I must start with the caveat that this is not actually my recipe but BD’s. And, truth be told, it’s not even his. Many years ago, when shoulder pads and perms were in vogue if unfortunate and our meeting was but a fleeting dream he could only hope to attain (my blog, my version), he found himself in a liquor store that had a Jack Daniel’s promotional recipe for this cake on a tear-off pad. He availed himself.
Over the years, the recipe has evolved ever so slightly to what you find below which is a good thing because somewhere along the way, the original recipe was lost and even after a call to the mecca o’Tennessee’s finest, Lynchburg (argue amongst yourselves as to whether it is, indeed, the finest … oh! oh! better yet, have a taste-off. I’ll come take pics)… I digress. Anyway, after an unreturned call to Jack Daniel’s headquarters to get the original recipe to provide proper credit, please accept my most sincere apologies that I cannot provide the info. If my call is returned, you’ll be the first to know.
If you are a stickler for detail (as I am), please note that the only real difference is the amount of glaze and less whiskey in the glaze itself. This is a good thing for I, typer of this post, am not a whiskey fan. At. All. Don’t judge; brown liquors and I are not a good pair. Be thankful that I accept that fact.
Fear not though! This cake is delicious as typed below. That being said, a true fan of the stuff should feel free to increase the amount of whiskey in the glaze. Taste as you go and add to your heart’s content. I would not, however, diddle with the cake recipe itself since baking is science in its most delicious form which can go evil in a second if diddled with. You have been warned.
This cake is as simple as it is scrumptious. You melt the butter, add the rest of the ingredients, sprinkle on the chocolate and nuts, and pour into the well-buttered baking pan. The hardest part is the waiting … After baking for 40 minutes, filling your house with an aroma that will have your mouth watering, and a cool-off period of about an hour, followed by a drizzle … your patience will be rewarded.
Gratuitous picture of Jack Daniel’s (Does anyone else have “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” running through your head? If you didn’t and now you do, sorry. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, lucky you. It gets old pretty quickly when you really only know one line). When purchasing your bottle (Black Label if you please), you’ll need enough for the recipe and plenty for sipping. That’s required. Rocks are optional. Ironic coming from me. I’m just passing along the baker’s suggestion.
This batter is thick, almost like a brownie batter, and caramel-colored because of the brown sugar.
After the cake has baked, cool it completely before drizzling the buttery delicious glaze over top. I think the cake is best the next day and slightly chilled but it won’t disappoint just after glazing and at room temp. Whatever your eating pleasure, make sure to keep the cake well covered with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.
Hope you give this cake a whirl. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser!
BD’s Jack Daniels Cake (as adapted from a Jack Daniel’s recipe from the 90s)
For the cake:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey (we used Black Label)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup chocolate chips (we use 60% cacao bittersweet; semi-sweet would work as well)
For the whiskey glaze:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1-2 tablespoons Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325°F and set rack to the center-most position.
Butter a 13 x 9 pan. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar, eggs, flour mixture, and whiskey, stirring well after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Sprinkle evenly with the pecans and chocolate chips. Bake about 40 minutes, until a toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean and the edges begin to pull away from the side of the pan.
Cool on a wire rack completely. Make the glaze and drizzle over the cake. The cake is delicious now and even better over the next day or two.
For the glaze:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. While still on the burner, stir in the sugar, 1 Tbs. of the whiskey, and vanilla. Be careful with fire and alcohol. If you’re hesitant to try that, add off the heat and put the pan back on the burner.
Whisk until well blended and heated through. Drizzle over the cooled cake. If you like a heavily frosted cake, you can double the glaze recipe (an amount the original recipe called for). If you’d prefer not to use the uncooked Jack Daniels in the glaze, you can substitute milk for the whiskey.