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April/May 2019

Bourbon-Brown Sugar Cake Layers

These bourbon-soaked cake layers are both salty and sweet.

Why This Recipe Works

We found that adding bourbon to the batter gave us the right level of booziness. A simple swap of light brown sugar for granulated sugar in the cake gave us a deep caramel flavor throughout.

Instructions

Makes two 9-inch cake layers

1 ½ cups (7½ ounces) all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon table salt
½ cup whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup bourbon
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups packed (10½ ounces) light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
Nutritional Information

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Instructions

Makes two 9-inch cake layers

We developed this recipe using Bulleit Bourbon.

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease parchment, and flour pans. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. Heat milk, butter, and bourbon in small saucepan until butter is melted. Off heat, add vanilla. Cover to keep warm.

2. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip sugar and eggs on high speed until light and airy, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer. While whisking continuously by hand, slowly add milk mixture until incorporated. Whisk in flour mixture until incorporated.

3. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops with rubber spatula. Bake until tops of cakes are light brown and toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cakes cool completely in pans on wire rack, about 2 hours. Run thin knife around edges of cakes. Invert cakes onto wire rack and discard parchment.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.