Chocolate Whiskey Cake

This rich, almost flourless, one layer chocolate cake is flavoured with whiskey. I strongly recommend a none peated, slightly strong, sweet whiskey such as: Jack Daniels; Jameson; Grace O’Malley; Slane; or the one I used, Glenmorangie Coffee. Almost a sin, I know, but the whiskey/coffee flavour was amazing. For those of you who cook, you will recognize this as a deviation of the famous Reine de Saba cake. Because Julia Child was an amazing human and exacting chef. I am eternally grateful for her guidance and diligence.

Chocolate Whiskey cake with candied rose geraniums and nasturtium flowers


  • 6 ounces or 170grms semi sweet chocolate (I used Callebaut chips. Best if using European chocolate as the American chocolate doesn’t have as much melting capacity).
  • 1 tablespoon or 15ml butter
  • 1/4 cup or 60ml whiskey plus more to keep the chocolate smooth
  • 1/2 cup or 110gms butter room temperature
  • 1/2 or 65gms cup golden caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons or 10ml vanilla extract
  • pinch cream of tartar or fine salt
  • 2 tablespoons or 25gms confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup or 65gms almond flour or finely ground almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon or dash almond extract
  • 1/3 cup or 40gms plain cake flour

For the frosting

  • 4 ounces or 113gms semi sweet chocolate. European chocolate such as Callebaut
  • 1/2 cup or 110gms butter
  • 1/4 cup or 60ml whiskey

Preheat oven to 180 Celcius or 350 F. Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until peaks form. Add the powered sugar and beat until stiff. Set aside.

Cream the butter then add sugar and beat until soft and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, almond extract and vanilla.

In a double boiler add the chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter. The water should be hot but not boiling. Once the chocolate starts to melt add the whiskey and stir ingredients until smooth and blended. Careful with this part, the chocolate can quickly seize if too warm. Feel free to add more whiskey to keep smooth. One may also add a splash of dark coffee if one likes. The none alcoholic version calls for coffee only.

Immediately fold the chocolate whiskey mixture into the egg yolk butter batter. Slowly add the almond flour until blended. Add half the beaten egg whites with the plain cake flour until blended. Gently fold in the rest of the beaten egg whites.

Prepare a 24 centimeter or 9 to 9 1/2 inch cake pan. I cut a circle of parchment paper, butter the pan, then lay down the paper and add a little more butter over that.

Pour in the batter and tap the pan until the batter is settled. Place in the middle rack of your preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Since this is a French style cake, do NOT use the clean toothpick trick in the center. The center of the cake should move just a smidge and be a little damp. A toothpick inserted into the edge may come back clean. If overbaked, the cake comes out too dry. Cool in pan so the cake is just warm, then unmold and place on a plate. Poke some small holes in the top of the cake.

Semi sweet chips and bar chocolate in whiskey

In the same double boiler you may make add the chocolate, butter and whiskey for your frosting. Feel free to add a smidge more whiskey so the frosting is smooth. When melted, pour some of the frosting directly onto the cooled cake. Let the cake absorb a bit of the frosting. Wait until the frosting cools a little more (place the bottom of the pan into cold ice water to quicken the process). Then pour more of the frosting directly onto the cake until completely covered. I usually have to use a spatula or cake tool to smooth the frosting around the sides of the cake.

Decorate the top with flowers, berries, cut out chocolate designs or just leave the smooth frosted top. This is a rich dessert so serve thin slices.

Best with a dollop of whiskey infused whipped cream! 🙂


Published by whiskycailleach

I have been enjoying wine and spirits for more years than I care to admit. My parents were of the old school that teething pain should be cured with liberal applications of spirits. In the basement of our old house in Santa Barbara California was a hidden room locked by an old bank vault door put in by my grandparents sometime in the 1920s. When my folks engaged a locksmith to open it in the late 1970’s the hidden room contained my grandad's old spirit collection. Some corks were mouldy and past their prime, while others were some of the best whiskies, brandies and liqueurs we had ever tasted. It has been a pleasant quest to explore as many different whiskies as possible from Scotland, to Ireland, from small distilleries in the US to Japan's Suntory. Along the way I have had the good fortune to meet amazing folks in the whiskey world from Keith Barnes at Bainbridge Organic Distillers to Lora Hemy at Roe & Co. My personal goal is to visit as many distilleries and taste as many whiskies as humanly possible. I feel lucky to now be living in Ireland, enjoying the whiskey renaissance currently taking place. I look forward to sharing my tasting notes, articles and musings as well as reading about others experiences in the wonderful world of whiskey. Slainte!

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