Chocolate Coffee Cake with Salted Caramel Whiskey Sauce

Chocolate Coffee Cake

Chocolate Coffee Cake

Let them eat cake – works best at the end of a meal. Its even better when you know there is something at the end of a meal to sweeten your palate. So what we have here is a the outcome of the request for  two ingredients – coffee and caramel. Not too hard to come up with something for that one ‘Thats what one would say’. I would say you are right but I could not find my recipe for coffee streusel cake which I thought I would top with a Caramel sauce. So one does as one must in cases like this – Google to your hearts content. The issue with Google thought is that you can sometimes stray away from your original intent (coffee streusel in my case) and change your route entirely. In this case, I can happily say it was a very good straying. I found this recipe from Ina Garten, who happens to be one of my favorite dessert chefs. I decided to make it a little more coffee and a little less chocolate. She was absolutely right when she said it is moist. There is no question in my mind that is was moist and delicious. Ask the person on a Paleo diet who after tasting a smidgen, got himself a piece poured on a helping of caramel sauce and then carried off a piece for a friend :-). Hey, its a compliment right! Not that I tried at all to force folks to eat cake.

I did not want to make the frosting or a layered cake so I decided to make a bundt cake and do a caramel sauce. Now you know how I love to spice things up with a touch of alcohol. This was no exception. I went with a honey alcohol but you could do brandy or rum as both go really well. You could even have it non-alcoholic. I made a simple caramel sauce and added the whisky at the end and it was delightful.


Adapted from Ina Garten


Chocolate Coffee Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coffee (1 cup hot water, 4 sachets Nescafe – about 4 teaspoons)

Salted Caramel Whiskey Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whiskey (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


For the cake

Make your coffee and let it cool a bit. It should be ready by the time you get to the step that you need to use it.

Butter your bundt pan. Preheat your oven to 350F. I used a silicone pan so I did not flour the surface. If you are using a metal pan dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla to the mix and then beat to incorporate. It should be really quick. Then add the cooler coffee until incorporated. At this point your batter will be really liquid – do not fret.

Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the deepest part of your cake comes out clean. Take it out of the oven and leave it on a rack to cool. Once completely cool place a plate upside down over the bundt pan and then do a quick flip. The cake should release easily or just gently tap it around the top.

For the caramel sauce

Put the sugar and water into a pan over medium heat. As the sugar starts to melt gently swirl to help dissolve the sugar. Then continue to cook the mixture brushing down the sides of the pan with a moistened brush to get all the solidifying crystals on the side. You will notice after a while (4 mins and depending on your heat level) that the mixture starts to get a light to medium tint. Continue to cook the color is a golden brown. Do not let it get dark brown. It is safer to have a less caramel taste then to go to a burnt caramel state.

Take the pot off the heat. Now being very careful (using a mitten to cover your hand) slowly pour the cream in to the mixture. It will start bubbling. It may even seize up – do not worry. You will put it back on the heat and stir and it will all melt. After about a minute of stirring again take it off the heat. Again protecting your hand slowly add the vanilla and whiskey. Put it back on the heat and stir until everything is melted and incorporated. Add the salt and stir to mix.

You can heat the sauce right before you go to serve the cake and pour it on top of each slice.


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