Heavenly Dessert: Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake

Indulge in the rich and decadent flavor of Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake. This is a dessert to remember, marrying the boldness of bittersweet chocolate with the creamy warmth of Irish whiskey. The recipe is easy to follow yet yields impressive results – just what you need for any special occasion.

As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I believe that everyone should have at least one classic whiskey cake recipe up their sleeve. And this chocolate Irish version is my absolute favorite. It’s a dessert that captures the essence of Guinness chocolate cake and coffee Irish whiskey, infused with intense cocoa powder and instant espresso for an extra kick.

There’s something about the aroma of warm coffee, whiskey, and chocolate wafting through your home that makes everything feel cozy and inviting. The smooth and moist texture of the cake is complemented by the sharpness of 70% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chunks in every bite.

As someone who has always loved baking, I can attest to how this cake not only tastes epic but is also super fun to make! In this recipe article, I’ll explain all you need to know about ingredient substitutes, variations, make-ahead tips, serving suggestions, storage methods, and much more.

Trust me when I say that this Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake will be a show-stopper at any gathering or event. So let’s dive in and get started on whipping up this incredible cake!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake
Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake

Are you a fan of rich, decadent chocolate cake? How about a whiskey lover with a taste for the finer things in life? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then this recipe is calling your name.

Introducing the Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake – a dessert that promises to dazzle your taste buds with each and every bite.

Firstly, let’s talk about the chocolate – this cake is made with bittersweet chocolate of 70% cocoa from renowned brands such as Scharffen Berger and Lindt. This level of cocoa content elevates the chocolate’s taste profile to new heights of richness and complexity, making it a truly special dessert experience.

But what sets this recipe apart is the addition of Irish whiskey, which not only adds a distinct flavor but also creates a moist and flavorful texture to every bite. By layering rich chocolate cake with whiskey-infused ganache, this recipe results in a cake that’s sure to get your mouth watering.

Moreover, this recipe is easy to make even if you’re not an experienced baker. With just a handful of ingredients needed and straightforward instructions, it’s perfect for whipping up on short notice or for impressing guests with a stunning dessert centerpiece.

In sum, The Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake Recipe combines some of the most delightful flavors out there, resulting in an indulgent treat that’ll blow your mind away. So go ahead and give it a try- you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 A slice of heaven in every bite
A slice of heaven in every bite

To make this Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake, you will need the following ingredients:

For the Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 1 tablespoon of instant espresso powder
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) of unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
  • 2¼ cups of granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of Irish whiskey
  • 6 ounces of good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (choose between Scharffen Berger or Lindt – both are great options)

For the Toffee Sauce:

  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¾ cup of packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of Irish whiskey
  • A pinch of fine sea salt

The Recipe How-To

 Rich, chocolatey goodness
Rich, chocolatey goodness

After gathering all the ingredients, let’s get started on making this delectable and tipsy Whiskey Chocolate Cake that is sure to impress.

Step 1: Preheat oven

Heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare an eight-inch cake tin by greasing it with butter and lining with parchment paper.

Step 2: Melt Chocolate

Melt 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped, with 1 cup of warm coffee and 12 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Mix until smooth and remove from heat.

Step 3: Add the Irish Whiskey

Stir in 2 cups of Irish whiskey, 2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder, and ¾ cup of cocoa powder. Mix well to combine.

Step 4: Add the Eggs

Whisk four eggs into the mix with a pinch of fine sea salt.

Step 5: Stir in Flour

Sieve in one and a half cups of all-purpose flour into the mixture gradually, whisking continuously, until combined.

Step 6: Bake the Cake

Pour the chocolate cake mix into the baking tin and place it in the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Step 7: Cool the Cake

When done, remove from oven and set it on a cooling wire rack before slicing.

There you have it! The recipe for this irresistible Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake that’s sure to leave everyone wanting more. Don’t forget to serve with some extra whipped cream or even add some toffee sauce to take it to another level!

Hope you find this recipe easy enough to make at home!

Substitutions and Variations

 A deliciously boozy treat
A deliciously boozy treat

For those looking to add their own twist to this already delicious recipe, there are a few substitutions and variations you can try.

First, if you’re not a fan of Irish whiskey, you can easily substitute it with another type of whiskey or bourbon. This will still give you that rich, boozy flavor that makes this cake so special. Alternatively, if you want to skip the alcohol altogether, you can use a coffee syrup instead. Just mix together 1 cup of hot water with 3 tablespoons of instant espresso powder and ¾ cup of granulated sugar until the sugar has dissolved.

For a stronger chocolate flavor, you can use a mix of cocoa powder and melted dark chocolate in place of the bittersweet chocolate. This gives the cake a more intense chocolate taste that pairs perfectly with the whiskey.

If you’re looking for a flourless dessert option, you can try swapping out the all-purpose flour for almond flour or gluten-free flour. Just keep in mind that the texture of the cake may be slightly different.

For a decadent addition to this cake, consider making a whiskey or chocolate ganache to drizzle over it. You can do this by melting together equal parts chocolate and heavy cream (or Irish cream) and then stirring in 2 tablespoons of Irish whiskey or another flavored liqueur.

Finally, if you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some unique toppings to your cake like chopped nuts, whipped cream or fresh berries–the possibilities are endless! No matter which variation you choose, this bittersweet chocolate Irish whiskey cake is sure to impress.

Serving and Pairing

 Perfect for any special occasion
Perfect for any special occasion

Now that you have crafted the perfect bittersweet chocolate Irish whiskey cake, it’s time to decide on the ideal way to enjoy this decadent dessert. The rich flavor profile of this cake is best enjoyed with a complementary beverage or accompaniment.

As the name suggests, Irish whiskey is the perfect beverage pairing for this cake. A glass of your favorite whiskey, on the rocks or neat, will bring out the subtle whiskey flavors in the cake and enhance its overall taste and complexity. For an extra touch of indulgence, add a drizzle of whiskey ganache over your slice of cake.

Coffee is another classic pairing for chocolate desserts. Brew a strong cup of coffee or espresso to go alongside your cake. The bitterness of the coffee will balance out the sweetness of the cake and elevate its earthy chocolate notes.

For those looking for a non-alcoholic option, a tall glass of cold milk will do the trick nicely. The cool creaminess of the milk will help cut through the richness of the cake and refresh your palate between bites.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your accompaniments either! A dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream can add some extra texture and provide a refreshing counterpoint to the complexity of the flavors in this cake.

However you choose to enjoy this chocolate Irish whiskey masterpiece, one thing is certain: it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any gathering or event. And don’t forget to savor each bite – balanced, bittersweet and delicious down to every last crumb!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Indulge in a bite of luxury
Indulge in a bite of luxury

The beauty of this Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey cake recipe lies not only in its irresistibly boozy flavor but also in the convenience it offers. This versatile dessert can be prepared well in advance, making it a perfect candidate for a stress-free dinner party.

You can bake the cake layers up to two days ahead and keep them wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature. For longer storage, you can freeze the baked and cooled cake layers for up to one month. However, if you opt for the latter, make sure to thaw them overnight at room temperature before frosting the cake.

To assemble the cake, you can frost it with whiskey chocolate ganache just before serving or make-ahead by garnishing at least two hours before serving and storing in the fridge. The cake keeps well covered with a plastic wrap in the fridge for up to three days.

Reheating and refreshing your leftover slices is as easy as pie. Just wrap each piece tightly in aluminum foil and bake them in a preheated oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about ten minutes until warmed through. The remaining toffee sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

This make-ahead, store, and reheat feature of this recipe makes it highly adaptable than most chocolate desserts out there. Its rich cocoa-chocolate and coffee-irish whiskey blend provide a multifaceted flavor that pairs best with strong coffee or your favorite Jameson Irish whiskey to keep your spirits high throughout your meal.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A dessert fit for royalty
A dessert fit for royalty

For a fail-proof Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey cake recipe, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind:

1. Use high-quality ingredients: Quality ingredients are the key to any delicious recipe. For this cake, use fine sea salt, unsalted butter, and bittersweet chocolate with a 70% cocoa percentage or higher. I recommend using Scharffen Berger or Lindt for the best quality chocolate.

2. Don’t overmix: It’s crucial not to overmix the batter since it can cause the cake to lose its moist and tender texture. Once you add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, stir until just combined.

3. Use hot water and instant espresso powder: Mix the hot water with instant espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavors’ depth. The coffee’s bitterness perfectly balances the sweetness of the cake.

4. Melt chocolate over a low heat: Melt the chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat until smooth and shiny—Stir occasionally with a spatula to ensure even melting.

5. Use Irish whiskey: Add Jameson Irish Whiskey to both the cake and whiskey ganache for an authentic Irish taste. Be sure not to reduce or omit it since it adds complexities of flavors that enhance this already irresistible dessert.

6. Preheat your oven correctly: Allow it enough time to reach 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) before putting the cake inside.

7. Use parchment paper: Line your baking pan with parchment paper lightly greased with butter to keep your cake from sticking.

8. Let it cool to room temperature before slicing: Wait at least 30-40 minutes after removing it from the oven before cutting into slices, so that it has enough time to settle and fully absorb all flavors.

By following these simple tips, you’ll have a perfectly baked Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey cake that will elevate any occasion’s mood or mealtime.


Now before we get ready to indulge in our Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake, let’s look at some commonly asked questions and their answers to ensure that our baking experience is seamless. As we navigate through this last section of the recipe article, let’s debunk some myths, clarify any ambiguities and eliminate any uncertainties about this whiskey cake recipe.

Why is it called whiskey cake?

Whiskey cake, also referred to as tipsy cake, is a delectable dessert that incorporates a blend of fruits, nuts, and whiskey into its mixture. The outcome is a scrumptious and springy cake that boasts an amalgam of textures and flavors, providing a delightful and captivating experience to every palate.

Does whiskey bake out of cake?

While it is true that consuming whiskey cake may result in a slight amount of alcohol in your system, it would require a considerable amount of consumption to actually feel drunk.

How do you serve whiskey cake?

After letting the cake cool down completely, it’s best to wrap it up in plastic wrap and either store it at room temperature or devour it immediately. When serving, divide the cake into 9 pieces and use a fork to poke several holes in each slice. Then, pour 2 oz. of warm toffee sauce over the top of each piece for an extra indulgent treat.

What is whiskey cake made of?

Indulge in an opulent dessert that boasts a medley of scrumptious elements. The cake is enriched with dates and accompanied by homemade bourbon sauce, toffee sauce, spiced pecans, and whipped cream.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake recipe is a must-try for anyone looking for a delicious and unique dessert to impress their guests. With its rich flavors and smooth textures, this cake is perfect for any special occasion or even just to satisfy your sweet tooth. By following the recipe instructions and incorporating some of the tips and tricks mentioned earlier, you can achieve perfect results every time. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations or try out some substitutions to put your own spin on this classic recipe. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, the Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake is a recipe that deserves a place in every cookbook. So go ahead, give it a try and indulge in the irresistible decadence of this chocolate whiskey cake!

Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake

Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake Recipe

Bon Appetit Magazine May 2007 edition. 30 minutes coolng time. It is "awesomly" good.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert, St. Patrick's Day
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Calories 315.6kcal


  • 1/2 cup Irish whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa, such as Scharffen Berger or Lindt)
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in
  • 6 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/3 cup blanched almond, lightly toasted
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 7 tablespoons vanilla sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped


  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F
  • Butter and flour 8-inch-diameter springform pan.
  • Boil 1/2 cup whiskey in small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 2 minutes.
  • Combine bittersweet chocolate, espresso powder mixture, and 1/4 cup boiled whiskey in small metal bowl.
  • Place bowl over saucepan of simmering water; stir until mixture is smooth.
  • Remove bowl from over water.
  • Finely grind almonds with 2 tablespoons flour in processor.
  • Using electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and 6 tablespoons vanilla sugar in medium bowl until fluffy.
  • Beat in egg yolks 1 at a time, then sea salt.
  • Fold in chocolate mixture, then ground almond mixture.
  • Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another bowl until soft peaks form.
  • Gradually add 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold whites into batter alternately with remaining 4 tablespoons flour in 3 additions.
  • Transfer batter to prepared pan.
  • Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
  • Cool in pan on rack 30 minutes.
  • Remove pan sides and cool cake completely.
  • Combine semisweet chocolate and remaining 2 tablespoons whiskey in small metal bowl.
  • Place bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until smooth.
  • Remove bowl from over water.
  • Add remaining 1/4 cup butter to chocolate mixture, 1 small piece at a time, whisking until each piece is melted before adding next.
  • Place bowl over larger bowl of ice water.
  • Using electric mixer, beat icing until thickened to spreadable consistency, about 1 minute.
  • Spread icing over top and sides of cake.
  • Can be made 8 hours ahead.
  • Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.
  • Enjoy!


Serving: 87g | Calories: 315.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 5.4g | Fat: 25.9g | Saturated Fat: 14.1g | Cholesterol: 125.1mg | Sodium: 47.2mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.6g

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