This chocolate layer cake has a gorgeous kick of bourbon and is layered with a light and refreshing blackberry swiss meringue buttercream.
This is my favorite celebration cake! The layers of rich bourbon chocolate cake are such a treat, and the blackberry frosting is so light, airy, and refreshing. The combination turns this cake into a beautiful purple showstopper.
Key ingredients for this recipe:
- All-purpose flour: this is what gives the cake its structure.
- Cocoa powder: this recipe uses cocoa powder to provide the chocolate flavor; you can use Dutch process or regular. However, Dutch process cocoa will always provide a deeper flavor.
- Hot coffee: if you have never made a chocolate dessert with instant espresso powder or coffee, you need to do this ASAP! The espresso really brings out the flavor in the chocolate and is the secret ingredient in the best chocolate cookies and cakes!
- Sugar: Sugar is what makes this cake and buttercream sweet. However, there's not too much; I'm not a fan of overly sweet things.
- Baking soda and baking powder: These are the leaveners in this recipe, and along with the eggs, they help the cake to rise.
- Salt: Salt is the ultimate flavor enhancer, and fun fact, if you ever want a dessert to be sweeter, a lot of times, it means you need to up the salt and not the sugar.
- Buttermilk: buttermilk provides moisture and a bit of tang to the cake.
- Canola oil: oil is the fat used in this recipe. Using oil instead of butter helps to ensure a really moist cake.
- Bourbon: this ingredient provides a lot of depth of flavor to the cake; don't skip it!
- Eggs and egg whites - The eggs in this recipe work double-time to act as a binding agent for all the ingredients, but they also help the cake to rise. The egg whites also help to create a light and merengue like buttercream.
- Vanilla extract and almond extract: in addition to the sugar, the extracts provide sweetness and flavor.
- Butter: Butter is the key binding ingredient in the buttercream it; with the egg whites, make a fluffy supper frosting.
- Fresh blackberries: fresh blackberries are what make the blackberry buttercream so fresh, tasing.
Tips and tricks for making this recipe:
- This cake is so easy to make! Just whisk the dry ingredients together, and then combine with the wet, and then pour the batter into greased and parchment-lined 9-inch cake pans and bake!
- The buttercream is a bit more difficult just because it can be a bit temperamental.
- For successful swiss meringue buttercream with fresh fruit, make sure your heat-proof bowl is completely dry to start.
- If you don't have a candy thermometer, keep testing the egg and sugar mixture until all the sugar granules have dissolved.
- Whisk until you have very stiff peaks; this is the step when you build up a lot of the structure. Once the berries get added, the buttercream will turn to soup if it's not thoroughly whipped.
- Add the butter and thoroughly whisk until it reaches stiff peaks again.
- Add the blackberry puree. If it starts to et soupy, chill it in the refrigerator for 30 min, and it should stiffen up.
This cake will keep in the refrigerator for two days.
Using oil instead of butter and buttermilk helps to make this a super moist cake.