a very folly birthday cake

For Miss Folly’s birthday, I left the cake selection in her hands. In keeping with one of her favorite food groups, she found an old pin of this chocolate whiskey bundt cake from the delicious blog, love and olive oil. Anything with whiskey or bourbon would have been appropriate, but after seeing the potential in this chocolate goddess, I couldn’t help myself. The goal here: a boozy 25th birthday celebration. I know I usually encourage substitutions with recipes, butttt cakes are usually a little tougher to swap ingredients and still yield the same turn out so try and get all of the ingredients if you can. Now that my college baking days are behind me (and prefer almond milk) I try to get real buttermilk instead of doing the lemon juice or vinegar trick to plain milk–which works very well if you don’t want to get another item. Ingredients you will need:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (bourbon vanilla is an excellent substitution…<3)
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup decent quality bourbon


dry ingredients     mixing

dusted     pre oven

I swapped sea salt for kosher, but otherwise followed love and olive oil’s recipe to a T. Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Next mix 1 tsp flour and 1 tsp cocoa powder together. Generously grease the bundt pan with butter then dust the flour mixture inside–set aside. Like most cakes you begin by mixing together all of the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Next, in an electric mixer add buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla. Once wet ingredients are combined, slowly add the dry mixture to the batter. I usually try and do 1/2 cup at a time to ensure thorough mixing . Once your wet and dry ingredients are combined, add warm water then whiskey until batter is fully mixed–but try not to over mix! The batter will be a very thin, dark chocolate color. Pour into your dusted pan and cook in the oven for 50-55 minutes.

For the caramel:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon

sugar & water      caramelizing

Caramel is a little tough because one minute it is perfect, then the next burnt. SO be careful and only focus on the sauce…not while folding laundry or watching the latest fashion police. First, add sugar and cream of tartar to a medium sized pot. Place on the stove at a medium high heat. Once warm, add water to the outside edges of the pan and allow mixture to combine then come to a boil. Once boiling, place lid on pot for 2 minutes. Remove the lid once steam has accumulated and stir for 5-7 minutes while mixture will turn a light brown color (pictured above right). Once brown, remove from heat and stir in cream and butter. Place pot back on low heat to stir until smooth. Add bourbon and continue to stir. Next, pour the caramel into a heat proof dish to let sit for an hour and get to room temperature. After the mixture has thickened, pour over cake and let sit while it hardens. I took this opportunity to add a few sprinkles. NOW ENJOY. Thank you love and olive oil, this is outstanding–the girls enjoyed seconds, the waiter loved it, and the birthday girl made a Matilda chocolate cake reference. Happy 25th to this hot mama ;)

cake     oblig eating pic

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