Ever thought that your dessert could use a kick of something extra, but haven’t been able to figure out what it’s missing? A little alcohol might be just what you need to take your dessert to the next level. For recipes that don’t call for booze, I like to add some when I mix together the wet ingredients. Add a tablespoon or so until you subtly smell the flavor of the liquor you’re using in your mixture. Most of the it will burn off during the baking process, so no, I’m not trying to trick you into getting drunk off your desserts.
So what alcohol goes with what type of dessert? Based on what kind of treat you’re making, the liquor you add to the recipe will vary. Here’s a quick guide on which booze and dessert combinations work best.
1. Kahlúa and Chocolate Mousse Cake
Kahlúa, a coffee liqueur that contains rum, pairs great with chocolate. For a non-alcoholic dessert, only add the liqueur to the cake batter so that the alcohol bakes off, leaving only the coffee flavor. But if you’re going for something more boozy, splash a little Kahlúa right into the mousse filling. Be careful not to add too much so that the mousse doesn’t become to runny. I like to add no more than a teaspoon or so at a time.
Though I like to use separate cake and mousse recipes, check out this recipe for an easy chocolate mousse cake.
2. Brandy and Banana Bread
Adding a little bit of brandy to a classic banana bread can really help bring out the fruity flavor. Add a couple teaspoons of the brandy when adding milk to the bananas. To go a step further and soak the ripe bananas in a bit of the liquor before mashing them up and adding them to the batter. The longer you soak the bananas, the boozier the banana bread.
Here’s a great banana bread recipe to get you started.
3. Bourbon and Pecan Pie
Depending on how much Bourbon you choose to add, this dessert can taste anywhere from a slightly smokey classic pecan pie to an edible alcoholic drink. Bourbon has a pretty strong flavor, so if you’re going for a subtle alcoholic taste, don’t add much more than a teaspoon or so. For a more intense flavor, up the alcohol to two tablespoons. And if you’re feeling up to the challenge of making your own pie crust, try substituting a tablespoon of ice water with a tablespoon of cold Bourbon.
Experiment with this pecan pie recipe.
4. Limoncello and Pound Cake
Pound cake, a underrated classic, can be transformed with a splash of Limoncello. As the name suggests, Limoncello is a lemon liqueur. Add just enough to the cake batter to detect a hint of its flavor. Serve the cake cold with whipped cream on top. For variation, bake the pound cake without Limoncello and instead, add it to the whipped cream topping.
Check out this easy pound cake recipe.
5. Cointreau and Carrot Cake
Brighten up a classic carrot cake with some Cointreau, an orange flavored liqueur. Try soaking all the fresh ingredients, the walnuts, carrots and raisins, in the Cointreau before adding them to the batter. As you’re putting the cake together, brush a little of the Cointreau on top of each cake layer before adding the cream cheese frosting.
Try out this carrot cake recipe, walnuts and raisins optional.