Chocolate Whiskey Cake Recipe (2 versions)

I will (shamefully) admit... I'm not a chocolate person. Chocolate cake? My least favorite type of cake.

Oh, and I'm not a whiskey person, either.

But this cake is in my top 3 cake recipes ever (fyi, number one being Betty Crocker Rainbow Chips, but that's another story).  It's just so moist and delicious. The flavor of the whiskey, rich chocolate cake, and the crunch of the semi-sweet chocolate chips all work together so nicely.  I think I love it so much because the cake has more of a dark, semi-sweet chocolate taste rather than a typical chocolate or milk chocolate-y taste. I really quite like dark chocolate.

So while I obviously like this cake, the real reason I make it is for my husband, Brad. He LOOOOVES it.

I started making this cake years ago, before we even got married. I think I remember finding the recipe in a magazine (not sure which one it was exactly).
Anyway, it's a winner. I used to make it every Christmas for the fam's get-together, but when we started hosting Christmas at our place and were already cooking so much and getting the house together, it sort of fell off the menu since it does take a bit of time to make from scratch.

The good news is that I actually found a version using store-bought cake mix and frosting which actually tastes JUST as good! I was skeptical, but I did try that version of the recipe out a while back and I could not tell the difference.  I did modify the recipe a bit. I replaced a few ingredients and nixed the pecans, because neither Brad nor I are fans, and I think it's perfect!

Anyway,  I still make this yummy treat for Brad for special occasions to surprise him. Most recently for Valentine's day! So since I got so many requests for the recipe on Instagram, here is my original version...

Chocolate Whiskey Cake (scratch version)

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup whiskey
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 cans (16 oz/ each) chocolate frosting  **you can make your own, but this is just as good and cuts a lot of time
  • more mini semi-sweet chocolate chips for garnish
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter 2 (9") round cake pans (or heart-shaped ones like I used if you're feeling fancy). Line pan bottoms with wax paper; butter and flour. Combine milk, eggs, and vanilla; reserve.
In a bowl combine next 6 ingredients. At low speed gradually beat in butter until coarse and sandy. Gradually beat in egg mixture. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Gradually beat in water then whiskey until combined. (Will make a thin batter.)
Divide batter between pans; sprinkle tops with measured chips. Bake 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean (keep in mind, it may not come out completely clean because of the melted chocolate chips in the batter). Cool on racks 20 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on racks.
Place 1 cake layer on serving plate; spread with 1 cup frosting. *I like to sprinkle more chocolate chips over this middle layer of frosting. Top with remaining cake layer.  Spread tops and sides with remaining frosting.  Use remaining chocolate chips for garnish.

Not the simplest of recipes. But still worth it if you have the patience.

Usually, you can tell a huge difference between something made from scratch and something, well, not completely made from scratch. This version below using store-bought cake mixes is seriously just as good. After making both and comparing them (I had to make the scratch version one more time just to make sure I wasn't crazy), it is seriously the same. I'll probably make this "short-cut" version from here on out.

Chocolate Whiskey Cake (my short-cut version)

  • 1 box (around 16 oz.) Betty Crocker "Super Moist" Devils Food Cake mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used low fat)
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whiskey (I added just a splash more, and used the Jack Daniel's "Tennessee Honey")
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cans chocolate frosting
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour 2 (9") cake pans. Combine cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and whiskey with a mixer on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat another 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter between the pans and bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (keep in mind, it may not come out completely clean because of the melted chocolate chips).  Cool on racks in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on the racks.
Frost one layer of cake on a serving platter (I sprinkle more chocolate chips into the middle layer of frosting before putting on the top layer of cake), then add the top layer and frost completely. Sprinkle on more chocolate chips on top for decoration.

So that's my yuumy cake recipe!! I hope you guys love it if you make it! Let me know how it turns out!!


  1. I'm totally with you on the chocolate cake things, but this sounds good - I'll have to make it for my husband...he's really into chocoloate!!

    Rebecca @ sweetandsimplelifeblog.blogspot.com

  2. Omgsh I definitely have to try this! Btw I'm a huge fan yours. Been watching your videos for almost 4 years and following your blog for at least a year. You're awesome.❤

  3. its beautiful! is there anything you suck at?! lol

  4. ummm, ya Rainbow chips IS THE BEST!!! I feel like such a kid saying that but I freaking love it so much!
    I will be giving this recipe a try this easter I think :) Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Yum, what a great wifey you are, Tiffany. Looks fabulous - my hubby is a huge fan of moist, chocolate cake so I will defiantly give this one a try (personally, I'm with you - if I had a choice I would choose a white cake) Anyways, thank you for sharing your recipe with us, I know some people are very uptight about giving away their 'secrets' lol

    Where is the plate/platter from? Thanks again for sharing with us!

    - Sierra

  6. Ahhh this looks soo good! Thanks for sharing, I will try and recreate this with a dairy free version for myself ha :)

    kathrynscupcakes.blogspot.com xx

  7. Woooow, yummy!!!
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  8. What a yummy recipe!!!!


  9. Oh wow! This looks pretty damn good! This puts my chocolate cake to shame!


  10. Wow good job Tiffany!! It looks delicious.. I am definitely going to save this recipe!!

    xo Ash,
    Sincerely Miss Ash

  11. That looks scrumptious! Must try this!

  12. Looks delicious! Hey, can you show us how you would style the black jumpsuit you got from Target? I have something similar and I'm hoping for some ideas. Thanks =)

  13. Want something even better? Nigella Lawson's Guinness cake recipe. It is TO DIE FOR and everyone who I have ever cooked it for claims it is the best chocolate cake ever. You are most welcome :)

  14. Seriously Tiffany this is unfair ..you are gorgeous and you can make a beautiful cake like this?? :-) Just adorable..love it!

  15. I am SO trying this. Stop by my site - lots of new hauls, cheap makeup storage, etc. Thanks for the inspiration (as always!) xoxoxo - Erica
    Splashes of Charm

  16. Wow, this sounds tasty...

    My Husband has his birthday next week (and loves chocolate and Whiskey) - I will make him this cake and look forward that he will like it a lot :-)

  17. Wow this looks ANAZING! Thanks for the awesome post!
    Sophie Jenner

    Www.sophiejenner. blogspot.co.uk

  18. Wow Tiffany this sounds so incredibly yummy! I will definitely have to try this out on my husband. He would love the idea of putting whiskey with a dessert. Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)


  19. I'm baking it right now...so excited!!! Thanks for the recipe! xo

  20. Just made this...the short version....for my boyfriend's birthday. He loved it! Thanks for the recipe!!!!!!

  21. Made the long version for a thing at work. People loved it. There were no crumbs left!

  22. It’s great pleasure to get the chance to comment…Everything looks extremely nice unique and professional.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. These look so cute, and I can't believe I've never heard of them before!
    You always make things look so yummy and enticing!

  25. Just made this and it is delicious. Whipped up a batch of whiskey cream sauce to drizzle on top because we like it extra boozey :)