I spent a few weeks over the summer hopping all over Ireland, bakery hopping to be exact. I completely fell in love with the country, the people and the food.
I learned a lot in a few weeks, including taking a break from everything and getting back to my roots was exactly what I needed. I was completely shocked by how much I loved spending time in the country. I mean, I knew I'd love the city, but spending time in the country, I wasn't so sure. The only question now is when can I go back?
What shocked this city girl even more were the cakes!
The last thing I expected was for the bakeries and every baked good I tried to be incredible. I knew the brown bread was going to be all that and then some, but the cakes. I just can't even put into words how fantastic they were. The first bakery we walked into was in Westport, County Mayo. It was an adorable little shop and when I first spotted it, I nearly had a heart attack. For the record, I am like a child on Christmas morning when I discover a bakery.
That first cake exceeded all expectations I had and was hands down better than anything I've had in a bakery here in a long time. By the second week of traveling and countless bakeries, pieces of cakes and cake rolls later, I realized my people know what they're doing.
None of the cakes were fancy so to speak, they were homey. They were comforting. They were so friggin good that the only thought was maybe we should have gotten our own instead of splitting this. When you're bakery hopping, testing brown bread like it's your job and popping into all the pubs for a pints of Magners for two weeks straight, you need to pace yourself!
The other thing I noticed was that they're really into coffee flavored cakes and buttercreams. And they're big on desserts with Irish cream. Not really surprising I guess, but to a girl who finds baking with Irish cream to be as natural as breathing, I felt like I was home! It must be in the blood.
So today I give you the Tipsy Whiskey Layer Cake. Layers of Irish whiskey and coffee infused chocolate cake layered with Irish cream buttercream set the stage for a spiked mascarpone frosting that pretty much makes life complete. The mascarpone gives the frosting an added lusciousness, and speckled with a hint of espresso powder, vanilla bean, and of course, Irish whiskey, don't be surprised if you keep going back for more...
The Irish whiskey ganache is the cherry on top. It adds that pop that seals the deal, and the drip down the sides kills me. This cake is decadent, comforting and one I hope you make, share and enjoy all year round.
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. espresso powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup Irish cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot coffee
Irish Cream Buttercream
- 8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp. Trablit (coffee extract) or 1 Tbsp. espresso powder
- 5 Tbsp. Irish cream
Spiked Mascarpone Whipped Frosting
- 4 ounces heavy cream
- 4 ounces mascarpone - I recommend Vermont Creamery
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 tsp. espresso powder
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 1 Tbsp. Irish cream
Irish Whiskey Ganache
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, such as Callebaut dark
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp. Jameson Irish whiskey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottoms of 3 (8") cake pans with parchment rounds and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl sift together cocoa powder, flour, espresso powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip eggs and vegetable oil on medium speed for about 3 minutes until combined.
- Slowly add in sugar, continuing to mix on medium speed for about 4-5 minutes until mixture gets pale in color.
- Reduce speed to low and mix in milk, Irish cream and vanilla extract.
- Add in dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Pour in coffee and stir to combine.
- Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. This is approximately 1# of batter in each pan.
- Bake cakes for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and cakes start to pull away from the sides.
Irish Cream Buttercream
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix butter on medium high speed for about 3-4 minutes.
- Start adding powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time so you don't have a sugar shower.
- Add salt.
- Add coffee extract followed by Irish cream, 1 Tbsp. at a time.
- Continue to mix buttercream on medium high speed until it is light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, or a hand mixer, whip heavy cream and powdered sugar until its starts to get frothy.
- Add mascarpone, espresso powder and vanilla bean paste and continue to whip until you have soft peaks.
- Add Irish cream and continue to mix until stiff.
Jameson Irish Whiskey Ganache
- Bring heavy cream and butter up to a scald.
- Pour over chopped chocolate and let sit for about 45 seconds. Then stir mixture to combine.
- Stir In Irish whiskey. This is best used right away.
- Place first cake on a cake cardboard or cake stand.
- Spread half the Irish cream buttercream evenly over cake. I piped a ring of buttercream around the edge of the cake first using a piping bag fitted with a round tip. This gives a finished look to the cake, but is not necessary.
- Top with the second chocolate cake layer and repeat with the remaining buttercream.
- Top with the third chocolate cake layer. If you are preparing the cake a day ahead of time, stop at this point. Wrap it in plastic wrap so it's completely covered it and refrigerate it. When ready to finish, continue below.
- Make the spiked mascarpone frosting and spread on top of the cake. Note that you make this right before you use it because it is similar to using whipped cream. When you spread it on top of the cake, the less you work it, the better.
- Pop the cake in the fridge to allow it to set up while you prepare the ganache.
- Allow the ganache to sit for about 5-10 minutes so it's not piping hot when you drizzle it on the cake.
- When ganache is ready, drizzle it over the top of the cake with a spoon. The messier, the better!
- Serve right away!