A Splash Of Bourbon Is Exactly What Your Chocolate Cake Needs

There are plenty of ways to upgrade the flavors of your cakes, whether you're using a store-bought box of mix, or you just want to put a new twist on your go-to recipe. Some simple swaps include substituting milk for water or adding an extra egg to the mix. Others recommend adding some beer to your chocolate cake. But there is one other alcohol that could make the taste even better. If you want to amplify the flavor of your chocolate cake, a little bit of bourbon may be exactly what the batter needs.

To infuse your chocolate cake with a little bit of bourbon, add a cup of the liquor along with the rest of the cake's wet ingredients. Once the cake has baked, it will be a little richer, thanks to the added alcohol. And, if the liquor features other flavor notes like cinnamon, caramel, or nutmeg, those tastes can translate into the cake, too, adding a little extra dimension to its flavor profile.

Choose the right bourbon for your chocolate

When choosing the right bourbon for your chocolate cake batter, you'll want to consider what kind of chocolate you're using. Melting down some baking chocolate to add to the batter can give your dessert a range of flavors, which could benefit from specific types of bourbon. 

Milk chocolate is the sweetest option, so a contrasting spiced bourbon may be a good choice; the alcohol will help offset the sweetness of the chocolate, making for a more balanced flavor profile. A cake made with semi-sweet chocolate, on the other hand, may benefit from an oaky, slightly fruity bourbon to complement the mild sweetness. For a darker, bitter chocolate, you may want to grab a bottle of something a little sweeter; try mixing in a bourbon that has notes of vanilla, cinnamon, or maple. While the recipe's added sugar will generally sweeten up that dark chocolate, a sweetly spiced bourbon could make it taste just a little extra delicious. Since most cocoa powder is unsweetened, this may also be a good choice for recipes that call for the powder rather than melted chocolate.

You can add extra bourbon to the bake

While it is true that some of the alcohol will evaporate from the cake the longer it bakes, some of the liquor will remain once that cake comes out of the oven. It may be subtle, but the taste could be noticeable. The alcohol in the baked chocolate bourbon cake won't be enough to intoxicate your guests, but it is a good idea to keep those slices away from children and make sure your guests know the cake contains liquor.

If you want to make the bourbon the star of the show, you can make some bourbon-infused frosting to top off your bake. Simply mix a little bit of liquor in with the rest of your frosting ingredients, adding smaller amounts gradually. You may need to make some slight adjustments to the amounts of the other ingredients to offset the extra liquid and maintain the correct consistency.

Whether you're using a recipe for some boozy bourbon chocolate cupcakes, or just adding a splash of liquor to your favorite cake recipe, the alcohol can add extra flavor to enhance your dessert.