St Patrick’s Day will be here soon and I’ve got enough Irish in me to start thinking about a celebration. Not a big party but an opportunity to pay homage to a part of my ancestry (My Dad’s parents were German and Swiss; my Mom’s English and Irish). It’s time again for Progressive Eats and my buddy Liz from the blog That Skinny Chick Can Bake thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share some fantastic Irish dishes if you’re in the mood to try your hand at an Irish celebration too.
Over the years I’ve often made corned beef for dinner but discovered a few years ago that our idea of Irish food for St. Paddy’s day and the Irish idea of food for that day are diametrically opposite. Corned beef is not their standard fare at all; take a peek at the dishes in our list below for a more delicious and authentic experience. Add a cold Guinness too…funny I do not really like beer but I love an ice cold Guinness with a hearty Irish meal; go figure right…they must have known how well it would pair.
I’m bringing a dessert to the table. I posted this cake almost 8 years ago originally and thought this would be the perfect occasion to offer it again. Not only because I wanted to share it with more people but truthfully, the photos were crying for a redo. Irish Coffee itself, in its original form, is quite wonderful and can be served as a dessert libation however I certainly understand the need someone first had to incorporate that deliciousness into wonderful desserts of all kinds.
This ‘Irish Coffee’ Cake first started turning up in Irish cookbooks in the 1960’s and ’70’s. A cake rich with coffee is cooled and liberally soaked in an Irish Coffee syrup that permeates every morsel. Topping this decadence with whipped cream that has been flavored with a touch more whiskey makes for a seriously divine ending to an Irish celebration. No wait. To ANY celebration! I’ve made it several times and no one has ever told me they won’t eat it because I made it in a month other than March. 🙂
I must admit; I struggled this time around. While I’ve been in my home for 3 years now; this is the first time I’ve made this cake here. I am reminded AGAIN that Castle Rock, CO is higher than the elevation I moved from closer to Denver and this cake proved it. At 5280′ feet it really was not that big of a deal; baked goods really just need a bit higher heat to balance their faster rise and I seldom did much more. Yesterday? Round One could have been my own Deflategate. Luckily round two worked with a bit more fiddling; more flour, less sugar, more liquid, less leavening. I’ll get this down eventually, I just know I will. Or die trying!
The cake itself is simple: a delicate one-layer sponge with an intense coffee flavor. But the real kick in this cake comes with the syrup that saturates it — more coffee, naturally with whiskey in it — and then it’s topped with whipping cream flavored with…yes, more whiskey! To finish it all off, it’s sprinkled with that best-loved of Irish native nuts, the hazelnut. I toasted the hazelnuts and can’t imagine them any other way. Be forewarned, this cake is amazing; dense, super saturated with coffee flavor and well, the whiskey…really what is there NOT to love?
My friends and I invite you to join us at our virtual meal, check out the list of dishes after the recipe. And please, let me know if you try something; I think everything sounds amazing, don’t you?
‘Irish Coffee’ Cake
A rich cake made with traditional Irish Coffee ingredients including Coffee, Irish Whiskey and Whipped Cream.
For the Cake
- 2/3 cup butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp instant espresso
- 2 Tbsp hot water
- 2 large eggs, beaten
For the Coffee Syrup
- 3/4 cup strong coffee (I made mine with instant espresso)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey
For the Whipped Cream Topping
- 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
- 2 Tbsp Irish Whiskey
- 1/2 pint (1 cup) heavy cream
- 4 Tbsp chopped, toasted hazelnuts for garnish
Prepare the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter an 8 or 9-inch cake pan, cut a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper to fit the bottom and butter the paper too.
- Cream the butter and sugar well until light and fluffy: then add the eggs one at a time and continue beating after each until the whole mixture becomes very light.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt; at low speed with the mixer fold two thirds of the dry mixture into the creamed butter, sugar and eggs.
- Dissolve the instant coffee in the water and add it to the batter; then fold in the remaining 1/3 of the flour.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan, and smooth the top of the batter, leveling it out.
- Bake for 25-40 minutes depending on the size of your cake pan, until the cake is just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Carefully turn the pan out onto a rack; remove the paper from the bottom and allow to cool. Wash the cake pan and dry carefully; it will be used again.
For the syrup:
- Heat the strong coffee and sugar together gently until the sugar has dissolved then boil rapidly for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Irish whiskey.
- Return the cooled cake to the pan and pour the syrup over it; leave it to soak for 2-3 hours.
For the topping:
- Whip the heavy cream til soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue beating until peaks are stiff.
- Add the Irish whiskey and gently combine.
- Turn the cooled cake out onto a serving plate, decorate with the whipped cream and sprinkle with the chopped/toasted hazelnuts. Chill well before serving.
PLEASE NOTE: All recipes on this site are made to work at sea level; if baking like I do at high altitude, you will have to modify your ingredients slightly per your altitude for good results.
St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
- Smoked Salmon Stuffed Baby Potatoes from The Redhead Baker
- Spinach Feta Rugelach from Mother Would Know
- Hot Cocoa with Baileys and Coconut Whipped Cream (Dairy-Free) from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Spicy Lamb Cobbler from Spice Roots
- Irish Soda Biscuits with Caraway and Thyme from OMG! Yummy
- Bacon and Leek Irish Colcannon (Gluten-Free) from The Heritage Cook
- Cabbage with Bacon and Cream from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
- Key Lime Pie with Graham Cracker Crust from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Irish Whiskey Cake from Creative Culinary (You’re Here!)
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month we’re sharing Irish or Green recipes in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day. You’ll certainly find a delicious recipe to add to your repertoire! Our event is hosted by Liz who blogs at That Skinny Chick Can Bake. We have a full menu of dishes including appetizers, sides, an entree and desserts. You’ll certainly find a delicious recipe to add to your holiday table!
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.