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? ๐Ÿ˜‚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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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
  • ยฝ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
  • 2 ounces sweet baking chocolate chopped
  • ยผ cup instant coffee crystals or instant espresso coffee powder
  • 2 tablespoon boiling water
  • ยฝ cup bourbon
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1ยฝ teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  • ยผ cup butter
  • ยฝ cup sour cream
  • 2ยฝ cups confectioners sugar sifted
Hard Sauce
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup (226g) butter
  • ยฝ cup granulated sugar
  • ยผ 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.

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  • Connie @ Sprig and Flours says:

    I hear ya! I am so bad about reading things through before I commit to them… I may sign my life away one day if I’m not careful! I swear bourbon chocolate cake appeared in my dreams last night, or maybe the sight of your amazing/delicious/awesome/drool-inducing cake is making me delusional…. Anyway, I cannot wait to try it! Good luck with the contest! You have my vote(:

  • Julianne @ Beyond Frosting says:

    I vote for you, 100 times, or as much as they will let me. 1. I love chocolate cake. 2. I love bourbon flavored desserts, 3. I want to hang out with you again in Iowa!

  • Chichi says:

    Cake looks amazing, love it. Voting for you. Good luck !!

    Oh and Pinned!!

  • Charlotte @ Drop Dead Bread says:

    Ok, this is great. Extra frosting is never ever the wrong answer, is it?

  • Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says:

    Amanda, this cake is amazing. . I love that you chose the Bourbon-Chocolate Tipsy Cake. And you did a fabulous job!!! Damn!! looks so good! I’m going to vote for you like crazy AND will get the word out!

  • Christina Heggins says:

    So I’m down for anything with a shot a bourbon, but the alcoholic free one is even better considering everything around my kitchen is alcoholic free these days! ๐Ÿ™‚ The cake looks divine!

  • Lisa @ Garnish with Lemon says:

    You got my vote, girl! This cake looks Ah-mazing! Pinned.

  • Heather @ Shards of Lavender says:

    Will come back again to vote:)

    • Donna Lee says:

      How exactly did you do that? I just tried to go there (at 9:20 a.m. eastern time) and the only option was 2 other recipes – an apple pie and a cranberry bread).

  • Renee @ Two in the Kitchen says:

    How exciting that you are in this BHG contest! As a lover of cakes, it is no surprise who I will be voting for! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I will be voting and I’ll also be getting the word out for this fun contest!! Best of luck to you Amanda!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jen @ Baked by an Introvert says:

    This cake looks dreamy! It’s gorgeous and I bet it is every bit as delicious.

  • Sarah @ The Gold Lining Girl says:

    OF COURSE I am voting for this as much as possible. It’s the prettiest cake there ever was. I can’t stop staring at the chocolate cake layers and thinking how fudgy and delicious they look. It’s beautiful.

  • Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog says:

    I would have totally done the same thing and just said YES and would have tried to see where I needed to sign asap! lol! But that just makes me love you even more, and I am going to vote for you like a crazy person…because 1-you are amazing 2-this cake is just insane and amazing looking 3-you are amazing!

    • Amanda says:

      You make me laugh and I just adore you! Thanks girl!

  • Donna says:

    Beautiful image! Chocolate/bourbon pairing, YES! You are in demand! Congratulations!

  • Jessica @ Golden Brown and Delicious says:

    you had me at bourbon. this cake looks so good!

  • Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says:

    Will VOTE tomorrow now!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ in the mean time, I’d like 4 slices please ๐Ÿ™‚ (and yes I realize this is my second comment)

    • Amanda says:

      Ha ha… you are too kind. I love multiple comments. Now I am going to expect it in every post. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • sue/the view from great island says:

    Off to vote— you’re the best ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Zainab says:

    Can I vote a hundred times?? Oh my gosh!! This cake is insane ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kerry @ Kerry Cooks says:

    What a dreamboat of a cake Amanda! I am fairly confident you will win!

  • Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures says:

    Beautiful cake! Good luck in the competition!

  • Amy @Very Culinary says:

    Whoa. Off to vote!

  • Hema says:

    I love recipes that doesn’t use a ton of butter and still manages to look (and probably taste) so good. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  • Ellie Elliott says:

    Brb, dying of bourbon and chocolate happiness!! Pinned!!

  • K / Pure & Complex says:

    I just had to comment on this post, because that cake is AMAZING. There’s nothing I love more than a chocolate cake. I love this. And thanks for the recipe

  • Heather @ Shards of Lavender says:

    Amanda, just wanted you to know that I’ll be voting for you TODAY:) This is a gorgeous cake and definitely a winner!

    • Amanda says:

      ๐Ÿ™‚ I am so touched you remembered and made a point of stopping by. Thank you! Big hugs to you!

  • Allie | Baking a Moment says:

    Oh my gosh this cake looks amazing Amanda! I love the combination of bourbon and chocolate, it’s just so festive and wintry. I hope I can vote more than once though because I love Michael too!