the appetizer:

Serve breakfast breads and other treats anytime with Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More by Carole Walter, with inspirations like Irish Whiskey Cake; Midnight Chocolate Glaze; and Zucchini Loaf with Apricots and Dates.

I Love Desserts

Irish Whiskey Cake

Irish Whiskey Cake

Makes one 9-inch Bundt cake, 10 to 12 servings


During lunch with my cousin Eisa Sobo, a senior member of my family who still appreciates a fine piece of cake, the conversation turned to this book. She asked me if I had a recipe for Irish whiskey cake, and I replied that I didn't. "Oh, you must!" she said. And before the day was over, she made sure I had her recipe in hand. I couldn't wait to test it, and upon tasting the first slice, I concluded that she was absolutely right. Eisa was also right when she told me that this cake gets better with age.

At A Glance

1. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-inch Bundt pan, dust with flour, then invert it over the kitchen sink and tap firmly to remove the excess flour. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

3. Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add the superfine sugar gradually, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, taking 6 to 8 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, about 1 minute apart, scraping the side of the bowl as needed. Blend in the dissolved coffee and the vanilla.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Stir the Scotch into the sour cream and add the mixture alternately with the dry ingredients, dividing the flour into three parts and the sour cream mixture into two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until blended after each addition. Scrape the side of the bowl and mix for 10 seconds longer.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with the bottom of a large soupspoon, and bake for 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes. The cake is done when the top is springy to the touch and a wooden skewer inserted deeply in the center comes out clean.

6. Remove the cake from the oven and let stand on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack, gently lift off the pan, and cool the cake completely. When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar. If using the glaze, while the cake is on the cooling rack, make the glaze. Place the cake over a rimmed cookie sheet, and glaze while it is still warm. If desired, after glazing, sprinkle the top with a few chocolate shavings.

Storage: Store under a glass cake dome or covered with aluminum foil for up to 5 days. This cake may be frozen.

"The black stove, stoked with coal and firewood, glows like a lighted pumpkin. Eggbeaters whirl, spoons spin round in bowls of butter and sugar, vanilla sweetens the air, ginger spices it; melting nose-tingling odors saturate the kitchen.... In four days our work is done. Thirty-one cakes, dampened with whiskey, bask on window sills and shelves."
          —Truman Capote, A Christmas Memory

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This page created January 2008