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Chocolate Whiskey Buttermilk Cake with Praline Topping

Makes 8-10 servings


For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup whiskey

For the frosting:

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 6 ounce bar bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter softened

For the praline:

  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp whiskey
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans


To make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour an 8 inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • In a heavy saucepan melt the butter with the cocoa and water over medium heat. Let cool slightly.
  • In a medium bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and whiskey.
  • Whisk the cocoa mixture into the buttermilk until smooth.
  • Add half of the flour mixture, whisk until smooth, then stir in the rest of the flour mixture.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 25 to 40 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting:

  • Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until just boiling.
  • Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and butter.
  • Let stand until mostly melted, then stir.
  • Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, until spreadable. Place the cake on a serving platter and frost the top and sides. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

To make the praline:

  • In a heavy saucepan stir the brown sugar, cream, and butter over medium high heat until the butter melts.
  • Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute without stirring.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar and whiskey.
  • Stir in the pecans and immediately pour over the top of the cake, spreading to the edges.
  • Slice and serve warm or at room temperature (try to not eat it all in one sitting!).


Recipe from Southern Cooking for Company by Nicki P. Wood