These bourbon-soaked cake layers are both salty and sweet.
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.
We developed this recipe using Bulleit Bourbon.
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.
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.
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.