Monday, 9 July 2012

Jack Daniels Cake Tutorial

Bailey's 21st birthday party was an explosion of great Southern American food. Everything was there; baked beans, corn on the cob, pulled pork, coleslaw, potatoes, and my favourite: ribs.

Last year for Bailey's birthday I made the esteemed rainbow cake (which I repeated for Faron's birthday - see here) so I wanted to make a tradition of it and attempt another great cake. Running with the theme of the night I looked up how to make cakes in the shape of ribs, corn, etc., but I didn't think I could quite pull it off (and the thought of eating something that looks like ribs but tastes like cake isn't the greatest thing in the world). Then I found it: Jack Daniels, the Southern American liqor. I also thought it was quite fitting due to it being her 21st; a boozy cake is highly necessary! After a bit of searching around I'd found some great Jack Daniels shaped cakes with no recipe/tutorial, or Jack Daniels recipes with no bottle shape. So here it is.. a Jack Daniels Cake Tutorial.

I wanted this cake to be perfect so Faron and I made a pratice cake and glaze to see how it went. I learnt something - Faron is great at carving cakes into shapes! From that I knew exactly how to modify the recipe and to make the perfect JD bottle shaped cake. I also learnt that even though you make a practice cake you might still mess up the real cake. He was a lot better than me!

I got the recipe from the caked crusader and wow, what a great brilliant incredible recipe. This cake is seriously good, I'm warning you now. The glaze and the cake are magical together. I'll write out the recipe again and make a few modifications I found worked better or translations for UK audiences! As I made the cake into a Jack Daniels Bottle shape you will need a square cake pan not a bundt.


1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (pretty much 250g stick with a bit left over for greasing the pan)
1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

- Preheat oven to 325F/160C. Grease a 9x9 inch square cake pan, make sure to do this well otherwise this happens:

- In a large saucepan heat and stir water, whiskey, coffee powder, butter and cocoa until butter melts.
- Remove from heat and beat in sugar
- Cool slightly and whisk in eggs, blending thoroughly 
- In a bowl stir together flour and baking powder
- Beat into chocolate mixture until incorporated
- Turn batter into cake pan
- Bake for 60-75 minutes, until a knife comes out clean
- Immediately sprinkle warm cake with 2 tablespoons of whiskey
- Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack (If you remove it too early the bottom will be extremely soggy)
- Once cooled, turn onto serving dish and sprinkle the top with remaining 1 tablespoon of whiskey


Once cooled you can cut your cake into shape. Start by cutting two sides off to form the body of the bottle.

Next cut off about 1/3 of the bottom of the sides you just cut off and cut them both in half lengthways.

This will form your bottle neck in a good rounded shape where the cake rose in the middle while baking.

Next cut off two small bits to form the cap, they can come from wherever  you have left.

I had a bit of a nightmare during cooking as I started having dinner so forgot about the cake for a bit. It didn't burn but it was dryer than the practice cake especially on the outside - yours shouldn't be this crumbly.


1 1/2 ounces dark cooking chocolate
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons demi-creme/half fat cream/half-and-half
2 tablespoons Jack Daniel’s (depending on if you want to taste the whiskey or not) 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

- Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler/bain-marie then remove from heat
- Add cream, whiskey and vanilla extract to chocolate mixture
- Add in powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency (1 cup was perfect for a glaze - I added 1 1/2 cups to the mixture and it was pretty much frosting instead of glaze as I wanted as in the picture
- Let it sit for 30 minutes to thicken and turn into the brilliant amber colour that looks like proper JD
 - Spoon the glaze over the whole cake, going over it a few times


There are various ways of removing a label from a bottle but many of these would not have worked for me as the bottle was not empty. I put the JD in a bowl of water with around 1 tbsp (not specifically measured) of baking soda/bicarbonate soda for about 40 minutes and I could peel it off easy enough. This doesn't help for getting the sticky residue off but I didn't have time to remove it all. You just need the picture anyhow!

Place the label in the appropriate place on the bottle. It should stay easily due to the glaze/frosting.

For the lid I used a cut out square from the label off the back of the bottle.

Stupidly I left my camera at Bailey's house ready for her party so some of the photos were taken with my little camera - apologies for the low quality.


  1. I can vouch for it's deliciousness :)

  2. LOL! This is cute. My girl will be 21 in September. :( Im gonna have to come up with something cool.

  3. You had me at "Jack Daniels". Scrolling down I doubted your cake but the finished result is awsome!!! Thanks for shairing.