Chocolate Cake with Irish Whiskey Cream Frosting

I haven’t an ounce of Irish blood in me, or at least I don’t think so. 

Irish dishes seldom appeal to me, but for whatever reason, I feel it necessary to at least acknowledge St. Patrick’s Day with some sort of appropriate recipe.

I’ve always enjoyed Fine Cooking magazine. Recently, the publisher sent me an email that featured a Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake. Technically, the icing — not the cake — features a bit o’ Jameson.

I liked the concept but made adaptations. Instead of trying to convert their cake to gluten-free I used the chocolate cake recipe from my book, No Sacrifices, Entertaining Gluten-Free. I also adapted the icing from of another recipe in my book.

The curls that decorate the top make it more festive. Again, I adapted them. Instead of curls, I made bark — so much easier. 

One note of caution: Jameson Irish Whiskey qualifies as gluten-free because of the distillery process, making it safe for a celiac sufferer. However, everyone reacts differently to gluten, so advise your guests that the dessert contains whiskey.

Ingredients: Serves 12-14

Chocolate Layer Cake
Make sure you measure all the ingredients and bring the buttermilk and eggs to room temperature before starting. Batters made with room temperature ingredients blend more evenly. The cake doesn’t have to be cut into four layers; I just like the look.

2 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend, plus extra for the pans 
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
Whiskey Cream Frosting (recipe follows)
Chocolate Curls (recipe follows)

Whiskey Cream Frosting
1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup sugar
¼ cup Irish whiskey (maybe Jameson – add more after tasting)
1 tablespoon instant coffee

Chocolate Bark
Vegetable oil cooking spray
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate




Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. 

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the flour blend, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt on low speed until thoroughly combined. Add the water, buttermilk, vegetable oil and coffee and beat to incorporate. Add the eggs one at a time. Increase the speed to medium-high, and beat for 2 to 3 more minutes. 

Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake layer comes out cleanly — about 35 minutes. Let cool completely, at least 2 hours. 

Cut each cake in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a platter, top with a spoonful of frosting, and spread it to the edges. Stack the next cake layer on top and repeat frosting and stacking. Use any remaining frosting to finish the top of the cake.

Decorate with chocolate curls. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Make It Ahead: Wrap the cooled, unfrosted cake layers in plastic wrap, place in a re-sealable plastic bag, and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to a month. Thaw before frosting.

The dessert features four layers each of cake and frosting.

The dessert features four layers each of cake and frosting.


Dissolve the coffee in the whiskey. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, begin beating the mascarpone cheese using the low speed. Add the cream and blend completely. Then add the sugar and whiskey/coffee mixture. Once all have blended, increase the speed to medium high. Beat until soft peaks form.


Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Break the chocolate into pieces. Heat in a double boiler until half of the chocolate melts. Remove from the heat until the remainder of chocolate has melted. Pour onto the baking sheet and spread evenly over the paper. Refrigerate until firm and then roll the paper and break into pieces.