bourbon chocolate tipsy cake

filed under: Cakes on August 7, 2015

This Boozy Chocolate Cake is paired with a Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting and a Hard Sauce that I want to pour over everything!

Bourbon Chocolate Tipsy Cake!

Bourbon Chocolate Tipsy Cake

What is a bourbon chocolate tipsy cake exactly? It is a bourbon-infused chocolate cake with chocolate frosting between the layers and a hard sauce. So, what is a hard sauce?

So actually, hard sauce is not actually sauce or hard. A traditional old-fashioned British recipe calls for creaming softened butter with sugar, creating more of a spreadable consistency, not a pourable one. This sauce is an “Americanized” version, and is in fact poured. Confused yet? 😂No matter how you make it, a hard sauce is often flavored with rum or brandy and I definitely wouldn’t change that component! A few readers let me know that this sauce is traditionally used on spice cakes in the US, not a cream cheese frosting. I can’t help but think this sauce would be amazing on anything!

Bourbon Chocolate Tipsy Cake!

Boozy Chocolate Cake

This is a fantastic chocolate cake that just happens to be infused with bourbon. I tend to not buy high-end bourbon when using it in baking, as the subtle nuances that make up a smooth and clean bourbon tend to get lost in a cake. But you should definitely use something that you like to drink! 🙂

For this recipe specifically, I do not recommend leaving out the coffee. If you are very opposed to coffee, try using your favorite chocolate cake recipe instead.

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

I really can’t say enough good things about this frosting. It is just sweet enough to be the perfect complement to this flavorful cake. It is simple ingredients: chocolate, butter, sour cream, and confectioners sugar. However, your butter and sour cream should be room temperature to ensure success. 

I like to make this as a layer cake, 3 layers to be exact, and a “naked” cake. A naked cake is simply a cake that has exposed sides (edges) where you can see the frosting in between the layers. This style of cake decorating works beautifully with this recipe as you get to really enjoy the glorious hard sauce flowing over the sides.

This is a fantastic cake, and with a little time and love, I know you and your family will enjoy it!

Bourbon Chocolate Tipsy Cake
Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 35 mins

This Boozy Chocolate Cake is paired with a Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting and a Hard Sauce that I want to pour over everything!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bourbon Chocolate Tipsy Cake
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Amanda Rettke
Bourbon Cake
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
  • 2 ounces sweet baking chocolate chopped
  • ¼ cup instant coffee crystals or instant espresso coffee powder
  • 2 tablespoon boiling water
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • cups confectioners sugar sifted
Hard Sauce
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup (226g) butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup whiskey or milk
  • Hot water
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Prepare 3 8-inch round cake pans.
  3. In a medium bowl stir together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

  4. 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.

  5. In a 2-cup glass measure combine coffee crystals and boiling water, stirring to dissolve coffee crystals.
  6. Add enough cold water to coffee to measure 1-1/2 cups. Stir in the 1/2 cup bourbon.
  7. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar.
  8. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally.
  9. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  10. 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.

  11. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly.

  12. Bake about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

  13. Remove cake from pan; cool completely on rack.

  14. Brush top and side of cake with the 2 tablespoons bourbon.

  1. In a saucepan melt semisweet chocolate pieces and butter over low heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Cool about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in sour cream.
  4. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth and easy to spread.
Hard Sauce
  1. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl; beat with a fork until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a small heavy saucepan, combine butter and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is bubbly.

  3. Gradually whisk butter mixture into egg yolks.
  4. 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.

  5. Remove from heat. Stir in whiskey. If necessary, stir in hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach desired consistency.

  6. 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).

This aint your mama’s chocolate cake. This is the real deal boozy chocolate deliciousness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Shaina says:

    The hard sauce, though. Yum.

    • Amanda says:

      Lol. I love comments from you. 🙂

  • afiaa says:

    What kind of frosting did u use.

  • anna says:

    My batter for this was so liquid! its in the oven now but it started to seep out the sides of my cake tin, what did I do wrong? 🙁

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, this is a very runny batter. You probably didnt do anything wrong! Did it turn out ok?

      • anna says:

        sorry for the extremely late reply! it oozed out a little bit from the cake tin but it was fine after that and rose beautifully! It was absolutely delicious 🙂

  • Kalina Saraiva de Lima says:

    i love your cake and i would like to try and bake it this weekend. however, i don’t have buttermilk here. what can be a substitute for buttermilk?

  • Zouheir says:

    soo sweet & delicious

  • Mary says:

    I made the hard sauce and it separated from the butter. What do you think happened?

    • Amanda says:

      I am so sorry, that happened to me as well. It took me three tried to get it right. I simply tried to follow their recipe as best I could! I also tried to find an explanation on BHG’s site but wasn’t able too. I see they have since removed the recipe from this cake. My apologies for the inconvenience and the cost of time and supplies!

  • Julia @ Sprinkled With Jules says:

    omg yes!

  • Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says:

    This is definitely a prize winning cake! I love the combination of chocolate and bourbon. I wish I had a slice of this in front of me right now because I will be thinking about this cake all day!

  • Cakespy says:

    If you are what you eat, be boozy and sweet. Just not during work hours. <3

  • Kelly says:

    So decadent and delicious! The hard sauce and bourbon are so fun!

  • Carol Peterson says:

    What a great idea to add a whiskey-flavored hard sauce.

  • My Dish is Bomb says:

    I am so into putting bourbon in all my desserts lately! Love this layer cake and that whiskey sauce is to die for. Would definitely make extra and pour it on ice cream.

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche says:

    This cake looks amazing! I love naked cakes like this and totally want to make the recipe. I bet it tastes so delicious too.. anything with the addition of bourbon is a guaranteed winner!

  • Jenn says:

    How far ahead can you make this piece of awesomeness?

    • Amanda says:

      1-2 days 🙂

  • Mary says:

    This cake was AWESOME!!! Made it for my office X -Mas Party and it was gone in about 5 minutes. Every one ask for the recipe. One thing I notice you left out the part where you put in the coco powder so I just mixed it in with the flour. I also had a hard time with the hard sauce I figured it by the second time I over cooked the eggs, you only really need to cook it for about 8 minutes, I used my candy thermometer. Worked great. Thanks for the recipe. PS I am a BIG fan of yours if I need to make something I always check your site.

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you Mary!!! So glad you liked the cake. I will fix that cocoa issue! 🙂 xox

  • CL says:

    What adjustments should I make to make this as a bundt cake?

  • Kruti says:

    Hi Amanda,

    How can we make this cake eggless ??
    I so wanna try it but can’t get the right substitute fir eggs !! Awaiting your reply


  • Jen says:

    Does this need to be kept cold when complete, or at room temp?

  • Gavin says:

    The cake and frosting turned out great! I like that the frosting isn’t overly sweet. I couldn’t seem to get the hard sauce right though. Tried making it twice and made sure I followed the directions closely the second time but it separated both times. Not sure what I did wrong.

  • Gina says:

    Where does the cocoa powder come in? I’ve read and reread, I’m just not seeing it.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Gina! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Mix the cocoa powder with the flour, baking soda, and salt. Have a great day!

  • Gail says:

    Cake was good. No where in the instructions tells where to add the cocoa powder. It was left out when I prepared the batter.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Gail! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Mix the cocoa powder with the flour, baking soda, and salt. Have a great day!