Updated: Mar 31
Formerly known as Bourbon Street Bliss, this delectable, rich and elegant formula I've curated is anything but as subpar as Bourbon Street.
Now, don't get me wrong. Bourbon Street is a right of passage for anyone looking to enjoy the French Quarter; however, much like this cake - it's A LOT. To be honest, this cake is named for the alcohol (Bourbon), but also for the blissful mouthful that you'll get when taking in that first bite of this soft and melty recipe. Your eyes will glaze over, taking in the flavor, hoping for more and blacking out from overload. Before you know it, you're balls deep in the throws of your 4th piece and there won't be an end in sight.
Much like Bourbon Street, it is way easy to overindulge here. And, perhaps, that's not such a bad thing every once in a while!
Unlike many recipe posts, I am opting for a short blurb and picture, followed immediately by the formula for this enchanting cake. I won't bore you with a story that's probably not true for the sake of word count or a feeble attempt at making more of this page copyright (did you know that's why a lot of bloggers do that?). The truth is, if you want to take this recipe as your own, nothing is stopping you. But I hope you love me enough to pass my page on to the next person asking for it, and to thoroughly ENJOY! Taking elements of many a blackout cake, I've created the formula I wanted to share and put out in the world.
MAKES: 5 - 6" Layers / 3 - 8" Layers
FORMULA - BLACKOUT CAKE
Unsalted Butter - 3 sticks (348 grams)
Dark beer of your choosing (stout or porter) - 12 ounces
Black Cocoa Powder - 100 grams
Cocoa Powder - 50 grams
Sugar - 450 grams
Brown Sugar - 100 grams
Sour Cream - 240 grams
Large Eggs - 3
Flour - 375 grams
Baking soda - 3/4 tsp
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
FORMULA - BOURBON BLACKOUT BUTTERCREAM
Unsalted butter (room temperature) - 700 grams (give or take, 6 sticks)
Powdered Sugar - 6 - 7.5 cups sifted (to taste and consistency)
Bourbon - 1/4 cup
Black Cocoa Powder - 1/4 - 1/2 cup (to taste)
Salt - 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp (to taste)
FORMULA - BEER GANACHE FILLING
Dark beer of your choosing (stout or porter) - 4 ounces
Semi-Sweet Morsels - 8 ounces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the butter up in to 1 inch blocks and place in a microwave safe bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave and melt the butter for about 1:30.
Take the bowl out carefully and pour in the 12 oz of stout or porter. Whisk for about 30 seconds to combine and flatten the beer a little bit.
Sift the cocoa powders together and add them to the butter/stout mix. Whisk the cocoa powder in to this mixture and set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, combine the white sugar and brown sugar and use the paddle attachment to mix them for about 10 seconds.
Add in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each is combined.
Add in the sour cream and mix for 10 more seconds.
Pour the butter/stout/cocoa mixture in to the mixing bowl slowly and gently increase the speed on your mixer to medium until it's combined thoroughly.
Scrape down the sides and mix on low for another 10 seconds.
In another bowl, sift the flour, salt and baking soda together.
Combine the flour mixture in to the mixing bowl mixture and fold in with a spatula until fully incorporated. There will be small chunks, that is ok! Mix as well as you can.
I use Pam Baking Spray to get my pans PERFECT for quick release. Spray down your pans and divide the batter in to each pan evenly. If you're using 6" pans, you will need 5 pans with roughly 400 grams of batter in each. If you're using 8" pans, you will need 3 pans with roughly 660 grams of batter in each.
Bake on 350 degrees F until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. This will take between 25-30 minutes for 6" pans and 40-50 minutes for 8" pans.
When a toothpick comes out clean, take them out of the oven and cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then flip out on to a wire rack to cool to warm.
Once luke-warm, level each layer and wrap in plastic wrap completely. Freeze layers for decorating.
Put the sticks of butter in to bowl of your stand mixer.
Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of the salt (can add more later to taste) on the butter.
Using a paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 5 minutes on medium - med/high speed.
While that's beating, sift 5 cups of the powdered sugar with 1/4 cup of the black cocoa powder in to a large bowl.
Once the butter is done, add the sifted mixture very slowly to the butter. I would turn the mixer on the lowest setting and add it in by the 1/2 cup full. Scrape down the sides as needed.
Once the sifted mixture is incorporated, add the 1/4 cup bourbon to the mixture and combine.
When the bourbon is fully combined, assess the consistency of the buttercream. Add in sifted powdered sugar by the 1/2 cup full until it is still very creamy, but also can hold a piped swirl on top of a cake and is easy to stir with a spatula. It should be smooth and glossy. There should be no powdered sugar chunks and it shouldn't be hard to run a spatula across it without holding the bowl down.
If you need, add in a bit more salt to taste and sifted black cocoa powder.
Pour the 4 ounces of the beer in a small size saucepan.
Heat the beer on low until it starts to simmer.
While heating, pulse the chocolate in a food processor or bullet blender to break the morsels up a bit. Place them in a small sized heat proof bowl.
Immediately remove the beer once it starts simmering and pour it over the chocolate in the small bowl. Cover with a paper towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.
Once it has sat, take a whisk and mix until combined. Let the ganache set to room temperature before using.
You can alter the richness and cocoa taste of this cake by playing with the ratios of cocoa powder to black cocoa powder. You may also do this with the frosting, as well.
When assembling the cake, I like to take my cake layers out of the freezer about 30 minutes prior to stacking. My buttercream is always room temperature until needed. I make a day ahead. Since there is no cream or milk in my buttercream, it is room temperature safe.
You can use whatever beer and bourbon you wish. For this recipe I have used Walking Tree Brewery (Vero Beach, FL) Oatmeal BabyCakes Stout and Jim Beam Bourbon.
I like to alternate my layer fillings. One layer ganache, the next buttercream, etc.
If you’re just baking for at home and don’t want such a tall cake, I recommend either cutting the recipe in half and using 3 6“ pans and using about 330 grams batter in each OR just making the 3 layer 8” if you want the same amount of cake the recipe calls for.