. block white chocolate (about 1-inch thick), at room temperature


Make the cake:

Position racks in the upper and lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter three 9x2-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment. Butter the parchment.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl, using an electric hand-held mixer), briefly blend the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; mix at low speed. Mix until the mixture is thick and creamy, like chocolate frosting, which ends up being about 5 minutes. With the mixer running, gradually add the hot coffee, mixing at low speed just until combined. The batter will be quite thin. Divide the batter equally among the pans.

When baking switch the position of the pans halfway through. Baking will take about 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it and the center feels firm to the touch. Let the cakes cool completely in the pans on racks.

Make the coffee-whiskey whipped cream:

Clean and chill the mixing bowl and whisk attachment. In a measuring cup, stir the instant espresso into the whiskey until completely dissolved. In the chilled bowl, whip the cream, brown sugar, and whiskey mixture on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Finish the cake:

Run a thin knife around the inside edge of the cake pans and turn the cakes out onto a large cutting board; peel off the parchment.

Transfer one layer to a cake plate and spread a third of the whipped cream on top, leaving a ½ inch border; repeat with the second layer. Put the top layer in place and spread the remaining whipped cream out to the edge.

To make the chocolate shavings, put a piece of waxed paper or foil on a baking sheet. Microwave each block of chocolate on medium power for 20 to 30 seconds to soften slightly, then draw a vegetable peeler along the chocolate bar edge, letting the curls fall onto the waxed paper. Make enough curls of both colors to top the cake generously, 1 ½ to 2 ½ oz. each. Refrigerate the shavings to make them easier to handle.

Arrange the shavings on top of the cake and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

  • The baked cake layers can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for 1 day.
  • The assembled cake will hold for 2 hours in the refrigerator.


Makes 10 - 12 servings.

Orchestrating your vision.