Bourbon-Soaked Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, more for greasing pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, more for dusting pan
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/4 cup instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup bourbon, rye or other whiskey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish (optional).


1. Grease and flour a 10-cup-capacity Bundt pan (or two 8- or 9-inch loaf pans). Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In microwave oven or double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate. Let cool.

2. Put espresso and cocoa powders in a 2-cup (or larger) glass measuring cup. Add enough boiling water to come up to the 1 cup measuring line. Mix until powders dissolve. Add whiskey and salt; let cool.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, baking soda and melted chocolate, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.

4. On low speed, beat in a third of the whiskey mixture. When liquid is absorbed, beat in 1 cup flour. Repeat additions, ending with whiskey mixture. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes for Bundt pan (loaf pans will take less time, start checking them after 55 minutes).

5. Transfer cake to a rack. Unmold after 15 minutes and sprinkle warm cake with more whiskey. Let cool before serving, garnished with confectioners’ sugar if you like.



Cappuccino & Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules *
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely grated
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Prepare yellow cake mix as directed on package. In a small bowl, combine instant coffee and 2 teaspoons hot water. Stir until coffee is fully dissolved and add to the cake batter along with the 4 ounces chopped chocolate. Stir to combine.
  2. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pans 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Set a large bowl over (not in) a pot of barely simmering water. Add sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar and whisk constantly until mixture is frothy and sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and transfer to an electric mixer. Beat on medium until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Then increase the speed to high and beat until whites form medium-stiff, glossy peaks, about 3 minutes. Transfer frosting to a piping bag or large zip-top bag with the tip cut off. Frost cupcakes and sprinkle finely grated chocolate on top.


Fudgiest Espresso Cashew Brownies


serves makes one 8- by 8-inch pan, active time 20 minutes, total time 45 minutes

  • 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews, chopped


  1. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom and two sides of an 8- by 8- inch baking pan with foil, allowing edges to overhang the sides. Grease the pan.
  2. In a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, heat butter, chocolate, espresso powder, and salt until melted and smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Whisk in sugars until combined. Add eggs, one by one, whisking well after each addition. Add vanilla and mixture for one minute.
  4. Add flour to chocolate and whisk until combined and mixture is smooth and glossy (see note). Stir in cashews. Spread into pan and bake until just set and top is crusty, about 25 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool before cutting into squares.


Fudgy Chocolate Pretzel Cake


serves Makes one 9-inch cake, active time 45 minutes, total time 1 1/2 hours

For the cake:

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups hot coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (4 1/2 ounces) cocoa (see note above)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder


For the frosting:

  • 13 tablespoons (6 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 7 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 ounces pretzel knots, crushed, divided


  1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.
  2. Place chocolate in a large bowl and pour coffee over. Whisk until melted and then cool briefly. Whisk in brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, eggs, oil, sour cream, and vanilla until combined.
  3. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking power in a medium bowl. Whisk into wet mixture until smooth. Evenly divide batter between pans and bake until just set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans for 30 minutes, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
  4. For the frosting: Mix butter, chocolate, sour cream, cocoa, and vanilla in mixer with paddle on low speed until combined. Add sugar and mix until just combined. Increase speed to medium and beat until creamy, about 1 minute. If frosting is too soft to spread onto cake, chill briefly until thickened.
  5. Place one cake on serving plate and spread with about 2/3 cup frosting. Sprinkle almost half of the crushed pretzels on the frosting and then place the second cake on top (rounded side up). Use remaining frosting to ice top and sides of cake. Sprinkle remaining pretzels on top.


Mocha Wacky Cake


serves serves 9, active time 5 minutes, total time 3 hours

  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (2 ounces) cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350&degF. Grease 9- by 9-inch cake pan with butter.
  2. Place flour, cocoa, brown sugar, granulated sugar, instant coffee, baking soda, and salt in pan. Stir until completely combined. Make a 4-inch crater in the center of the flour mixture.
  3. Pour the oil, vinegar, and flour mixture into the crater. Stir to completely combine (there still may be a few small lumps). Wipe inside edge of extra flour/batter.
  4. Bake until center is just firm, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.



Chocolate Coffee Milkshake

3 scoops chocolate ice cream
Chocolate syrup to taste
1/2 cup coffee-flavored liqueur
1/2 cup cold coffee
Whipped cream
Instant coffee powder

  • Combine ice cream, liqueur and cold coffee in a blender.
  • Blend 30 seconds.
  • Pour in a tall, chilled glass.
  • Top with whipped cream
  • Apply chocolate syrup and coffee powder to your milkshake.

Makes 3 Serving


Chocolate Stout Cake

1 cup stout such as Guinness
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
6 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules

Cake prep:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Butter or spray a bundt pan well; make sure you get in all of the nooks and crannies.
  • Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth.
  • Cool slightly.
  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend.
  • Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
  • Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine.
  • Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed.
  • Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  • Transfer cake to rack; cool completely in the pan, then turn cake out onto rack for drizzling ganache.


  • For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
  • Drizzle over the top of cooled cake.