Honey-Kissed Irish Whiskey Cake

It’s called Irish Whiskey Cake, so you will taste the whiskey! It’s not just an accent flavor, it’s the star of the show. You get honey-kissed, whiskey flavor in every bite.

An irish whiskey cake on a glass cake stand.

Why you’ll love this cake

If you enjoy the boozy flavor of a delicious rum cake, you’ll love this Honey-Kissed Irish Whiskey Cake.

I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again, alcohol amplifies and accentuates flavors. Often I use just a hint of alcohol in a recipe to bring out flavors that are alcohol soluble.

For this recipe, the alcohol in the cake is not just a supporting player, it’s the star of the show. The buttery, boozy glaze just sings with whiskey flavor.

That’s glaze though! Of course I needed to taste the glaze before I put it on the cake. In my head I was pretty sure the flavors would work but, OH MY that’s good stuff.

I will not confirm or deny that I may have downed a few spoonfuls of the glaze before it ever got near the cake. The butter, the honey, the whiskey….it’s like the best hot toddy ever.


Ingredients for Irish Whiskey cake in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes

  • Cake Flour – Low protein cake flour makes a cake with a tender and fine crumb.
  • Buttermilk – Acidic buttermilk flavors and tenderizes the cake.
  • Honey – I reduced the sugar in both the cake and the glaze and added a touch of honey. I love what the honey does for the flavor of the cake and, especially, the glaze.
  • Lemon Zest – There’s more lemon flavor in the zest than in the juice. If you’ve ever had a hot toddy to treat a cold you know that lemon goes well with whiskey.
  • Eggs – There are a lot of eggs in this recipe. Because the cake is so tender, the eggs are needed to create structure for the cake.
  • Whiskey – You can adjust the amount of whiskey in the glaze to your taste. See the recipe notes for details.

How to make Irish Whiskey Cake

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

Dry ingredients and wet ingredients mixing for cake batter.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and other wet ingredients with half of the buttermilk.
  • Mix the softened butter and the remaining buttermilk into the dry ingredients.
  • Beat the mixture until it is well combined and becomes aerated.
  • Add the egg mixture.
Irish Whiskey cake before and after baking and after glazing.
  • Pour the batter into a buttered and floured tube pan.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Immediately brush the top of the cake with some of the glaze. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes then turn it out onto a rack set over a clean sheet pan.
  • Generously brush the cake with the glaze. Allow it to absorb then brush again and again until all the glaze is used.
  • Wrap the cake and set it aside for a day.


The cake is fine the day it’s baked, but is much better the next day. I highly recommend serving the cake the day after baking to allow the flavors time to meld. The cake will keep at room temperature for 4-5 days. The whole cake or individual slices can be frozen for up to a month.

More Irish Inspired Recipes

a slice of irish whiskey cake on a plate.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a slice of irish whisky cake on a white plate.
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4.58 from 71 reviews

Honey-Kissed Irish Whiskey Cake

You will taste the whiskey in this cake! It’s not just an accent flavor, it’s the star of the show. The glaze on this cake is not shy with the liquor, so you get honey-kissed, whiskey flavor in every bite.
Prep Time20 minutes
Bake Time40 minutes
“Aging” Time1 day
Total Time1 day 1 hour
16 servings
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For the Cake Batter

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large yolks
  • oz vegetable oil (¼ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon (zest grated fine)
  • 4 oz honey ( cup)
  • 8 oz buttermilk (1 cup, divided)
  • 11 ¼ oz cake flour (2 ½ cups, see note)
  • 8 oz granulated sugar (1 cup)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 6 oz unsalted butter (room temperature, cut into 1″ chunks)

For the Whiskey Glaze

  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 2 oz water (¼ cup)
  • 4 oz sugar (½ cup)
  • 6 oz honey (½ cup)
  • teaspoon table salt
  • 4 oz Irish Whiskey (½ cup (I use Jameson, see note))


  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Generously butter and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 4 large eggs, 2 large yolks, 1½ oz vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, finely grated zest from 1 lemon, 4 oz honey and 1/2 of the buttermilk, set aside. Sift 11 ¼ oz cake flour, 8 oz granulated sugar, 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon table salt into a mixer bowl. Mix on low speed to combine the dry ingredients.
  • Toss 6 oz unsalted butter chunks into the flour mixture and add the remaining buttermilk. Mix on medium high for 2-3 minutes to aerate the batter. Scrape the bowl and the beater. With the mixer running, add the egg mix in 3 batches, scraping the bowl between each addition.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
  • While the cake bakes, make the glaze. Put 4 oz unsalted butter, 2 oz water, 4 oz sugar, 6 oz honey and ⅛ teaspoon table salt in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pot from heat and stir in 4 oz Irish Whiskey.
  • As soon as the cake comes out of the oven and while it’s still in the pan, generously brush the cake with some of the glaze. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes to allow the glaze to absorb and for the cake to set. Turn the cake out onto a clean baking sheet.
  •  Brush the entire top and sides of the cake with glaze, allow the glaze to absorb and repeat brushing until all the glaze is used up. Any glaze that drips onto the pan can be picked up with the brush and brushed back onto the cake.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside for 1 day to allow the flavors to develop.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
You can use as little as 1/4 cup of whiskey for a lighter flavor, or as much as 3/4 cup for a stronger flavor.
You can serve the cake the day it is baked, but the flavor and texture improve after a day or two of aging. The cake will keep at room temperature for 4-5 days.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 192mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 560IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hello. This recipe sounds delicious. I’ve gathered all the ingredients and am ready to begin but need a clarification on the whisky as I don’t see it listed as an ingredient for the cake only for the glaze. You said “The starting point for this recipe is the Rum Cake recipe from my book, Easy Baking From Scratch. I could’ve just switched out the rum with whiskey and the cake would’ve been delish. But, since I’m always looking to enhance flavor, I added a few ingredients to specifically compliment the Irish Whiskey. (By the way, I use Jameson Whiskey.)”

    So I’m a little unclear if whiskey should be included in the cake and if so what quantity. I know it’s in the glaze.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. It’s correct that the whiskey is only in the glaze. That’s how you get the most whiskey flavor. If you added it to cake cake batter is would get a little lost.

  2. This sounds really good! Looking at your photos, is that chocolate glaze or whiskey glaze on top? and powdered sugar? Thanks!

    1. It’s a whiskey glaze. The cake bakes up nice and brown thanks to both the honey and sugar in the batter. I did finish it with powdered sugar so it looks pretty in the photos.

  3. Hello! My Oma used to make something similar and I am excited to try your recipe. But the rest of my house is two kids under 6 and a pregnant wife. How much alkeehol do you think is retained in the glaze?

    1. I would assume all of the alcohol is retained. You don’t cook out the whiskey since it’s added off-heat.

    1. Hi Deepa. The eggs are important to the structure and texture for this cake. I couldn’t say off the top of my head how to make it without eggs. It would take a great deal of testing to work that out.

  4. Thankyou! Made this for hubby’s birthday and he and EVERYONE loved it. Not a traditional-looking birthday cake, but a perfect finish after a huge roast lunch. First time using my Bundt tin and had a bit of a batter volcano happening whilst baking, but a quick trim took us back to level. Took 50 mins in my oven when normally I have to go 5-10 mins less than what a recipe says. Will definitely bake again (and again and again).