This cake is a take off from one I found in a new cookbook called Booze Cakes. All the cakes in this easy-to-read book contain various amounts of booze and are rated by a “booze meter” that indicates how boozy the cake will taste.

The cake I picked out is called a Black Jack Praline Cake with Jack Daniels whiskey and pecans. I had really high hopes for this cake but it didn’t quite fulfill all my expectations. I like my loaf cakes to be really moist, flavorful and to taste good the next day.

This cake was okay but lacked in the flavor department, it had a very prominent sweet potato flavor with minimal spices and was actually kinda dry the next day. Maybe I’ll fool around with it some more and see what I can come up, or maybe you can and let me know what your results were?


Here is my version of the recipe (I used walnuts instead of pecans and Maker’s Mark Whiskey instead of JD, also added salt to the cake and praline topping):

Brown Sugar Maker’s Mark Cake (adapted from the Black Jack Praline Cake)

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 tablespoon mild molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned sweet potato/yam puree
1/4 cup Maker’s Mark Whiskey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Walnut Praline Topping:
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon mild molasses
1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Maker’s Mark Whiskey
1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted

Buttery Whiskey Sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Maker’s Mark Whiskey

Start by toasting all the walnuts (around 2 1/2 cups total nuts) in the oven as you preheat it to 350 degrees. Set toasted nuts aside to cool, then chop. Spray a 9 inch loaf pan with Pam for Baking and set aside.

Cake: In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together both sugars and butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs and molasses.

Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined. Mix in sweet potato puree, whiskey, spices and nuts.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.

Walnut Praline Topping: In a saucepan combine sugar, molasses, salt , flour, butter and 1 tablespoon of water. Cook over low heat, stirring until combined.

Let come to a light simmer then add the nuts and mix well. Set topping aside to cool.

Buttery Whiskey Sauce: In a saucepan over low heat combine all the ingredients and stir until mixture comes to a low boil. Keep the sauce warm over low heat until the cake is finished baking.

Remove cake from oven and while still warm, poke a few holes over the top with toothpick and carefully pour the warm Buttery Whiskey Sauce over the top.

Let the sauce sink in then repeat. When the cake and pan are cool enough to handle, invert cake out onto serving platter and top with the Walnut Praline and the rest of the Buttery Whiskey Sauce.

If I try this recipe again I think I might use pumpkin puree instead of yams and a lot more spices, including some freshly ground black pepper…

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