so i learned something.
For the longest time - following one taste and bad experience - I thought I hated whiskey in any and all forms. If asked I'd have said "it alllll tastes like paint thinner!!"
Then my husband and I went to Vegas with my sisters.....and Joe ordered a Jack & Coke.
I wrinkled my nose when he offered, but I tried it anyway.....
It was so good! I 100% expected to hate it, and it's super easy to hate something you'd otherwise be neutral about if you go into it expecting it to be awful.
Kicking around the idea of making a Jack & Coke cake....I was honestly really surprised by the lack of Pinterest pictures/ideas that popped up with a search, and decided I'd go with my frequently-used 'spill cake' design and see how it panned out.
Here it is! 😉
Jack & Coke Cake:
Note - this is a slightly-simplified layer cake recipe from ChelSweets.com - I highly recommend checking out her site if you haven't before; it's amazing!!
3 1/4 c. all purpose flour
3 c. granulated sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 cup unsalted butter (or 2 sticks) room temperature
2 t. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
¼ c Jack Daniels Whiskey
¼ c coca cola (I might let it come to room temperature and get flat; my cake layers sank in the middle and I wonder if that’s part of why.)
1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil
Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
Pour in eggs and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix the Jack and Coke into the buttermilk and pour the mixture into the dry ingredients in two installments, on a low speed. Add in oil and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
Divide batter evenly into pans – I find a kitchen scale helpful to make sure the amount of batter is even. This ensures that your cake layers will bake to the same height.
Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8 inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7 inch cake pans (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.
Once the layers have fully cooled, the caramelized bits can be trimmed from the sides / top of the cake using a serrated knife if desired. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart.
Jack Daniels Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6-7 c powdered sugar
2-3 T Jack Daniels whiskey
1/4 t. salt
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with wine until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add salt and beat until well combined.
White Chocolate Ganache (for drip)
1/3 cup heavy cream (77 grams)
1 cup white chocolate chips (175 grams)
1 squirt brown and black gel food coloring (optional)
- 1 8- or 9-inch cardboard cake circle
- Medium-sized glass or biscuit cutter – to core your cake layers if you’d like 😊
- 2-3 bags Coke gummies
- 1 bag of Glacier mints – they’re not commonly sold in the U.S. as far as I can tell; I bought mine on Amazon.com. I don’t think these jive allllll that well with the taste profile of the cake, but they’re clear and they *look just like ice cubes!!* SO cool 😊
- 1 mini coke can, emptied
- 1 wood skewer
- 1 8- or 9-inch cardboard cake circle
- Cake leveler or large serrated knife, cake turntable, offset spatula, and bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful!
Once your cakes are cool, level them (if needed/desired). This can be done with a cake leveler or a large serrated knife and a ruler.
If desired, use a glass or medium-sized biscuit cutter to remove center from two of the three cake layers. The un-cored one will be your final/top cake layer.
Place a smear of frosting under where the cake layer will be on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cored cake layer in the center of the circle. Spread the layer and the inside of the cored center with frosting and fill the core with Coca Cola gummies and Glacier mints. Repeat the process with your middle cake layer(s) and add the last layer on top.
Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like - a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer 😉
Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place it into the freezer to set the frosting.
Now you're all set to decorate the cake! Take your empty coke can (and an empty Jack Daniels shooter bottle, if you’d like) and press them into the cake upside down at an angle. I used a skewer inside the can to hold it in place, but I honestly don’t think it was necessary. I think it would’ve stayed put in the frosting without the skewer there.
I used a dark-colored white chocolate ganache for this cake – I found my favorite white chocolate ganache recipe so far on ChelSweets.com 😊 I did remove 2 t of whipping cream from the measuring cup and sub in 2 t of Jack Daniels though 😉
I’ve had drip bottles work well for these types of drips before, but my bottles were a little too big for the small amount of ganache I needed for this project. I used about ½ c of ganache for this drip, and the recipe makes a good deal more than that, but it saves well in the fridge for other projects! 😊
Color the ganache a deep coke-brown color – I ended up using a bit of black food coloring as well to get the deep brown shade that I wanted. A word of caution – I was a little too heavy-handed adding the black gel food coloring to my ganache, and it turned a much darker shade of brown/black than I was shooting for. It turned out okay, but it’s a good note. You can always add more; once it’s mixed in you can’t take it out.
Drizzle your ganache at the base of the can with a bottle, piping bag, or a spoon. Allow the glaze to run away from the can and down the side of the cake. It should set fairly quickly if your cake is frozen.
Decorate to your liking – I used a couple more shooter bottles of Jack Daniels, several Coca cola gummies, and Glacier mints. Refrigerate until ready to eat - and enjoy! 😉
Make this recipe? Let me know how it went - or find me on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo! 🙂