I was busy Sunday morning.

BAKING! BAKING! You thought I drank all that?!

Quite honestly, I’m not sure where all my bourbon went. I think little elves get into my supply when I’m not looking. A full cup went into this bourbon-licious cake I baked.

It sure did smell amazing here yesterday–a cross between Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and a bourbon distillery. THAT scent, amici, would be one helluva Yankee Candle! But let’s get back to the recipe.

If you’ve ever seen the Whiskey-Soaked Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake recipe from the New York Times, this recipe is pretty much it. And I say “pretty much” because I’m guessing the original recipe, on which it must surely be based, is baking maven Maida Heatter’s 86-Proof Chocolate Cake. Maida’s instructions are both detailed and logical, so I’ve incorporated some of them here in this melding of the minds: Maida, Melissa and me!

I’ve also included a neato tip from Cook’s Illustrated–cake release for chocolate cakes. So, take your whiskey home and let’s get baking!

adapted from Maida Heatter, Melissa Clark and Cook’s Illustrated

Chocolate cake release (for the pan):
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (have I told you lately I very much like Kate’s?)
2 cups all-purpose flour
5 ounces dark chocolate (I used Valrhona 70% Guanaja feves)
1/4 cup instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup bourbon (you can use any other whiskey, but what is not to love about BOURBON?!)–more for sprinkling over the cake
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda

Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish (optional). Whipped cream is a nice option, too.

First, combine 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 tablespoon cocoa to make the cake release. Use a pastry brush to coat a 10-cup capacity Bundt pan.

Adjust rack 1/3 up from bottom of oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.

Sift together the flour and baking soda. Kosher salt, of course, won’t sift so just combine it with the flour and soda and set aside.

Melt chocolate (I use the defrost setting on the microwave; you can use a double-boiler); set aside.

Add espresso and cocoa powders to a 2-cup (or larger) glass measuring cup. Add enough boiling water to reach the 1-cup measuring line. Mix until powders dissolve. Add whiskey; set aside.

Using a stand mixer, beat 1 cup butter until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla, beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Add the melted chocolate and beat until smooth.

Then, on low speed, alternate adding the sifted dry ingredients (in three additions) with the whiskey mixture (in two additions). Add the whiskey mixture very slowly to avoid splashing; scrape the bowl with a spatula after each addition and beat until smooth.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for one hour and 10 to 15 minutes (1:10-1:15). Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and dry.

Cool cake in the pan for about 15 minutes.

Then cover with a rack and invert. Remove the pan, sprinkle the cake with more bourbon. Two tablespoons sounded like the right amount of MORE to me.

See that? Not just one heap of happiness, but twoTWO HEAPS because I want you to be TWICE AS HAPPY! Two heaps of happiness in the form of bourbon! WOOHOO!

Leave the cake on a rack to cool.

Before serving, you can sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over the top with a fine-mesh strainer. I skipped the confectioners’ sugar. Whipped cream, lightly sweetened with a touch of almond extract is even nicer, if you like. And I like A LOT!

Wishing you two heaps of happiness and a lasting supply of bourbon in your bottles!