Bourbon Spice Toffee Layer Cake
This Bourbon Spice Toffee Layer Cake is one of my favorites! I’ve made it several times and I think I love it more and more every time! The combination of chocolate, toffee, maple, cinnamon and the spice from the bourbon are a party for the taste buds and perfect for celebrating today – the one year anniversary of the release of my cookbook!
So this is a big week for us around here. The first thing going on is that we figured we didn’t have enough to do with planning for twins and decided to buy a house and move. We’ve totally lost our minds! You may remember that we’ve been looking at homes for almost a year now, but we put moving on hold when we found out we were having twins.
Well, a couple weeks ago, a real estate agent we’d been working with let us know that the model home in a neighborhood we almost bought in last year was going on the market that night. We knew it’d go fast, so we went to look at it again the next day and see if we would really want to make the move. The fact that it’s so move-in ready is a big plus for us right now.
They got three offers over the next couple of days, including ours. I was convinced there wasn’t a chance we’d get it. We loved the house, but with so much going on we weren’t really willing to be terribly aggressive. But to my surprise, we got the house! And now it’s a whirlwind trying to pack and get ready to move and sell our current house. Especially considering I’m limited in what I can do, being so pregnant. We’ve spend the last couple of weeks packing and getting things ready and the house will be on the market by the end of the week. Let’s hope it sells fast! I’m ready to move on and get ready for these babies!
The other thing going on this week, which is really more of a celebration than anything, is that today is officially the one year anniversary of the release of my cookbook, Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes! It’s hard to believe it’s already been a whole year!
I have wanted to share this cake with you for forever! It’s seriously one of my faves from the book. It might seem like there’s a lot going on, but it all comes together in the most amazing cake. Like seriously, so good.
The chocolate cake isn’t as intense of a chocolate, which is perfect with everything else going on. It’s also a little denser of a cake than mine usually are, but I really enjoy it in this cake. It’s got the flavor of the bourbon baked right in there too. And if you’re thinking you may not be into this cake because you don’t drink bourbon, think again. I totally do not drink bourbon – I leave that to the hubs – but I do steal it and put it in baked goods. A good spiced bourbon adds so much flavor! You don’t so much taste the alcohol as you do that spiced flavor. Love it!
The frosting is a maple cinnamon frosting and it alone is good enough to eat with a spoon. Then there’s the toffee sauce made with brown sugar and a touch more bourbon. Drizzle that stuff on everything! And the toffee bits? Yes, please! Layer them all together and it’s seriously heaven in a cake.
All the flavors come together so magically! If you can’t tell, I’m in love with this cake. And it’s just one of many from the cookbook that I love. If you haven’t gotten the cookbook before now – or didn’t even know I had one – there’s no time like the present! Plus, the holidays are coming up, so it’d make a great gift. You could even bake someone this cake and give them the book with it. Then you get to enjoy the book and cake too. Win-win. 🙂
Bourbon Spice Toffee Layer Cake
Yield: 12-14 slices
2 cups (260g) all purpose flour
2 cups (414g) sugar
3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup (224g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup (115g) sour cream
1/2 cup (120ml) milk
1/2 cup (120ml) bourbon
1/2 cup (120ml) hot water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup (280g) salted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (237g) shortening
10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp maple extract
5-6 tbsp (75-90ml) water or milk
Toffee Sauce and Additional Ingredients
10 tbsp (140g) salted butter
3/4 cup (108g) unpacked light brown sugar
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
2 tbsp (30ml) bourbon
1 tbsp flour, sifted
2 cups toffee bits, divided
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line the bottom of three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
3. Combine wet ingredients in another medium sized bowl, then add to the dry ingredients and beat on medium-low speed until well combined. The batter is thin, so be careful of splashing.
4. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans.
5. Bake for 23-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs.
6. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes, then remove from pans to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
7. To make the frosting, beat the butter and shortening until smooth.
8. Slowly add about half of the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
9. Add cinnamon, maple extract and 3 tablespoons of water or milk and beat until smooth.
10. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
11. Add additional water or milk a tablespoon at a time as needed to get the frosting the right consistency.
12. To make the toffee sauce, melt the butter and sugar over medium heat in a large saucepan.
13. Slowly bring mixture to a boil allowing the sugar to dissolve, about 10-15 minutes.
14. Once it begins to boil, slowly add the heavy whipping cream and bourbon, whisking constantly. The mixture will be bubbly.
15. Whisk for 2-3 minutes, allowing it to come back to a boil. Once boiling, stop whisking and let it boil for 1 minute.
16. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool a bit.
17. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes.
18. Place the first layer of cake on your serving plate or a cardboard cake circle. Spread 5-6 tbsp of toffee sauce evenly onto the cake layer. It should soak into the cake a bit.
19. Pipe 1 cup of frosting into an even layer on top of the toffee sauce, starting along the outside edge and spiraling inward. With the toffee sauce on top of the cake, spreading will be tough, so piping works best.
20. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of toffee bits evenly over the frosting. Repeat process with the second layer of cake, toffee sauce, frosting and toffee bits, then add the final layer of cake on top.
21. Frost the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting, then press toffee bits into the sides of the bottom of the cake.
22. Pipe swirls of frosting around the top edge of the cake, then drizzle toffee sauce sauce the sides and fill in the center with more toffee sauce. Sprinkle with some additional toffee bits.
23. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Cake is best served at room temperature and is best for 2-3 days when well covered.