Baileys Chocolate Crunch Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: One 3-layer, 8-inch round, cake
Rich Chocolate Cake filled with Baileys Coffee Buttercream and crunchy rice-cereal brittle.
  • For the cake:
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Baileys Original Irish Cream
  • For the Crunch:
  • 1cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup rice cereal
  • For the Baileys Coffee Buttercream:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • dash of kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Baileys Original Irish Cream
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Ganache (optional):
  • 1 cup chopped chocolate
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • edible gold leaf, optional
  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 3, 8-inch, round baking pans with parchment and grease well.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl whisk the oil, buttermilk, sugar, eggs, and Baileys together. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry mixture and fold well to combine. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on racks before turning out.
  4. For the Crunch:
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Combine the sugar and water together in a saucepan and stir over low heat to dissolve. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil, do not stir it at all after it begins to boil, and cook until the syrup becomes deeply golden and caramel in color. Remove from the heat, stir in the rice cereal, and spread the mixture onto the lined baking sheet. Cool at room temp until it's no longer hot and becomes very brittle. Break up the crunch in a bag using a mallet or rolling pin.
  6. For the Baileys Coffee Buttercream:
  7. Combine the egg whites and the sugar in the bowl of a mixer and whisk to combine. Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place the bowl over the pan of water to create a double boiler (the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl) and stir occasionally until the mixture is hot and the sugar has dissolved. To test this, dip a finger into the mixture--it should be hot to the touch and when rubbed between two fingers should not contain any sugar granules. If there are still some bits of sugar, keep heating and stirring. Once the mixture is ready, place the bowl on the stand mixer and fit with the whisk attachment. Beat on high for about 10 minutes until you achieve a medium peak and the bowl has returned to room temperature and heat no longer escapes from the meringue.
  8. While the meringue is mixing, combine the Baileys, espresso powder, and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
  9. Switch the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment and, with the mixer on low, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time until completely incorporated. If the mixture looks a bit curdled, just keep mixing until the buttercream is smooth. Add the salt and the Baileys mixture and beat until combined.
  10. For the ganache (optional):
  11. Place 1 cup chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat ¾ cup heavy cream in the microwave until hot and steaming (about 1 minute) and pour over the chocolate. Cover and allow the cream to melt the chocolate, about 3 minutes, stir until smooth. Cool at room temperature (or in the refrigerator) stirring occaisionally until you get a spreadable consistency.
  12. To assemble the cake:
  13. Spread 1 tablespoon of the buttercream onto a cake board or plate. Set the first cake layer down, spread a few tablespoons of frosting on top the cake layer, sprinkle with the crushed brittle to cover the layer, and repeat the process with the next layer, stacking it on the first. Place the final cake layer on top and frost the entire cake with a thin coating of the buttercream to create a crumb-coat. Chill the cake for 30 minutes (or longer) before frosting with the remaining buttercream. Spread dollops of the cooled ganache around the cake and smooth into the buttercream to create a watercolor effect. Gently reheat any remaining ganache until it becomes pourable and spread over the top of the cake, letting the excess drip over the sides. Decorate with edible gold leaf if you like.
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