Chocolate Bourbon Cake

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This chocolate Bourbon cake is wonderful – moist and delicious and full of Bourbon and chocolate flavor. The preparation is wonderful too, the batter is quickly whisked together by hand, no messy mixer required. Best of all, the batter is liquid so you can easily pour it.

A chocolate bourbon bundt cake with freshly poured chocolate glaze on it.

This post was originally published on Jan. 1, 2015.

I wish all of you a smashingly happy and healthy new year! It’s important to start it off properly, with cake and booze. And chocolate. That’s why I made this delicious cake from a Gourmet recipe that I found on

My contribution to this recipe is the glaze, which I made from bittersweet and milk chocolate, bourbon, butter, cream, vanilla, espresso powder and a pinch of salt. It’s essentially the same as my espresso Bourbon truffles, only poured onto a cake instead of rolled into balls.

(Please note that I took the photo right after pouring the glaze on; the glaze will not actually stay liquid, it will firm up into a ganache-like consistency that you can easily cut through but that will stay put on the cake).

Make it a bundt cake or a layer cake:

You have two fine options for this cake: you can either bake it in a 12-cup Bundt cake pan OR you can make it a layer cake instead. The recipe will make two 9-inch round layers.

If you make the bundt cake, I recommend you serve it with a bit of raspberry jam and/or whipped cream spread on your slice.

If you go for the layer option, I recommend this maple mascarpone cream frosting for the cake that is pictured below:

A chocolate layer cake frosted with mascarpone cream and garnished with coffee beans.

Whichever option you choose, this cake makes a wonderful everyday afternoon treat but works equally well as a fancy birthday cake.

Recipe Tip:

  • You will notice that I substituted water and instant espresso powder for the coffee that the recipe calls for. I just found that a lot easier than going through the trouble of brewing fresh coffee but you can use either one, of course.

More delicious cake recipes:

A chocolate bourbon bundt cake with freshly poured chocolate glaze on it.
Print Recipe
4.56 from 9 votes

Chocolate Bourbon Cake

This recipe is for a 12-cup Bundt cake pan. (Alternatively, you can also use two 9-inch round cake pans for a layer cake with two layers and fill it with this maple mascarpone cream or a buttercream filling of your choice. The layers take less time to bake than the bundt cake does, start checking them at about 30 minutes.) 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate bourbon bundt cake, chocolate bourbon cake, chocolate cake
Servings: 12
Calories: 563kcal


For the cake:

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 3 tablespoons for dusting the baking pan
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Bourbon
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.25 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • raspberry jam to spread on the individual slices, optional
  • whipped cream, optional

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons Bourbon
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped*
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped*


For the cake:

  • Head on over to Epicurious for instructions. (Use the teaspoon of instant espresso powder and the 1.5 cups of water instead of coffee).

For the glaze:

  • Add cream, butter, espresso powder, vanilla and salt into a sauce pan, bring to a boil and stir until you have a homogeneous mix.
  • Take off the heat and add the Bourbon.
  • Pour the hot cream mix over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.
  • Stir together until everything is well combined and no chocolate clumps remain. (You may need to heat the mixture over a pot of hot water to get rid of the last pieces of chocolate).
  • Pour over the cake and let set.
  • Serve with whipped cream and/or raspberry jam.


*Don’t use chocolate morsels; morsels have stabilizers in them that actually prevent them from melting.


Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 64.1g | Protein: 6.2g | Fat: 27.5g | Saturated Fat: 17.1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 3.4g | Sugar: 43.3g | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg

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    • Nicole Branan says:

      Hi Larissa! The glaze will not stay liquid but it won’t harden into a shell either. It will have the consistency of a ganache, you will easily be able to cut through but it will stay in place. Let me know how you like it if you end up making it. :)

      P.S.: Thanks for asking about that, I will add a note in the post to clarify. :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you, Bob! I was initially really bothered by that little ridge on the right side that looks almost like a straight line but I guess I can live with it. :)

  1. Elizabeth says:

    You can’t lose with bourbon and chocolate together – sound absolutely decadent. Love the idea of spreading on some raspberry jam.

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