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Bourbon Chocolate Cake

Scott Phillips

Servings: eight to ten.

This mousse-like cake really does melt in your mouth. It can be baked up to a day before serving and stored lightly wrapped at room temperature. If you don’t have a 9×3-inch round cake pan, use a 9×2-inch pan (a standard size sold in supermarkets) and construct a parchment collar so the cake has room to rise. For this cake, it’s worth splurging on the best chocolate you can buy. We like Callebaut.


  • 11 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 oz. (12 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 oz. (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

For serving:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on ten servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 510
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 310
  • Fat (g): 35
  • Saturated Fat (g): 21
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11
  • Cholesterol (mg): 200
  • Sodium (mg): 320
  • Carbohydrates (g): 41
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 6


  • Position an oven rack on the middle rung and heat the oven to 350°F.
  • Butter a 9×3-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment and butter the parchment. Set the cake pan in a roasting pan large enough to accommodate it.
  • Melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  • With an electric mixer (a stand mixer with the whip attachment or a hand mixer), beat the egg yolks with the brown sugar on medium speed until very pale, thick, and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed, add the chocolate mixture, and mix just to combine. Add the flour, mixing just to combine and scraping the bowl as needed. Blend in the bourbon and vanilla. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • In a clean mixing bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt on high speed until they hold soft peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then gently fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  • Set the roasting pan on the oven rack and add enough warm tap water to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the top feels set, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the cake pan from the water bath and run a paring knife around the inside of the pan (or the inside of the parchment collar) to loosen the cake and then let the cake cool completely in the cake pan on a rack. When the cake is completely cool, loosen the sides once more with a paring knife. Cover the cake with a serving plate and invert the cake onto the plate. The bottom of the cake is now the top. Peel off the parchment. (Don’t worry if the surface looks a little ragged; you’ll be dusting with confectioners’ sugar).
  • To serve: In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, beat the cream and sugar to medium-soft peaks. Dust the top of the cake generously with confectioners’ sugar, slice, and serve each slice with the whipped cream.


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Reviews (8 reviews)

  • MissTrish | 07/10/2020

    Stellar! The recipe calls for 11 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, but I had (almost) 6 ounces of 70% cacao bittesweet Guittard baking bars and a bag of 60% bittersweet Ghirardelli baking chips, so combined those. The result was dark, moist, and rich, almost pudding-like. Together with the whipped cream, it made my dark-chocolate lover swoon. Another said it would be better with vanilla ice cream, but we didn't have any. It seemed to set at 45 minutes per the recipe, but I'd read comments about it falling, so I gave it another five minutes. It came out perfect, no fallen center.

  • User avater
    italianrose987 | 03/03/2019

    Delicious and rich chocolate cake. Definitely worth to splurge on good chocolate! The recipe is a little complicated for your simple baking day, but it was written perfectly!

    I added 1cup chopped mixed nuts to mine and we really enjoyed it. It seemed to lighten the richness of the chocolate slightly and added a complementary flavor.

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