Drunken Irish Cake

Layers of chocolate stout cake and whisky buttercream topped with a chocolate stout ganache and a whiskey caramel sauce. 

Last night, I am pretty sure I dreamt that the end of the world was here. I woke up to this weird light shining in my window, I kept looking out thinking that it was a flashlight, and I was for real, in my sleep drunk state, about to call the cops. I thought someone was in my yard. Then I heard this incredible wind, and rain crashing harder than I have ever heard it before. So I put on my glasses and look  outside again, to realize that constant light was lighting everywhere. 

You guys, it is February in New Hampshire, thunderstorms are not a thing here this time of year. I woke up to it being 57 degrees out at 6am. 57! What the what?! 

This unseasonably warm weather is making it hard for me to make seasonal recipes. All I want to do is BBQ and eat salads.... like I'm going to be wearing my bathing suit sometime soon, and need to cut down on the wheat bloat, and lardy lard ass recipes. 

However, earlier this week I suffered for the sake of you all, and made a seasonal recipe. My Drunken Irish Cake is THE cake to make this year for St. Patrick's Day. Layers of chocolate stout cake, with whiskey buttercream and topped with a chocolate stout ganache and whiskey caramel sauce. 

My Irish ancestors are proud! 

Drunken Irish Cake 

Ingredients for the cake:
1 cup Irish Stout
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cups dark coco powder (you can use regular coco, but it will be a very mild cake)
2 cups cake flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tbs baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3 tbs buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream

Ingredients for the Frosting:
5 large egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup Irish whiskey 
1 pound (2 cups) of unsalted Irish butter (something like Kerry Gold) 

Ingredients for the ganache:
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup Irish stout
Pinch of salt

Ingredients for the caramel:
1/2 cup Irish Whiskey
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream

2-4 tbs Irish stout to brush on baked cakes (optional) 

To prepare cake layers: 

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare two 8 inch cake pans, by spraying non stick cooking spray.

Heat butter and stout together, just until the butter melts. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. 

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk flour, coco, salt, baking powder and sugar together. Set aside.

Mix eggs, buttermilk and sour cream into the butter and stout mixture until smooth. 

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until no lumps are left. 

Divide cake batter into the pans evenly. 

Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.  Remove from cake pans and cool on cooling racks until they are room temperature. 

To prepare the frosting: 

In a medium sauce pan add whisky and sugars together and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, and continue to simmer until it reaches the soft ball stage. 235 degrees. Remove from heat, and allow to cool.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat eggs on high speed with the whip attachment until soft peaks form. Add in salt, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

Turn mixer to medium speed, and slowly drizzle in the whisky syrup. Once the meringue is shiny, start adding the  butter 1 tbs at a time until it is all incorporated. 

The meringue will collapse for a moment, but don't fret, keep whipping, it will eventually pull together into  fluffy buttercream. 

If your meringue does not come together and appears soupy, most likely the egg whites were too hot and the butter melted on contact. Place the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes, and then return to the mixer and continue whipping. 

If the meringue looks like cottage cheese, and you can see the butter chunks, the butter may have been too cold. Wet a dish towel in hot hot water, then wrap it around the mixing bowl while it's whipping. It should come together pretty quickly after the bowl starts to warm up. 

Once the meringue buttercream is done, you can frost layer cakes as desired. 

I level the cakes, then brush 2 tbs  Irish Stout on the cut side of each cake layer. Then spread a hefty layer about 1/2 inch thick on the top of one cake, and then top with the second cake. I lightly frost the tops and sides, making a "naked cake."

Place the cake in the refrigerator. 

Prepare your ganache. Place chocolate and stout with salt in a double boiler and heat and stir until it is melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly (10-15 minutes)  and then pour and spread it over the top of the chilled cake. 

Return cake to the refrigerator and prepare you whiskey caramel. 

Heat whiskey and sugars in a sauce pan over medium heat until the sugar has melted. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until it reaches the soft ball stage, 235 degrees. 

Add in butter and continue to heat until the butter has melted and is combined. 

Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Whisk heavy cream. Let the mixture continue to cool for about 15-20 more minutes. Just until it isn't too hot to touch. 

Drizzle caramel over the top of chilled cake. Return the refrigerator  and cool until the caramel layer has hardened. Pipe any remaining buttercream as desired on the edges of the cake, and then serve!


  1. You are a pure cake genius!! This recipe is insane...but like, in the best way! I am in love!

  2. In the cake part of the recipe it calls for 1/4 tbs. of sour cream, I know that must be a misprint, I've done it myself! Is it 1/4 cup?

  3. This is the ultimate saint patty's day cake!! Omg I want a slice right now.

  4. Yes, I just about jumped out of bed too. There was one huge lightening that lit up our whole room. Middle of the night scare for sure.

    1. It was nutty! I didn't see anything on the weather about getting that storm either.

  5. This cake is insane, it is seriously a work of art! I agree it was a scary night, my husband thought it was an explosion! 58 yesterday and no snow? Crazy NH weather indeed!

    1. It's been insane. Today was so windy and cold. I no longer no how to dress.....

  6. This is a serious cake! I'd kill for a slice right now with my espresso :)

    1. Wish you were here to eat some of it.... It was too much for Steve and I. Kids obviously weren't eating this one.

  7. Sweet boozy deliciousness - this cake is epic!!

  8. This is so my kind of cake. And 57 degrees would be freezing here in CA.!

  9. I'm obsessed! I wish I could bake!

  10. I'm curious about the sour cream, too. It could make a big difference in how the cake itself turns out. And I really want to try this cake.

  11. Thank you so much! Now to get to baking this luscious sounding cake!

  12. Oh man! We just had a lighting storm here too! But we are for real wearing shorts and tank tops, as it's 79 in our house...I'll still eat cake and not worry about bikini season though. Especially this ooey gooey deliciousness!

  13. Could u sub a barrel aged stout for the whisky?

  14. What does the soft ball stage mean? I've never heard it before.