Ok, so this technically wasn’t planned as a birthday cake exactly… My partner and I just made it for a fake Thanksgiving/early birthday week thingy.
Buttery pound cake-like cake? With whiskey? Check.
Whipped vanilla buttercream? With whiskey? Double check.
Brown sugar caramel drizzle? With (sense a pattern?) whiskey? Triple check.
I will tell you now that the making of this cake involved several mistakes and various disasters. I thought halving the recipe would be enough. When I put it in the pan I realized it wasn’t and had to make a second half-batch. We broke the cake trying to get it out of the pan. The frosting wouldn’t whip up correctly (probably because I had forgotten my whisk attachment back in Vermont and I didn’t technically follow the recipe). We put the cake in the freezer to try and encourage the frosting to set and then it was too hard. Also be aware that the batter is seriously thick. That part is not a mistake, but I worried it was!
It. was. so. good.
So, try to avoid all those mistakes (maybe just make some whipped cream and skip the whiskey in the frosting? You won’t miss it if you use lots of drizzle!)
I followed the recipe for cupcakes here: http://www.creative-culinary.com/jack-daniels-honey-whiskey-cupcakes-with-a-boozy-drizzle/. If you make the full recipe it will make a thin loaf (2-3 inches tall) in a bread pan. We cut ours in half and made a very small two-layer cake, which I recommend. You could of course double the recipe and make two full layers if you have more people to feed. Our cake took about 40-45 minutes to bake. I also thought that a half recipe of the drizzle was plenty.
The dense, rich, whiskey-tinged cake was one of the best pure cake layers I’ve made in a long time. I need to find a way to make this a large cake and play around with adding some elements. It would also be fun to swap out the whiskey for any other alcohol– cake vodka? pineapple vodka? Godiva white chocolate liqueur? So many options! We ate ours with cookie dough ice cream, which sounds a little weird but was marvelous!