Irish Cream Cake

A luscious ganache paired with a cake that tastes magically like a chocolate chip cookie (thank you brown sugar!) # 201: Irish Cream Cake

You know when you read a really exciting recipe but it’s the totally wrong season for it? Yup, that was me in June, re-reading Crave by Martha Collison for comfort and drooling over rich wintery cakes. But guess what? It’s now the perfect time of year for decadent Irish cream and ganache tower with Art Deco pretzels!

It reminds me a bit of reindeer antlers too, don’t you think? I’m listening to the Pentatonix Christmas album, so maybe I’m just feeling a little extra festive.

I’m not a huge fan of creamy alcoholic drinks (don’t @ me, eggnog people.) Homemade Irish cream however, is a rare exception to that rule. Creamy and sweet with a whiskey kick in the aftertaste? Count me in. It’s also a great way to use up some not-so-great whiskey we’ve had hanging out on our bar cart for far too long.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen (surprise, surprise) and it couldn’t have been easier. It was so easy in fact that I didn’t realize how much it would make until I was halfway done. Here I was expecting a pint or so, and bam, a whole quart! Clearly, I only read ahead for dessert recipes. Still, too much Irish cream is not a bad problem to have.

I might just make this cake again to eat plain! Thanks to the brown sugar, it had that irresistible flavor of a chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven.

Have you ever heard that butter batter tongue twister? My mom used to say a version of it but I can never remember the way it goes! Google to the rescue:

“Betty Botter had some butter,
‘But,’ she said, ‘this butter’s bitter.
If I bake this bitter butter,
It would make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter,
That would make my batter better.’ “

Now say that ten times fast. Extra points for an impeccable British accent!

I had to make a tiny cake so there’d be room in my kitchen for the mountain of Christmas cookies I’m planning to make over the next week! These are the planned ones so far:

  • Meringues shaped like Christmas trees – I’ve had this pinned for so many years and I’m finally gonna make them! Debating about using mint flavoring to go with the green, or keeping them classic vanilla . . . hmm.
  • Rainbow cookies (duh)
  • Chewy ginger rye cookies – I bought rye flour on a whim and now I’m trying to get creative to work it into recipes, oops.
  • Linzer cookies – Probably almond cookies with raspberry jam! Though it’s hard to resist a chocolate linzer.
  • Neapolitan amaretti – This recipe makes them look super cute, and I finally have freeze-dried strawberries on hand (never thought that would happen)
  • Sour cream twists – If I have time, these are a must! I might go crazy and mix in some cinnamon this year.

Ganache time! Look at that lovely hunk of chocolate. What a beaut.

After chilling in the fridge, it ended up being a bit too thick for my taste. STILL DELISH but I might add more cream next time.

I want to stare into the depths of this ganache all day every day.

Four teeny layers, all stacked up and nowhere to go. Let’s fix that, shall we?

What do the elves use to clean the sleigh?


The Christmas / pandemic mash-up joke you never knew you needed. You’re welcome!

I may or may not have covered the entire coffee table in pieces of pretzels to make this. No regrets.

Delightful, if I do say so myself.

Happy munching!

Recipe from Crave by Martha Collison

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