Bourbon Street Cupcakes

We burned out on cupcakes for a while, but when we received an email from a reader with this recipe, we were instantly back on the cupcake wagon.  This recipe is originally from Modern Domestic, but we haven’t been able to find the source directly.  If anyone has the source, please share it in the comments.


Bourbon Street Cupcakes
½ cup Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 large egg + 2 Large egg yolks
1½ tsp. Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. Bourbon
1½ cups Cake flour, sifted
1 cup Sugar
1½ tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Nutmeg
¼ tsp. Cinnamon
1 stick Unsalted butter, softened


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and bourbon until blended.  Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon until blended.  Add the butter and half of the sour cream mixture and beat on low until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Raise speed to medium and beat for one and a half minutes.  Add the rest of the sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

4. Scoop batter into the cups with an ice cream scoop, filling two-thirds of the way full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cupcakes are light golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing cupcakes from pan and placing on a rack to cool completely. Frost with salted bourbon caramel buttercream.  Sprinkle espresso sugar on top if desired.


These cupcakes are glorious.  They are light and fluffy with little pockets of air throughout the cake so they’re springy.  We used plain nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream; it adds moisture and a very slight tang.  The cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla enhance the bourbon flavor without adding any booziness, while the salted bourbon caramel buttercream adds decadence.  We recommend having a light hand with the frosting, as it can get overwhelming if there is too much.

We cut the recipe shown above in half (so it made six instead of 12), so that’s why the ingredients in the top photo don’t match the recipe quantities.

May 13, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: bourbon nor'easter food cupcakes baking desserts 

16 notes

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Bars

Annie Cardi is a writer who lives in Boston.  Her first novel, Queen of the Airis expected to be released in Spring 2014. Find her on Twitter at @AnnieCardi and on Tumblr at Pale Girl In the City.

As much as I love New England, a little part of me feels like a Southern girl.  How can I resist?  They’ve got Faulkner, bluegrass, the Kentucky Derby, barbeque, and great accents.  Even though I might not be able to pass as a Southern Belle, I can still utilize two great Southern traditions—bourbon and pecans.

Recently we had friends over (including Rachel and Patrick!) for a night of tasty barbeque and good conversation.  Of course I had to try these Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars for the occasion.  They’re similar to a pecan pie, but the dough doesn’t require extra resting time (as is often the case with pies), and can be cut into convenient bars for easy sharing.

You can really taste the bourbon in this recipe, so don’t be afraid to use a slightly higher quality bourbon than you might otherwise in baking.

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars (adapted from Sugar Plum)

4 oz. Cream cheese, softened
6 Tbsp. Unsalted butter, softened
½ cup Confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp. Salt
1½ cups All-purpose flour

3 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
2 cups Finely chopped pecans*
3 Large eggs
¾ cup Packed brown sugar
½ cup Corn syrup
2 Tbsp. bourbon**
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
¼ tsp. Salt
Scant cup Semisweet chocolate chunks

Heat oven to 350° F.  Line a 13x9-inch baking dish with foil; coat foil with cooking spray***.

To make the crust, in a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until well-combined and creamy.  Beat in confectioners’ sugar and salt until combined.  Beat in flour until just combined.

Pat dough into bottom of baking dish to form a crust.  Make sure the dough is evenly distributed and covers the entire bottom of the dish.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown around edges.

While the crust is baking, start on the filling.  Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; cook about 2-3 minutes, whisking frequently, until butter browns and starts to foam.  Stir in pecans and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove pan from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs until combined.  Add brown sugar, corn syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and salt.  Mix until well combined.

Melt chocolate in a double-boiler or in 30-second bursts in the microwave.  Whisk melted chocolate into the egg mixture.  Add pecans, and stir until combined.

Pour filling onto crust.  Bake 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and set.  Cool completely on a wire rack before lifting out foil from dish and slicing into bars.  Makes about two dozen bars.


*You can toast the pecans beforehand, which I bet would be fantastic, but I didn’t bother, especially since you end up sautéing them on the stovetop.

**I have a generous hand when it comes to bourbon.  Don’t worry if a little extra spills in.

***Please remember the cooking spray.  I forgot and some of the bars on the edge were a little hard to get out of the pan.  Still tasted good, but they didn’t look quite as bar-y as the others.

April 4, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: desserts baking bourbon whiskey guest post recipes chocolate chocolate chip 

13 notes

Lemon Oat Bourbon Cake Doughnuts

Our love of homemade baked doughnuts has been well documented, so when we saw this recipe from Chasing Delicious, we were excited to try this slightly different take on the traditional doughnut.  This recipe is like a pound cake baked into doughnut shapes.

Lemon Oat Bourbon Cake Doughnuts


3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp. bourbon
½ tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. butter, soft at room temp.
8 oz. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
5 oz. all-purpose flour
3 oz. oat flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt


1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.

2. Mix the eggs, egg yolks, bourbon, and vanilla in a small bowl until everything is broken up. Take care not to beat any air into the mixture.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until broken up and soft, about 2 minutes on medium.

4. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (nearly white in color), about 4-5 minutes.

5. Add the lemon zest and mix in well.

6. With the mixer running (medium-low), very slowly pour the egg mixture into the butter and sugar mixture. This step should take you about five minutes.

7. Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl. Slowly fold the flours into the egg mixture, ¼ at a time. This will form a stiff batter.

8. Place the batter in a large piping bag. Cut the end of the bag so the width matches the width of the rings on the doughnut pan.

9. Carefully pipe the batter into the doughnut pans, careful not to fill each form too high (the batter should only come up about ½-¾ to the top).

10. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden on top and the dough springs back when pressed lightly.

11. Let cool slightly before glazing and topping.

imageThis is one of those rare recipes that we didn’t alter at all.  We followed these directions to the T, and recommend you do the same to achieve the crumbly, light texture these doughnuts are intended to have.  The bourbon taste was a little lost due to the strong lemon flavor, but make no mistake: these doughnuts taste really good.

March 25, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: baking Bourbon maker's mark food doughnuts desserts 

5 notes

Bourbon Whoopie Pies with Salted Bourbon Caramel Buttercream

We are not New England natives, and we don’t love everything about living in the area (e.g. snow storms in March), but one regional treat we can really get behind is the whoopie pie.  Whoopie pies are made by sandwiching frosting in between two soft (usually chocolate) cookies.  Our personal opinion is that this is a dessert crying out for some bourbon, so we adapted a recipe from the gorgeous blog Bakers Royale.


Bourbon Whoopie Pies with Salted Bourbon Caramel Buttercream

12 oz. chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. butter
2 eggs
⅔ cup sugar
1 tsp. bourbon
¼ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
½ tsp. baking powder, sifted

imageSalted Bourbon Caramel Buttercream Filling
1 cup butter
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup salted bourbon caramel


To make cookies:

Place 7 ounces of the chocolate and the butter in a saucepan over low heat and gently stir until melted and smooth.  Set aside.

Place the eggs, sugar, and bourbon in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat for 15 minutes or until pale and creamy.  Add in flour, baking powder, melted chocolate mixture, remaining 5 ounces of chocolate and mix to combine.  Set aside to chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.  Spoon one tablespoonful of the mixture onto parchment-lined bake sheet.  Bake for about 8–10 minutes or until puffed and cracked.  Allow to cool completely on trays.

To make salted bourbon caramel buttercream filling:

Place butter in a bowl and beat until creamed.  Add in confectioner’s sugar beat until combined.  Add in caramel and beat until combined.


Spread a teaspoon and a half of caramel buttercream on underside of one brownie cookie and place a second brownie cookie bottom side down on top of the frosting.

imageThese cookies are decadent and amazing.  The bourbon adds a touch of spice to the flavor profile that is otherwise mostly sugar and butter (not that this is a bad thing).  We would have made our own caramel, but we happened to have some salted bourbon caramel leftover from our bourbon Knoshbox, which proved to be the perfect addition to the buttercream.  It seemed appropriate to use Nor’Easter bourbon for this New England-themed dessert.

One important lesson learned from this experiment is never to bake these nearly flourless cookies on a Silpat mat.  They will stick horribly to the Silpat, but slide easily off of parchment paper. Silpat: bad. Parchment: good.  It is also important to chill the dough prior to baking because these cookies spread a lot.

March 11, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: bourbon nor'easter baking chocolate food desserts 

16 notes

Sazerac Cookies

We love Sazeracs.  If you were a guest at our house, there’s a 98% chance we’d make you a Sazerac.  Also, we love cookies, because we are humans.  These Sazerac cookies from Tasting Table are pretty much perfect for us.


Sazerac Cookies
1¾ cups All-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. Corn starch
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
1½ sticks Unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup Confectioner’s sugar
2 Tbsp. Rye
½ tsp. Absinthe
½ tsp. Peychaud’s bitters
1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300°.  

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a mixing bowl then set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture becomes light and fluffy, about five minutes.  Add the rye, absinthe, bitters, and vanilla extract and mix.  Add the flour and mix until the dough is a bit fluffy.

Roll the dough into tablespoon-size balls.  Set each cookie about one inch apart on a parchment-lined baking ban.  Flatten each cookie slightly, to the shape you desire (the cookies don’t change shape much while baking).  Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are a light gold color.  Remove from oven and let cool.


These cookies are tasty.  They’re like shortbread cookies with a little extra kick.  We topped ours with a light dusting of nutmeg-allspice sugar.  We of course highly recommend serving these cookies with a Sazerac.

February 25, 2013 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: cookies baking desserts food Masterson's rye whiskey sazerac 

19 notes

Banana Bourbon Marshmallow Cake

By now you’ve seen our Christmas Gift Guide, which included Wondermade Bourbon Marshmallows, and perhaps you’ve wondered what exactly you’re going to do with bourbon marshmallows.  (Of course, you can put them in hot chocolate, make bourbon marshmallow rice krispies treats or amazing s’mores, or just eat the fluffy bourbon sugarpillows.)  Here’s another option for how you can use your marshmallows.  We found this recipe on Group Recipes and cut it in half. 


Banana (Bourbon) Marshmallow Cake:
1¼ cups sugar
1 stick of butter
2 egg whites
1½ cups flour 
3 Tbsp. buttermilk
1 cup mashed or pureed bananas (I used 3 small bananas)
bourbon marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8x8 baking pan. Mix all ingredients except marshmallows together in order.  Line the baking pan with marshmallows (since the bourbon marshmallows are large, slice them into ¼-inch strips).  Pour the batter over the marshmallows, press gently down to make sure the batter settles around the marshmallows, and smooth the top.  Bake for one hour.


This is a surprisingly fluffy and smooth cake.  The marshmallows create both a little bit of a crust and a frosting.  When the sugar melts, some of the marshmallows stay on the bottom and others rise up to the top of the cake and float there.  Since the marshmallows don’t have the strongest bourbon flavor, there isn’t much whiskey flavor here.  You could probably add a little bit of bourbon into the cake batter if you want, or you could just pour a glass of bourbon to accompany your cake.

December 12, 2012 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: food desserts bourbon baking recipes 

8 notes

Bourbon Apple Bread Pudding

Apple season is early in New England, and I am thrilled.  We had a friend visiting this weekend, which seemed like just the right opportunity to get started on fall baking.  The recipe I found for this bread pudding was published by a bourbon trade magazine.  I see no use in mincing words here, so I’ll go ahead and say that the recipe couldn’t have been written by anyone who actually bakes, so I have revised it and am posting my own version.


Bourbon Apple Bread Pudding
3 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 cups heavy cream
5 eggs
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. bourbon
¼ cup butter
½ loaf of crusty bread

Preheat the oven to 375°.  Butter eight six-ounce ramekins and set aside.  Mix together brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  In a large skillet, melt the butter and saute the apples with the bourbon and the mixture of sugar and spices for about five to seven minutes, or until the liquid turns syrupy and the apples have softened somewhat, but are not mushy.  Slice the bread into small cubes (about one inch square).  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream together.  Add the apple mixture and mix thoroughly.  Add the bread to the bowl and mix, making sure all of the bread is submerged and well incorporated.  Fill the ramekins with the bread pudding and bake for 20 minutes or until the pudding is set and the top is lightly browned.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.


This bread pudding is very good warm and is also excellent straight from the fridge the next day.  The texture is more like sponge cake when it’s cold, which I happen to like.  We used Virginia Gentleman bourbon because its caramel sweetness would contribute a welcome note to this dessert.  The apples add a nice texture and sweetness.


Speaking of apples, we found pink apples at a local farm!  A history of the Pink Pearl apple and its creator can be found here.  We didn’t know how this variety would turn out when baked, so we just used one to add some fun color to the bread pudding.

September 17, 2012 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: pink pearl apple baking food Bourbon virginia gentleman whiskey desserts 

10 notes

Bourbon Fig Cookie Bars

I haven’t had a chance to bake in far too long, so when I got a bit of free time this weekend I took full advantage with this excellent recipe for cookie bars topped with cream cheese and a bourbon-fig spread.

Bourbon Fig Cookie Bars

  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2½ cups dried figs, stemmed and halved
  • 1 cup whiskey
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, and salt. Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well combined. Add half the milk, beat for about 10 seconds, then add the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk. Beat for a few seconds to fully combine.
  4. Put batter into your prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are browned. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the whiskey over medium heat until it starts to steam. (Be careful when using alcohol over a flame!) Turn off the heat, add the figs, and cover—letting the figs soak for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Drain the soaked figs, reserving some of the liquid. Add the figs and the cinnamon to a food processor and blitz until smooth and spreadable. Add the liquid (a little at a time) as necessary to help thin it out.
  7. Spread softened cream cheese over the cookie bars, then top with the fig mixture. Refrigerate the bars to let them set before cutting.

It took my cookie base longer to bake than 20 minutes, but my oven has been less than reliable lately, so I am not sure if it is a problem with this recipe or my oven, but I suspect the latter.  I cut this recipe in half and used an 8” x 8” pan.  I also whipped the cream cheese to make it easier to spread.

These bars are really good.  They’re a great summer treat, too, because they are light and not too sweet.  The recipe may look like a lot of steps, but it is actually really easy to put together.  A note on the bourbon—Virginia Gentleman is a great bourbon for baking because, as we noted in our review, it has good flavor at a very affordable price.

July 17, 2012 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: baking food bourbon whiskey virginia gentleman 

7 notes

Petite Bourbon Chocolate Hazelnut Pies

A couple weeks ago when I was eyeballs deep in final papers, our friend Emily emailed me the recipe for chocolate hazelnut pie with the subject line “Make these with bourbon!!!”  Now that the semester is over and I’ve had sufficient time to mull over my baking plan, I got to work.  This recipe is from The Pie Spot as published by Design Sponge (and modified slightly by me).

Petite Bourbon Chocolate Hazelnut Pies


  • 1 prepared unbaked 9″ pie shell, egg washed OR 12 mini pie shells in muffin tins, egg washed
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 oz butter, melted
  • 1 cup corn syrup (I used agave nectar)
  • 2 tsp. chocolate extract
  • 2 Tbsp. bourbon
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup hazelnuts


1. Heat oven to 350°.

2. In a large bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, and salt.  Add melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix.

3. Add corn syrup (or agave nectar), extract, and bourbon and mix.  Next add the eggs.

4. Add the chocolate and hazelnuts to the pie crust.  Pour the mixture over the top and let the hazelnuts rise to the top.

5. Bake until the crust is golden brown and baked underneath, approximately 15–20 minutes for the small pies.  Serve warm.

These pies are super delicious!  It is kind of a lot of prep work to make the crust (if you choose to do that), cut it into muffin-sized rounds and fit it into the muffin tin holes.  Plus, if you buy hazelnuts with the skins still on, you have to peel them.  This, however, is actually quite fun if you follow the method explained here (Julia Child is amazed!).  What the video doesn’t tell you is that this method produces purple foam.  Purple foam!  It’s really fun, if you like tedious fun (I do).

This recipe is a wonderful homage to my home state, Oregon, (The Pie Spot is in Portland) with its abundance of filberts (“hazelnuts” for you non-Oregonians).  I personally think the bourbon adds a crucial hint of vanilla spice to the recipe that would be lacking otherwise.  I used Woodford Reserve because it has the perfect proof for baking—high enough to let you know it’s there without overpowering.  If you don’t want to make a big pie or mess around with a muffin tin, I think this would also make a fun tart.

May 15, 2012 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: Woodford Reserve baking bourbon food recipes whiskey desserts 

4 notes

Do Not Call This a “Derby Pie”

Cee Angi is a freelance writer who spent her formative (drinking) years in Kentucky, spending weekends riding her motorcycle and tasting her way through bourbon country. Follow Cee on Twitter, and read her thoughts on other topics like men and baseball at 

The Derby Pie was created in 1950 by the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky.  The creators, Walter and Leaudra Kern, had an idea to make a chocolate and walnut tart and created a cult classic in the state of Kentucky.  The quintessential Kentucky meal would be a shot of bourbon, a Hot Brown, and a slice of Derby Pie to wash it down, and the actual Derby celebration is no exception.

It should be noted that the Kerns’ Derby Pie is trademarked.  In fact, using the name Derby Pie for your creation might find you in court as the members of the Kern family religiously guard the trademark (and the recipe).  But what’s stemmed from this pie’s tradition are a variety of spin-off recipes, many of which I prefer to the Kerns’ original recipe.

It’s not unusual to walk into a restaurant in Louisville and be greeted by a pie on the menu that takes on a similar name, especially around Derby time.  Perhaps the most popular name is the Pegasus Pie.  (The Pegasus Parade is an event that leads up to the Derby.)  It’s also not unusual to have it referred to as May Pie (the Derby is the first weekend of May), or chocolate-bourbon-pecan-pie, which is essentially what the pie has become.

It’s taken me years to perfect my pie recipe.  This type of pie recipe is very individualized but the result is one of the richest, most delicious slices of pie you will ever eat.  It’s funny that a pie that combines chocolate, bourbon, and nuts hasn’t become more popular in the mainstream.  Whenever I mention this pie, I’m greeted with looks of confusion that quickly turn to looks of inquisitive happiness when I mention the ingredients.  Each time I describe it the same way: picture a pecan pie.  Now add some walnuts.  OK, now add a layer of chocolate—and oh, by the way, there’s bourbon (of course there is).

My recipe is one that was perfected in Louisville while making these pies frequently with a friend who wanted to open a bakery.  To my knowledge the bakery doesn’t yet exist, but the result is a recipe that I’m happy to share with people and has become my trademark contribution for Derby parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, graduations, birthdays, or just because someone has a hankering for chocolate-bourbon-pie, which happens more than you’d think.  I hope you’ll enjoy a slice of the South, which goes great with some bourbon for sipping, or perhaps the bourbon ice cream that Rachel and Patrick created.

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
½ (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts
1½ cups chopped pecans
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup dark corn syrup
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup bourbon or water
4 large eggs
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
2 tsp. cornmeal
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt

Fit piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.

Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly onto bottom of piecrust; set aside.

Combine corn syrup and next three ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, for three minutes.  Remove from heat.

Whisk together eggs and next four ingredients.  Gradually whisk about one-fourth hot mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot mixture, whisking constantly.  Pour filling into prepared piecrust.

Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until set; cool on wire rack.

May 7, 2012 | Comments | Permalink |

Tags: Kentucky Derby baking bourbon food whiskey desserts 

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