Saturday, February 20, 2010

Irish Car Bomb Cake

Irish Car Bomb Cake

I have a thing for baking cakes.

Especially cakes with two layers or more. A cake with one layer is no cake at all. I get a intense feeling of satisfaction after successfully leveling each layer, spreading the filling, placing the last layer on top, and frosting the whole thing up. I'm not sure where it came from. It might be from the memory from my childhood when I tried to turn my parent's anniversary cake into a layer cake. I made it out of a boxed cake mix and baked it in a large rectangular pan. One of my best friends was over and we decided it would be cool to cut the rectangle in half and make a two-layered version. Disaster ensued. We ended up putting all the pieces back in the pan (at this point there were more than 2) and frosting over it, with a big cross to cover up our incisions. It. was. not. pretty.

So last summer when I decided to make a layer cake for my graduation party, I was very scared and convinced it was going to be incredibly tricky. Maybe if I had not thought it was such a big deal, I wouldn't have been so pleased when it came out perfectly. And then maybe I wouldn't dream of all the different flavors and fillings I could make or spend hours looking at recipes, dying for an excuse to start preheating the oven.

This week, I did just that. A cake version of the popular drink: the Irish Car Bomb. Chocolate Cake made with Guinness. Chocolate ganache with a hint of Irish whiskey. Buttercream froting made with Irish Cream. This is not your kids' birthday cake. It is an adult cake. Rich and chocolaty with a hint of booze. What more could you ask for?

Irish Car Bomb Cake

Irish Car Bomb Cake
Adapted from here and here

1 cup Guinness (or any stout)
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

8 oz bittersweet chocolate (I only had unsweetened, so I used 4 oz and added sugar to taste, about 4 tbsp)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1-2 tsp Irish whiskey

3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3-4 tbsp Baileys or milk (I used both milk and caramel flavored irish cream since we already had a bottle)

(I ended up making 1.5x the recipe because I'm better at cake frosting if I have more to work with. I had some leftover so you could probably get away with using the recipe itself.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans.

In a saucepan, simmer the stout and butter over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 tsp salt. In a separate bowl, blend the eggs and the sour cream. Then beat in the chocolate-stout mixture until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Divide between the cake pans and bake for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 300 and bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean, about 15 more minutes.

To make the filling, melt the chocolate in a saucepan or double boiler. Add in the cream, butter, and whiskey and mix until smooth. Allow to cool until thick. You can put in the refrigerator to speed up the process, but make sure you stir it occasionally.

Irish Car Bomb Cake

For the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, fully incorporating it each time. I usually don't measure it out, just taste it frequently and stop when I think it is sweet enough. Then beat in the milk and/or Bailey's.

Irish Car Bomb Cake


  1. I am so going to make this someday. Yummy!!!

  2. hellooooo Bomb Cake! this is my kinda blog.

  3. Okay, my birthday is Saturday and I SO want this!


  4. Does this need to be refrigerated?

  5. Hey Erin,

    If you make it ahead of time, I would keep it in the fridge but let it sit out 1-2 hours before serving to let the frosting warm up a bit. Then keep leftovers (if you've managed to resist eating every last crumb) in the fridge as well.