Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Maple Whiskey Birthday Cake

Maple Whiskey Birthday Cake
My husband and I recently discovered and fell in love with Crown Royal Maple whiskey.  So when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, which is in early January, this is what he requested.  I am not sure if at first he was at all joking, but I thought it sounded intriguing, so I did a little research. The basic recipe is a pretty typical pound cake, which lends itself well to being drenched in whiskey.  The shape, however, is a lot more childish than the flavoring, and was also part of my husband's request. Because I was preparing this cake during a busy week in which I was also getting ready to host a baby shower, I decided to make the cake a few days ahead and freeze it.  I think that if I were to do it again, I would do the glazing step while the cake was actually still warm from the oven.  Because the cake layers were fairly cold, the glaze had a hard time absorbing into the dense cake, even after I poked it dozens of times with a skewer and a sharp knife.  I didn't want to go crazy on the off chance that the cake would fall apart, but instead the glaze kind of pooled at the top (and bottom edge of the top half which I flipped over for glazing) and the butter part of the glaze congealed a bit.  Sounds worse than it was for sure, as there is nothing about this cake that is not delicious.  It smells like maple, tastes like maple whiskey and was definitely a hit with everyone at the party, and most importantly, my husband.  The best part is that because there weren't that many people there to enjoy it and they were all so full from eating all afternoon, I have a lot of this amazing cake in my freezer and plan to actually get a piece or two out after I write this post.  So I think I am done.  (and no, this cake is not particularly healthy, although I did use half whole wheat flour... it is a birthday cake after all and not supposed to be eaten more than once, or twice or a dozen times a year.)  :)

Maple Whiskey Birthday Cake


1 1/4 C. organic white flour
1 1/4 C. organic whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. organic unsalted butter, softened
1 C. organic white sugar
1/2 C. pure maple syrup
6 organic eggs
1 C. full fat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 C. Maple Crown Royal
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix the flours, baking soda and salt together, set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add in the maple syrup and beat for another minute.  Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Whisk the yogurt, Maple Crown Royal and vanilla in a small bowl.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the yogurt mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing well after each addition.  Pour into desired pans (usually a round bundt pan, or like I did, a big top cupcake!!) and bake at 350F for about 1 1/2 hours. 

* you could definitely make this cake as a two layer round cake, just adjust the cooking time as necessary.

batter all mixed together

ready to pour into pans
(big top cupcake)

ready to bake

hot from the oven
(bottom is more caramelized from the syrup and whiskey
than burned... just looks dark)
getting ready to wrap up and freeze
glaze cooling off

1/2 C. organic unsalted butter, melted
1/2 C. pure maple syrup
1/4 C. Maple Crown Royal

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in maple syrup. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in Maple Crown Royal. Note: The liquor will cause steam. Be careful not to burn yourself. Let set for 10 minutes to thicken slightly before brushing on cake.
glaze applied (only used about half of it)

3/4 C. organic unsalted butter, softened
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
3 T. Crown Royal Maple
Splash of milk

bottom half completed

front view

top view
as served at a party


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