Recipes,  Sweet

Irish Coffee Layer Cake

Irish Whiskey Layer Cake from Boiled Wheat Blog by Kristen McSorley, Bozeman, MT Food Photographer
Irish Whiskey Layer Cake from Boiled Wheat Blog by Kristen McSorley, Bozeman, MT Food Photographer

Irish coffee. The cocktail that every coffee shop in Ireland offers– even in establishments where no other alcohol is served. Because they actually drink it in the morning, apparently.

That’s Ireland.

While don’t have the Irish blood or tolerance to allow me to have even plain coffee in the morning, let alone coffee with whiskey, I will absolutely have them both for dessert. But obviously I’m going to add chocolate. And, well, cake. I’m going to make it a cake. I honestly think this is one of the best first-try recipes I’ve ever invented. It’s based off of the chocolate cake recipe from my Dark Chocolate Cake with Blood Orange Sauce. I tweaked a few things, added some whipped cream, and it just happened to work perfectly the very first time. Praise.

Irish Whiskey Layer Cake from Boiled Wheat Blog by Kristen McSorley, Bozeman, MT Food Photographer
Irish Whiskey Layer Cake from Boiled Wheat Blog by Kristen McSorley, Bozeman, MT Food Photographer
Irish Whiskey Layer Cake from Boiled Wheat Blog by Kristen McSorley, Bozeman, MT Food Photographer
Irish Whiskey Layer Cake from Boiled Wheat Blog by Kristen McSorley, Bozeman, MT Food Photographer


Irish Coffee Layer Cake


2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/4 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. + 2 T vegetable oil
1 c. brewed coffee, cooled
1/4 c. your choice Irish whiskey
2 t. vanilla
1 T dark molasses (optional)

For Icing:
1 batch Vanilla Buttercream (see below)
1 T Irish whiskey

1.5 c. heavy whipping cream
3 T granulated white sugar
1 t. Irish whiskey, if desired.

Fresh nutmeg, if desired.


To make the cake:

Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then form a well by pressing dry ingredient mixture to the sides of the bowl. Next, add all wet ingredients and then whisk, allowing dry ingredients to gradually fall into the mix until there are no more pockets of dry ingredients and the batter fairly smooth (don’t worry about small lumps).

Preheat oven to 325.

Prepare three 6 in cake pans by greasing the sides and bottom with butter, and then coating with a thin layer of flour. Pour batter into pans and tap them on the counter to release bubbles and level the batter.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

To Assemble:

Let stand until cool enough to handle, then remove from pans and allow to cool completely. Level cakes with a large bread knife or leveling wire and set aside. Add one tablespoon of Irish whiskey to your buttercream and beat until smooth. Spoon half of your buttercream into a pastry bag, then pipe it evenly between cake layers in order to form your cake. Use the rest of the buttercream to create a smooth crumb-coat on your cake (essentially sealing all of your crumbs in– it’s allowed to look messy). Refrigerate at least 20 minutes or until buttercream is set and slightly hardened on the outside.

While cake is chilling, pour heavy cream into a large bowl or stand mixer and whisk until soft peaks form. Add sugar and one teaspoon whiskey (if desired), and then continue to whip until stiff peak stage.

Frost cake with a finishing layer of whipped cream, grate a thin layer of nutmeg over the top to garnish, and style as desired.

Vanilla Buttercream

1 c. room temperature butter
4-5 c. confectioner’s sugar
1-3 T heavy whipping cream
1 t vanilla


Add all ingredients to a large bowl or stand mixer and whip with whisk attachment or hand mixer until smooth and fluffy. If it’s too thick, add cream a teaspoon at a time. If it is too thin and cannot hold its shape, add powdered sugar, and mix until smooth again.

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