This month I chose to make a cake with flavors influenced by the upcoming holiday, St. Patrick’s Day!
Of course I wanted to do an Irish Cream inspired cake. Irish Cream is a flavor combination of Irish whiskey, cream, and chocolate. The first version of an Irish cream liqueur was by the one and only Bailey’s in Dublin, Ireland and was invented by David Gluckman and Hugh Reade Seymour-Davies. According to an article written by Irish Times, the two men were brainstorming a new drink for IDV (International Distillers & Vintners) and got the idea to mix together Jameson Irish whiskey and cream. After a taste test they decided the recipe needed more. They added sugar and Cadbury’s powdered drinking chocolate and Irish Cream was born. By the end of 2007 Bailey’s had sold their billionth bottle!
For my Irish Cream inspired cake I used chocolate cake (spiked with whiskey), chocolate buttercream, coffee buttercream, and a filling with all the Irish cream flavors incorporated into the whipped cream base. I also used chocolate chips and a chocolate syrup for added flavor and decoration. I have broken down this cake build into 4 parts; baking the cakes, making the Irish cream filling, making both buttercreams, and lastly putting the cake together to make this delicious, rich and boozy dessert!
See my recipe post here http://www.thepleasantbaker.com/the-best-chocolate-cake-cupcake-recipe/
1. Bake the Cake Layers
The first thing I did was bake three 6 inch round chocolate cake layers. I really wanted to use a dark and moist chocolate cake. My inspiration for the cake layers is from a YouTube channel that I watch called RachhLovesLife. She shares this family recipe on her channel. I really wanted to try out this recipe and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity not only because it looked delicious and chocolatey, but because the recipe calls for coffee.
Another special ingredient I used in this cake is, you guess it, Jameson Irish Whiskey. The original recipe calls for 2 cups of liquid (either coffee or water). I wanted to use coffee in the recipe, but also wanted to make it an alcoholic cake for the holiday. So, I used 1 1/4 cup of coffee and 3/4 cup of whiskey. Surprisingly, I have never actually made a cake with alcohol in it before. I had to do a little research first so I didn’t kill this cake! If you are unsure of how much alcohol to add to your recipe, this is the article I found from The Cake Blog that was very helpful. The end result was perfect! You could taste the whiskey in the cake, but it wasn’t too overbearing. I also used the Irish whiskey as a simple syrup!
This chocolate cake recipe is very easy to follow.
Pre-heat oven to 350°
In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Cream together your wet ingredients: (using a stand or hand mixer)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
With your mixer on low speed, slowly add your dry ingredients in 4 parts to the wet ingredients, alternating with the 2 cups of liquid.
This is how I incorporated it all together
- dry ingredients
- 3/4 cup coffee
- dry ingredients
- 1/2 cup coffee
- dry ingredients
- 3/4 cup of whiskey
- dry ingredients
Make sure not to overmix the batter. Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, divide the batter into three prepared 6 inch cake pans.
Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes in their pans, then remove and finish cooling completely on a wire rack.
After my cake layers were completely cooled I leveled them and cut each one into two layers, leaving me with 6 cake layers. In my cake decorating tutorial for beginners, I show you how to do this step-by-step.
2. Make the Irish Cream Filling
Next, I made this one-of-a-kind Irish cream filling. To be completely honest, it did not go as planned and I had to make some last minute changes to the cake. I wanted to use the traditional flavors of Irish cream; cream, chocolate syrup, vanilla extract, and coffee. I used this recipe from as easy as apple pie for inspiration.
In a small dish add 3 tablespoons of chocolate syrup. Microwave for about 10 seconds. Once the syrup is warm, add 1 teaspoon of instant coffee granules and mix until dissolved.
In a bowl add together:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- mixture of chocolate syrup & instant coffee granules
Using a hand mixer (or stand) whip together until soft peaks form
That’s really all there is to making the Irish cream filling. Curious as to why this didn’t go as planned? My thought process was that the filling was going to be too thin to use while making the cake. I thought I would make a batch of condensed milk icing and fold the Irish whipped cream in to make a more solid filling. What happened was the whipping cream lost its form and turned back into liquid. This actually made the frosting very runny and all the ingredients started to separate. In the end I decided to not use the condensed milk icing recipe and just stick to the Irish Cream filling that I originally made.
Why am I sharing this story with you? I knew that I didn’t need to tell anyone of this mishap at all and no one would have ever known. But I like to show everyone that it is okay for things to not go as planned. This happens ALL THE TIME to me and I have been making cakes for years now. When this happens, you just have to go with it and make adjustments.
3. Make the Buttercreams
I made two different kinds of buttercreams for this cake; chocolate and coffee.
The chocolate buttercream recipe I used is from The crumbly kitchen and came out amazing! You can find the recipe here or you can use your own chocolate buttercream recipe.
For the coffee buttercream, I used this recipe from confessions of a baking queen. You can find the post here if you would like to use the same one I did.
4. Build the Cake
Before I started to build the cake, I gathered all of the supplies and tools I would need. My cake layers, the Irish cream filling, the chocolate buttercream, the coffee buttercream, mini chocolate chips, and chocolate syrup. For tools I needed; spatulas, straight edge, piping bag with a Wilton 2D tip, cake boards, and paper towels. If you are unsure about which tools to use you can check out my post cake tools for beginners and if you would like to learn some tips on decorating a cake, check out this tutorial for beginners!
Stacking the cake-
I started building the cake by placing a cake layer onto the cake board and filling the first layer with chocolate buttercream.
The next cake layer I filled with the coffee buttercream and drizzled the chocolate syrup on top.
The 3rd layer I used the chocolate buttercream again, and added the Irish cream filling on the buttercream.
Next, I used the coffee buttercream and chocolate syrup. See a pattern?
I repeated this process with the rest of the cake layers and ended with chocolate buttercream as the last filling.
As I was crumb coating the cake, I noticed the cake layers were wanting to slide off to the sides so I decided to add 4 bubble tea straws for support. After I was finished with the crumb coat, I noticed the top half was more of the coffee buttercream and the bottom half was mostly chocolate buttercream.
Finishing the Cake-
I decided to ice the cake the same as how crumb coat came out. Coffee buttercream on the top half, chocolate buttercream on the bottom half.
For the top of the cake I did a rope boarder using the Wilton 2D tip. I used both buttercreams when I prepared my piping bag to get the swirled boarder. Check out this tutorial for using a piping bag!
I added mini chocolate chips to the bottom of the cake and on the rope boarder. And lastly, some chocolate syrup drizzled on the rope boarder and in the middle of the cake.
I had so much fun making this cake! As always I learned a few things and also got to eat some pretty good cake at the end of the day. Have you ever made anything Irish Cream flavored? Watch for next weeks post where I share some more St. Patrick’s Day food and idea’s!
Chocolate Cake & Cupcake Recipe
- mixing bowl
- Hand or Stand Mixer
- cake pans
- 1 1/4 Cup Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 3 tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 4 tbsp Butter, softened 1/4 Cup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Cup Water or Coffee
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray cake pans with cooking spray and place parchment paper on bottom. If making cupcakes place cupcake papers into a cupcake pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl (or in your mixer) cream together sugar, egg, softened butter, and vanilla extract.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to your creamed mixture and mix just until Incorporated.
- Slowly add in your liquid (water or coffee).
- Add remaining dry ingredients to mixer and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated (do not over mix).
- Divide cake batter evenly into your prepared cake pans.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (see recipe notes for approximate times).
- Cool for 10 minutes, then remove cakes from their pans and finish cooling completely on a wire rack.