If you’re looking for a rich, decadent dessert that will impress your guests and satisfy your sweet tooth, then this chocolate whiskey cake with salted caramel buttercream is the perfect choice.
This cake is the perfect combination of flavors, with rich, chocolatey goodness and a subtle hint of whiskey that adds depth and complexity. The salted caramel buttercream takes this dessert to the next level, adding a sweet and salty balance that is simply irresistible.
While this cake may sound impressive, it’s actually quite easy to make. With a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time, you can create a show-stopping dessert that will have your friends and family asking for seconds.
In this blog post, I’ll take you through each step of the recipe, offering tips and tricks to ensure that your cake turns out perfectly. Whether you’re an experienced baker or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to impress.
So, let’s get started on this delicious journey and create a cake that will become a staple in your dessert repertoire.
How to Make Chocolate Whiskey Cake With Salted Caramel Buttercream
This chocolate whiskey cake is layered with rich salted caramel buttercream and topped with a silky dark chocolate ganache. This rustic naked layer cake can also be made into a single-layer cake, a bundt cake, or even cupcakes. A chocolate lover’s dream!
|PREP TIME: 1 hr||COOK TIME: 35 mins||COOLING/CHILLING TIME: 1 hr||TOTAL TIME: 2 hrs 35 mins|
|COURSE: Dessert, Sweets||CUISINE: American||SERVINGS: 16 servings||CALORIES: 548 kcal|
INGREDIENTS OF CHOCOLATE WHISKEY CAKE WITH SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
Chocolate Whiskey Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- ½ cup bourbon whiskey
- 1 ½ cups strongly brewed coffee cooled
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Salted Caramel Buttercream
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- 4-6 Tablespoons half and half room temperature
- 1 cup salted caramel see note below
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup chopped dark chocolate approximately 3 ounces
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING CHOCOLATE WHISKEY CAKE WITH SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
Chocolate Whiskey Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350° and spray two 8″ round cake pans thoroughly with baking spray. Cut two circles the size of the bottom of the cake pans out of parchment paper and place in the bottom of the cake pans. Spray the paper with more baking spray and set the pans aside.
- In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the eggs, whiskey, coffee, oil, and vanilla. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix the ingredients together on medium speed until everything is combined.
- With the mixer running on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until the ingredients are just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15-30 seconds more to make sure everything is combined.
- Divide the cake batter evenly into the prepared pans and tap the pans on the counter a couple of times to help release any excess air bubbles.
- Bake the cakes in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto cooling racks and allow them to completely cool while you prepare the buttercream.
Salted Caramel Buttercream
- Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip the butter on high speed for about 1 minute until it is light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, a half cup at a time, until the sugar is absorbed by the butter.
- Slowly pour in 4 Tablespoons of the half and half and whip on medium speed for 30-60 seconds until creamy.
- Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and drizzle in the salted caramel. Once all of the caramel has been added, increase the speed to medium and whip for another 1-2 minutes until fluffy.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and whip for another 30-60 seconds to make sure everything is combined. Additional half-and-half or powdered sugar can be added to adjust the consistency if needed. The buttercream should have medium to stiff peaks.
- Heat the heavy cream in a small pot on the stovetop over medium heat until small bubbles just start to form on the surface.
- Pour the heated cream over the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and allow it to sit for 30 seconds.
- Whisk the cream and chocolate together until smooth and then allow it to cool slightly before pouring it into a squeeze bottle for decorating.
- Once the cakes have completely cooled, remove the parchment paper from the bottom, and using a serrated knife, slice off the rounded portion on the top of each cake to create a flat surface.
- Next, carefully slice each cake in half through the middle to make four equal layers.
- Place the first layer of cake on a stand or cake board. Using an offset spatula, spread approximately ½ cup of the buttercream into a thin layer over the top of the cake. Add the next layer of cake and repeat with another layer of buttercream. Repeat with the remaining layers of cake.
- Add the next layer of cake and repeat with another layer of buttercream. Repeat with the remaining layers of cake.
- Spread the remaining buttercream over the top and sides of the cake in a thin layer. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes until the buttercream is chilled.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and moving slowly around the edge of the cake, gently squeeze out the ganache to create drips on the sides of the cake. Cover the top of the cake with the remaining ganache and use an offset spatula to smooth it over the buttercream.
CHOCOLATE WHISKEY CAKE WITH SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM RECIPE’S NOTES
- Sift both the dry ingredients for the cake and the powdered sugar for the frosting using a sifter or mesh strainer to ensure a smooth batter and buttercream.
- Bring the eggs to room temperature for the cake and the butter and half and half to room temperature for the buttercream. This will help the ingredients to incorporate well for both.
- Grease the cake pans thoroughly with baking spray or butter to help prevent sticking. I also recommend adding parchment paper circles to the bottom of the cake pans to help them release easily from the pan.
- Allow the cake to cool COMPLETELY before cutting and frosting so it doesn’t fall apart and your buttercream doesn’t melt. If you are in a rush, place them in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process.
- Use a cake board or turntable to easily decorate the cake without making a mess on the serving platter or stand.
- Chilling the cake after frosting helps the ganache to easily drip down the sides. If you want longer drips, keep the ganache on the warmer side, but not hot. If you want short drips, chill it for a bit to thicken it up.
Substitutions and Variations
- Whiskey – The whiskey in this recipe compliments the chocolate flavor without being overpowering. Bourbon whiskey is sweeter and is best to use for baking. Milk can be used as a substitute for whiskey if needed.
- Coffee – Coffee enhances the flavor of the chocolate without having a strong flavor in this cake. Milk can be used as a substitute for coffee if needed.
- Salted Caramel – Either homemade salted caramel or store-bought salted caramel can be used for the buttercream. Make sure the homemade caramel is brought to room temperature before adding it to the buttercream.
- Buttercream – The recipe will provide 4 cups of buttercream which is enough to frost this layered cake thinly in a “naked” style. To fully frost the cake with all of its layers, the recipe should be doubled.
- ONE LAYER – This recipe can be halved and made in just one 8″ cake pan that will serve approximately 8-10 people. Baking time and temperatures will be about the same.
- CUPCAKES – This recipe can be made in a cupcake pan and will take approximately 18-24 regular cupcakes. Bake cupcakes at 350˚ for approximately 18-22 minutes. Cupcakes can then be filled or frosted with buttercream and drizzled with the ganache.
- BUNDT – This cake can be made in a 10″ bundt pan and drizzled with ganache or plain salted caramel sauce. Bake the bundt cake at 350˚ for approximately 45-55 minutes.
Make Ahead Instructions
- CAKE – Make the cakes as instructed and cool them completely before wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap. They can be stored like this in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or the freezer for up to 3 months.
- BUTTERCREAM – Make and store the buttercream in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Buttercream may need to be pulled out of the refrigerator and mixed up a bit before frosting the cake.
- GANACHE – Make the ganache, cool, and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Warm the ganache up in a small pot on the stovetop on low heat until it is easily poured into a squeeze bottle for decorating.
The frosted layer cake will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. This cake can also be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. The cake can be sliced into servings and wrapped in individual slices in plastic wrap to be stored in the freezer and pulled out as needed. Frozen cake slices should be defrosted completely in the refrigerator.
NUTRITION INFORMATION ON CHOCOLATE WHISKEY CAKE WITH SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
Serving: 1slice | Calories: 548kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 380mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 506IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg