Who can go past a boozy dessert? Seriously, a little alcohol is enough to make any treat taste a thousand times better. Sure, much of the alcohol burns off during baking, but you’re still left with an amazing texture and flavor profile. This is why alcohol cake infusions are often so much better than their non-boozy cousins.
The idea should be obvious from the name alone. We’re simply talking about with alcohol. What could be better than that? These cakes could be perfect for a 21st birthday party or for when you need a manly cake. Although, let’s be honest, these cakes could be perfect for any occasion (or no occasion at all).
For this list, we’ve included as many styles and flavor combinations as we could find. This includes the ever-classic rum bundt cakes, to more unconventional options, like a gin and tonic cake and a champagne cake. Many of these recipes use alcohol as an ingredient in the cake itself. Some use it in a glaze instead, while others include the alcohol in both places, which makes the flavors even more intense.
What’s your favorite?
P.S. If these cakes aren’t enough, check out our list of unique desserts. These follow a variety of styles and are all delicious (albeit strange).
Delicious Alcohol Cake Infusions
Authentic Black Forest Cake
Let’s begin this list with a classic. The Black Forest cake is a traditional German dessert that relies on plenty of chocolate, fresh juicy cherries, and Kirsch syrup.
The Kirsch is the interesting part. This is a cherry liquor that gives the cake an alcoholic hit and contributes to its unique flavor.
Don’t worry if you can’t find Kirsch or don’t want to buy it. This recipe from bakinglikeachef.com can be just as easily made with any type of fruit-based brandy or perhaps rum. Those spirits still give you an exceptional cake that’s perfect for any occasion.
Sticky Orange, Chilli, And Vodka Cake
Lorraine from notquitenigella.com shows that alcohol-based cakes don’t need to rely on chocolate. Instead, this recipe focuses on a combination of bright citrus flavors and some chili peppers.
Now, citrus, chili, and vodka don’t sound like they should work within the same cake, yet somehow they do. Orange ends up being the dominant flavor, although you still get nuances from the chilis and even from the vodka.
The cake is actually more exciting than it first sounds, as it uses a double hit of alcohol. In particular, there’s a quarter cup of dessert wine in the mix too, along with the vodka.
There are plenty of tequila and lime flavors in the recipe, complemented by vanilla extract to create a well rounded and tasty treat. We’re not just talking about a couple of tablespoons of tequila either. The recipe actually uses a full half cup of tequila. This noticeably boosts the flavor and creates a fantastic dessert.
Chocolate Whiskey Cake With Salted Caramel Buttercream
Doesn’t this cake look simply amazing? It comes from Amanda at scarlatifamilykitchen.com and includes flavors of coffee, whiskey, salted caramel, and chocolate. It’s tough to imagine a more decadent flavor profile.
We’re also talking about a layered cake, with rich dark layers sandwiched by salted caramel buttercream. While the layers take a bit of effort to get together, the finished cake is completely worth it.
Amanda also provides some details about how you can tweak the cake. This includes making a single layer version or a bundt cake instead of the complex layered one. You could even try your hand at cupcakes.
Rum seems to be the most common spirit featured in cake recipes, making treats like this incredibly common. Still, the recipe from averiecooks.com is exceptional. It features a double dose of the spirit, which helps the rum’s flavor to really pop.
Averie mentions that she had a bad experience with rum cake in the past, where the cake was surprisingly dry and the rum flavor barely noticeable. Her recipe is an attempt to balance those issues.
Averie’s cake certainly lives up to her goals. The rum flavor shines through, while the cake also ends up very moist. It’s also a surprisingly balanced treat, so it still tastes like cake, despite the rum flavor.
White Wine Cake With White Wine Buttercream
We’ve talked about plenty of spirits, but what about using wine in cake? This recipe, from iambaker.net, is a fantastic example of the style. It’s a white cake topped with white wine buttercream and plenty of strawberries covered in white chocolate.
The white wine is actually infused in the buttercream for this recipe, rather than the cake itself. That style works extremely well, enhancing the contrast between the cake and the icing.
There’s also the visual style of this cake. Amanda provides instructions for creating a version that looks exactly like the one pictured. This would be fantastic for celebrations, such as for an anniversary.
Tequila Sunrise Cake
There’s something genius about trying to put a tequila sunrise in the form of a cake. The recipe uses pomegranate juice, orange juice, and tequila to provide many of the flavors of a tequila sunrise cocktail.
The cake doesn’t just taste amazing either. It also looks beautiful and remains moist throughout. You can find full instructions over at bakedbyanintrovert.com, including details about how to get the pictured color contrast.
As for the tequila, you can use any expression that you enjoy the flavor of. Tequila is just one of many flavors in the cake, so it shouldn’t make a dramatic difference to the final product.
This cake comes from sallysbakingaddiction.com and proves that liqueurs work well in alcoholic cakes. The recipe relies on Amaretto, which provides a distinct almond flavor.
The Amaretto is complemented by almonds and almond extract, which heighten the almond flavor. Of course, there are other flavors too, including vanilla extract and chocolate chips. These complement the almonds and create an even tastier dessert.
Granny’s Boozy Raffaello Cake
Here’s another delightful recipe to try. It comes from cinnamonandcoriander.com and uses advocaat liqueur as the alcohol of choice. Advocaat is the perfect ingredient here, as this creamy liqueur includes flavors of vanilla, egg yolks, and sugar – making it ideal for baking.
That’s not all. The recipe also calls for a soaking liquid that uses a combination of orange juice and amaretto, rum, or more advocaat. This soaking liquid is a fantastic way to add moisture and flavor to the cake, while making it even boozier.
IPA Sour Loaf Cake
We can’t have a list of alcohol-based desserts without talking about beer, can we? I found this recipe at devamadeo.com and it’s probably my favorite recipe so far.
It’s another one that relies on a soak to make the cake moist and flavorful. The style is used time and time again, and always works well.
The cake in this recipe is fairly plain, so much of the flavor comes from the beer, plus a few optional pieces of ginger. This means you can easily use your own personal favorite beer. You might even experiment with some really funky IPAs and see how they impact the cake.
Citrus Cake With Tequila-Lime Frosting
Here we are with tequila again. The recipe is reminiscent of a margarita, although there are a few distinct flavor notes as well.
This cake would be fun to serve to guests as it doesn’t look like much at all. They might be expecting a plain vanilla cake – right until they tried their first bite.
You can find the full recipe at bakeorbreak.com. It should work well with most types of tequila or perhaps even your favorite mezcal.
Kentucky Bourbon Cake
We can’t forget bourbon, can we? This recipe, from leitesculinaria.com is a great example of just how well bourbon works as part of a cake recipe.
The cake is more ambitious with alcohol than many others, as bourbon features in the cake itself and also as part of the glaze. As a result, bourbon is one of the main flavors of the cake and the thing that stands out the most.
The prominence of the bourbon means you need to choose your product carefully. A low quality bourbon would be a bad idea here, as it would make your whole cake taste odd. Choose a bourbon that you love instead, ideally one you enjoy sipping on its own.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Here’s a fun cake to try. While the recipe comes from ilovegin.com, it actually relies on Jawbox Pineapple & Ginger Liqueur as the alcoholic ingredient. Still, you could easily use a different fruity liqueur or even regular gin if you prefer.
Rum could be a good choice too. After all, rum works well in many recipes and is often paired with pineapple to create tropical treats.
The cake itself is fairly simple to make. This makes it perfect if you need an easy treat for a last-minute party or some other event.
Orange Rosé Wine Cake Soak
Here’s an exciting cake to try. It comes from wellplated.com and features rosé as the alcohol of choice. The recipe involves making a rosé reduction, which helps to enhance the flavors of the rose and make them even more noticeable.
This isn’t your usual recipe either, as it focuses on making a cake soak, rather than a whole cake. You can then pour this over any number of mild flavored cakes. This is a great way to make simple cakes much more interesting, including ones made using a boxed cake mix.
Guinness Chocolate Cake
We already talked about IPA in a cake, but what about using Guinness instead? Guinness can be an even better choice, as it’s a rich and intense beer.
This recipe, from sugargeekshow.com, takes advantage of the intensity of Guinness and pairs the beer with chocolate. Doing so creates an incredibly rich and moist cake. Then there’s a white chocolate ganache to top the whole thing off.
I love the contrast between the dark brown cake and the white chocolate icing.
Bananas Foster Cheesecake
If you love bananas foster, why not include the same flavors in a cheesecake? That’s exactly what this recipe from spicysouthernkitchen.com aims to do.
The recipe itself has three parts – the crust, the filling, and the extravagant topping. While the cheesecake does take a bit of effort to pull off, it’s worth every last second.
You could just make the cheesecake portion of this dessert, which would taste amazing on its own. But, the decadent topping really makes the whole thing better. It contains dark rum as well, so you’re getting some rich flavor notes (spiced rum would work pretty well too).
Baileys Irish Cream Chocolate Cake
Baileys Irish Cream makes for a pretty decadent dessert in its own right. Add the liqueur to a cake and you have something truly divine.
We’re not just talking about any type of cake either. Amy from chewoutloud.com offers a delicious two-layer Baileys Irish Cream chocolate cake, complete with whipped cream frosting.
The ingredients selection means that this isn’t just a delicious cake. It’s also a moist one. That’s an important feature, as far too many cakes end up being extremely dry.
Blackberry Red Wine Chocolate Cake
Here’s a beautiful cake that comes from loveandoliveoil.com. It offers three decadent chocolatey layers, coupled with vanilla frosting and a rich chocolate glaze.
The blackberry flavor comes from the use of blackberry wine and blackberry preserves. However, the blackberry wine isn’t essential. You can easily replace it with red wine.
Pina Colada Cupcakes
Okay, so these are cupcakes rather than a full cake, but they’re too good to pass up. The recipe comes from gimmesomeoven.com and includes all the classic flavors of a pina colada.
As such, there’s a touch of rum included in the recipe, along with cream of coconut and fresh pineapple. You could easily experiment with the size as well. This might involve making mini cupcakes instead of regular sized ones or even experimenting with a full cake.
Amanda at cookienameddesire.com offers this wonderful rosé cake recipe, which would be perfect for large and small celebrations. It’s an impressive cake, complete with rosé buttercream, raspberry drip, and rosé syrup.
The different layers make this cake a little complex to prepare. Still, it should be worth every last minute of effort – especially if you’re hoping to impress someone.
One final note is that this recipe relies on sparkling rosé, but could probably be made using still rosé instead. You’re reducing the wine anyway, so the presence or absence of bubbles shouldn’t make much of a difference.
Honey Whiskey Mini Bundts
Aren’t these mini cakes cute? They come from foodlustpeoplelove.com and would be great as a party favor. Besides, the combination of honey and whiskey is always amazing, so you know the baby cakes will be an instant hit.
This is also a pretty potent recipe, as it includes bourbon in the cake itself and also in the syrup. What could be more decadent than that?
Layered Mocha Torte
I love this recipe from thechiappas.com. The cake uses sponge finger biscuits, instant coffee, and cream as key ingredients. There are even two types of alcohol present – brandy and amaretto.
The amaretto provides a rich almond flavor to the cake, which pairs excellently with the coffee and the brandy. Using almonds along the outside of the cake is a nice touch too, making the whole thing look even more interesting.
Triple Infused Chocolate Beer Cake
This cake doesn’t have the same visual flair as some of the previous entries, but it should be just as delicious and flavorful. It relies on dark beer, like Guinness, which naturally complements the chocolate.
Leslie mentions that you can experiment with the beer, particularly as it only has a subtle effect on the final flavor profile. This means you might even be able to use something like an IPA. You can find all the details over at playdatesparties.com, along with plenty of photos to guide you.
Blackberry And Gin Cake
This recipe comes from cupfulofkale.com and is seriously beautiful. It’s a blackberry sponge cake, with plenty of vanilla, plus gin to balance the flavor profile.
Gin isn’t an incredibly common spirit in cakes, which is a shame, as it works very well. You’ll get some fantastic herbaceous notes from the gin, which act as an excellent contrast to the sweetness of the cake.
Interestingly, this is also a vegan cake. This makes it perfect for vegans and for anyone who can’t tolerate lactose. While the cake looks a touch complicated, the recipe provides plenty of images and specific directions. Even beginners should be able to make it without a problem.
Rum And Coke Cupcakes
Here too we have some absolutely amazing cupcakes. These ones come from Willow at willcookforfriends.com and they’ve been themed around Kraken Black Spiced Rum (which should be obvious from the image).
Of course, you don’t need to stick with this particular brand of rum. Other types will still taste fantastic. You just might need to adjust the amount of coke to account for the level of bitterness in your rum
Perhaps the most impressive thing is that these cupcakes really do include coke as an ingredient. This makes them taste much like a delicious chocolate rum and coke.
Passion Fruit, Coconut, And Tequila Layer Cake
Here’s a fantastic cake for impressing guests. It features unexpected combination of flavors, including vanilla, coconut, tequila, and passionfruit. These flavors complement each other exceptionally well. The passionfruit is particularly true, as this is an underused fruit.
I won’t like, this is a pretty complex cake. There are multiple layers to work with and a few tricky steps. Thankfully, the recipe at cherrybombe.com, provide detailed descriptions for every single step, so you’ll always know what to do next.
Chocolate Rum Cake With A Kick
What could be a more perfect pairing than chocolate and rum? The flavors of rum naturally complement chocolate, especially if you go with spiced rum.
However, the rum isn’t why this recipe comes ‘with a kick’. That kick is a reference to the use of cayenne pepper powder.
The instructions don’t call for much cayenne pepper, so the cake doesn’t end up being exceedingly spicy. Instead, the cayenne just provides extra complexity to the flavor profile. You can find all the details needed over at iscreamforbuttercream.com. There’s even a video to guide you.
Gin And Tonic Lemon Drizzle Cake
What could be better than gin and tonic in a glass? Well, a gin and tonic cake comes pretty close. This recipe from larderlove.com follows that style and gives you an amazing looking cake that shouldn’t be too difficult to prepare.
The recipe actually gives you a pretty small cake – just six to eight slices. But honestly, this isn’t a bad thing. Many cakes are far too large and leave you with leftovers for days. While leftover cake is delicious, it’s not that great for your waistline, so sometimes small cakes work much better.
Coffee And Vodka Cake
If you love layered cakes, this is the recipe for you. It relies on syrup made from strong coffee, sugar, and vodka, which creates a fantastic flavor profile.
The cake itself is surprisingly straightforward, using common pantry ingredients and relatively few steps. All the details can be found at ricardocuisine.com, along with links to many other delicious recipes.
Chocolate Gin Cake
Here’s another cake that relies on gin. This one’s a bit different though, as it comes from onesarcasticbaker.com and features chocolate and coffee as key flavors.
Chocolate and coffee aren’t paired with gin very often, but the combination is exceptional in this cake. You also end up with a very moist treat that’s also easy to prepare.
Also, while this is pictured as a loaf cake, you can easily bake it in a different type of pan. Dikla offers a few suggestions as part of her recipe. You could even create multiple small cakes and use them as gifts.
Raspberry Brandy Trifle
This recipe is a fantastic American version of an English classic, featuring brandy as one of the main ingredients. There’s plenty of fresh fruit and raspberry jam to provide flavor contrast.
You can find everything you need for this treat at todayscreativeideas.com. Why not try making this for your next party? It’s not a particularly difficult recipe and should taste delicious.
If you love citrus, why not use limoncello as a key ingredient in your cake? That’s exactly what happens with this recipe from momintimeout.com. The limoncello boosts the lemon flavor of the cake and the glaze, making both elements taste much better.
If you don’t have limoncello on hand, you could try using lemon vodka instead. After all, vodka is often used in cooking and lemon vodka still has a distinct lemon flavor.
Whipped Vodka S’Mores Cake
I love this cake (from mainespirits.com), partly because it follows a completely different style than normal. You are basically taking s’mores then turning them an entire cake – one that uses marshmallow vodka as a key ingredient.
The idea is unusual, yet it really does work. It’s also a nice way to enjoy s’mores when you don’t have a fire going.
Baileys Irish Cream Cake
A Baileys Irish Cream cake seems like it should be dark and chocolatey, but that’s not the case here at all. In fact, the recipe uses boxed yellow cake as one of the base ingredients.
Relying on boxed cake mix might seem like cheating, but honestly, why not? Sometimes it’s nice to have a simple recipe to follow, one that doesn’t require a large number of extra ingredients.
Also, I suspect that the flavors of Baileys Irish Cream work well with yellow cake. You can find the recipe and instructions at noblepig.com, along with images to guide you.
Salted Caramel Brownie Ice Cream Cake
When done well, ice cream cake is a stunning treat. This recipe (from readyseteat.com) shows how the traditional ice cream cake idea can be made so much better.
The cake features two delicious brownie layers that sandwich the ice cream. There’s caramel vodka for the alcohol element, plus delicious caramel sauce to make everything taste better.
Grandma’s Old Fashioned Whiskey Cake
This recipe can be found at theseasonedmom.com and is an exceptional choice for beginners. It even relies on boxed cake mix and vanilla pudding, so much of the work is done for you.
The cake differs from others on this list as the alcohol flavor isn’t particularly strong. Blair focused on keeping the alcohol content low. You can still taste the whiskey, but this won’t drown out the other flavors of your cake.
The end result is a moist cake that’s pretty foolproof. You can also make it with pretty much any type of whiskey. So, go ahead and choose your favorite whiskey expression.
Pink Champagne Cake
This light pink delight comes from thesuburbansoapbox.com. It’s basically a vanilla cake that’s been infused with pink champagne (i.e. sparking rosé), then has a pink topping with even more of the bubbly.
The approach creates a light cake with nuanced flavors. It would be a fantastic cake for any pink-themed occasion or perhaps just as a treat for yourself.
Grand Marnier Orange Bundt Cake
We’ve featured a few bundt cakes on this list already, but it was impossible to go past this recipe. It comes from abeautifulplate.com and stands out due to the use of Grand Marnier.
The liqueur highlights the orange zest throughout the cake, making the whole thing taste stunning. Plus, you’re using Grand Marnier as part of an orange juice and simple syrup glaze. This glaze helps to keep the cake moist and gives it an amazing texture.