What do you get when you cross an orange bundt cake with an Irish Whiskey cake? A moist, boozy St. Patrick’s Day cake with an aromatic citrus flavor. Make the cake and orange-whiskey syrup the day before serving, so this whiskey dessert can get properly soused.
I love beautiful desserts. Carefully crafted, frosted just so, embellished with dainty filigree… but if I’m honest, I rarely have the patience or temerity to dedicate the hours (days) to make one. No. This orange bundt cake is much more my speed. Rather than focusing on the ooh-la-la garnishes, it’s stoically centered on producing an uber-moist, deeply-flavored, Irish whiskey cake that might look ho-hum, but tastes anything but.
This orange bundt cake was inspired by a Caribbean rum cake recipe from the folks at King Arthur Flour. I love rum cakes that are so soaked with liquor, they practically weep when you cut into them. That’s what their recipe promised and was definitely what I was going for in terms of moistness. Instead of rum, whiskey takes center stage along with fresh orange zest and juice from the orange to mellow the burn of the whiskey. Don’t worry though, this whiskey dessert cooks off the alcohol, so kids can enjoy a slice too.
I used Jameson Irish whiskey in the batter and syrup for this cake. No need to get out the really good stuff — and even if you don’t have any “Irish”on hand, you can substitute another whiskey — don’t worry, it’s gonna be good.
How To Make Irish Whiskey Cake
- About an hour or so before making the cake, take out the butter, milk and eggs to come to room temperature. This is very important, so that everything combines evenly.
- Measure out the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the butter and oil and use a hand mixer to blend until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Next come the eggs and milk. Mix to combine.
- Finally, add in the whiskey, vanilla and orange zest (from 2 oranges) and blend well.
- Pour the orange bundt cake batter into a prepared bundt pan and bake for an hour.
While the cake is cooking, make the orange whiskey syrup.
Ingredients For Syrup
- Orange Juice
How To Make Orange Whiskey Syrup for Orange Bundt Cake
- Add the butter, whiskey, orange juice (from the oranges you zested for the cake batter) and sugar in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally until the sugar melts.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the syrup is reduced and slightly thickened.
Soaking & Serving This St. Patrick’s Day Cake
- Use a wooden skewer to poke holes all over the surface of the orange bundt cake.
- In stages, pour the orange whiskey syrup over the cake. Allow the syrup to seep into the cake before pouring on more syrup. Continue in this manner until all the syrup has been drizzled over the cake.
- Cover the cake with plastic wrap and let sit overnight so that the syrup can completely infuse the cake.
- Note: Do not remove the cake from the pan until the next day!
- The following day, preheat the oven to 350°.
- Remove the plastic wrap and place the cake in the oven.
- Heat the cake for 10 minutes — this is to loosen up the sticky syrup and allow the Irish whiskey cake to naturally release from the bundt pan.
- Turn the cake out onto a serving platter.
- Serve with whipped cream on the side if desired.
Despite its humble appearance, this buttery, rich gateau delivers eye-popping goodness, bite after bite. A perfectly moist whiskey dessert with citrusy orange flavors, it doesn’t need any special frou-frou ornamentation to make it extraordinary. I gravitate towards desserts like this one because they look unassuming, but deliver a “pow” right-in-the-kisser type of experience.
I urge you to try this one for yourself, as a celebratory St. Patrick’s Day cake or as a dessert for your next dinner party or brunch. A skosh of freshly whipped cream and curl of orange peel are the only “frosting” required.
More Whiskey Desserts From My Food Blogger Buddies
From Rhubarbarians: Irish Bomber Car Bomb Pops with a hit of Irish Cream, Guinness and Whiskey — Tricia’s “pops” definitely flirt with “getting bombed“.
Via Diversivore: Sean has a way of oh-my-my-ing everything he makes. Check out this Kumquat Apple Tart with Scotch Whiskey Caramel.
From Basil & Bubbly: You might think Thanksgiving, but one taste of Marianne’s Bourbon Pecan Pie with Blondie Crust and you won’t be beholden to seasonal mandates.
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Soused Irish Whiskey Orange Bundt Cake
FOR THE IRISH WHISKEY ORANGE BUNDT CAKE:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 3.4 ounce box Instant Vanilla Pudding not sugar free
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (one stick) at room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk at room temperature
- 1/2 cup Irish Whiskey (I used Jameson's)
- 2 oranges zested
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- dusting of almond flour optional
FOR THE SOAKING SYRUP:
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup Irish Whiskey
- 1/4 cup orange juice (from one of the oranges you zested)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
FOR THE IRISH WHISKEY ORANGE BUNDT CAKE
- Make sure the oven rack is positioned in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare a 10" bundt pan by spraying liberally with vegetable spray and dusting the interior with almond flour to coat. Tap out the excess crumbs and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and brown sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla pudding, butter and oil. Use a hand mixer (or stand mixer) to blend until well blended and mixture resembles sandy crumbs.
- Beat in the milk and eggs, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula to assure that you're incorporating everything from the bottom and sides. Add the whiskey, vanilla and orange zest and mix well.
- Pour the cake into the prepared bundt pan and bake in the center of the oven for one hour or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. Do not remove the cake from the pan.
FOR THE WHISKEY SYRUP:
- In a small saucepan, combine the butter, orange juice, sugar and whiskey. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to a bubbly simmer and let it cook for 5-8 minutes or until the mixture is thick and syrupy. Remove from heat.
- With the cake still in the cake pan, use a wooden skewer to poke holes all over the cake. Pour the syrup over the cake in 1/4 cup increments, letting it soak in before adding more. Use all of the orange whiskey syrup. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight to distribute the syrup throughout the cake.
TO SERVE IRISH WHISKEY CAKE
- The next day, heat the oven to 350°. Heat the cake for 10 minutes in the oven to heat up the sticky syrup mixture to allow the cake to release from the pan. Invert the cake onto a cake plate. Serve with whipped cream if desired.