Kahlua Cake

Kahlua Cake

Any excuse to put booze in my dessert, and I’m there. Who’s with me?

My first alcoholic drink of choice as a young woman was (this is embarrassing to admit) a Kahlua and cream. It was so delicious, like a spiked coffee drink. I thought it was heaven.

And though my tastes have refined over time, I still love me some Kahlua. And in a rich chocolate cake, who can say no? One of our interns gave me this recipe last year, and I’ve been meaning to share it with you ever since. It’s time! And to make it even better, I made a thick Kahlua glaze for the top.

Kahlua Cake

Yesterday, I lost it. I admit it. We had a sudden ant infestation about a week ago, and our exterminator is unavailable until the 21st of this month. I think we need a new exterminator.

That aside, we did everything you do when ants invade. We sprayed everywhere inside and out, scoured our pantry for open food items, and washed dishes the second they got dirty. The very second.

When I was off doing something else, Kenny threw away the baking soda. And didn’t tell me he’d thrown it away.Β And he didn’t replace it.

Kahlua Cake

Cue this past weekend. Some people are weekend warriors when it comes to working out. I’m a baking warrior on the weekends, because that’s the only time I have. The work week is taken up with my day job. So I typically stock up on Friday and make sure that the house is ready for the onslaught of flour and melted chocolate.

There I was, mixing away serenely, when I reached up into what even my kids call “the baking cabinet” to get the baking soda. My hand closed on nothing. It took about ten seconds of me staring at the blank space in disbelief to realize what happened.

Kahlua Cake

Mean Mir came right out. I went to my husband and hissed (yes, it was a hiss), “TellΒ me you didn’t throw away the baking soda without replacing it. Please tell me that’s not what happened.”

That poor man. I could see the realization dawn in his eyes.Β Wow, she’s really pissed.Β He apologized. I went off on a rant about how ants don’t even like baking soda. He apologized again. I used some choice language.

Then I calmed down, stuck the bowl of the cookie dough I was mixing up in the fridge until we could rectify the Baking Soda Debacle of 2015, and went to apologize to Kenny. Even though I feel my meltdown was kind of justified.

Kahlua Cake

All’s well now, except that the ants are still sort of among us. My son told me proudly that he shook one off his hand this morning in the bathroom without even crying. I’m so grossed out, but at least the little pests aren’t in the kitchen. Because if they were, this incredible cake would definitely constitute a problem.

Like many great cakes, this starts with a mix. That mix gets quickly tricked out with all sorts of goodies, most importantly Kahlua. And can you taste it in the final product? Absolutely. Especially because the glaze (which is heated, so this cake won’t give you a buzz) also has Kahlua. If that still makes you nervous, sub vanilla in for the Kahlua in the glaze. But if you can, leave it there. It’s so good.

Kahlua Cake

The cake is also loaded to the max with chocolate chips, which make anything better. When your house is taken up with little pests, you need some Kahlua cake in your life to take the edge off, especially so that other people in the house don’t wind up getting hissed at. Remember that next time someone does something you don’t like!



Kahlua Cake


1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box (3.5 oz.) chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup Kahlua
16 oz. light sour cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 oz. chocolate chips
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon Kahlua


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a bundt pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the cake ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes. Then carefully invert the cake onto a plate. Cool completely.
  5. When the cake is cool, make the glaze. Combine the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and heat at 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval until smooth and glossy.
  6. Spoon the glaze over the cake. Allow it to set.
  7. Slice and serve!



I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner. This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker. Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.

This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    Yes! I’m all for boozy desserts! This cake sounds delicious, Mir! I love that you added kahlua in here. I think I would devour this all myself and not share!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake DipMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I had to give it to my mom for a party she’s having, Gayle. Otherwise, I would totally eat it all!

  2. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    That glaze looks scrumptious and I’m obsessed with that chocolate on chocolate goodness πŸ™‚
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…Vegan Portobello Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage & Walnut PestoMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Me, too. Chocolate on chocolate is the best. And I’m all about thick glaze!

  3. Michele

    Oh my goodness, this sounds amazing! I remember when I was young, I thought Boone’s Farm wine was the best. I think your Kahlua idea was better. I’m sorry about your ants. We recently had that very same problem. You must go to Home Depot and get Terro. It’s sticky traps. The ants swarm to the traps, go back to their nasty little nests and their tribe dies! I feel like a murderer right now. It worked for me. The ants are GONE. Good luck!
    Michele recently posted…Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Oh, those traps sound so sad! I would rather hire someone to do it for me, but of course, it’s the same thing. Aaaah. Thanks for the tip, Michele!

  4. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    Oh yes! This time of year is all about the boozy cake and Christmas will be full of them.
    That glaze looks amazing too.

    1. Mir

      So true, Dannii! I love the boozy cakes.

  5. annie@ciaochowbambina.com

    Hahaha! Love your story (of course) and your cake! I also have a baking cabinet and a junk drawer – do you have one of those too? Thanks for sharing this decadent cake. Looks perfect for the holidays!
    annie@ciaochowbambina.com recently posted…Pumpkin & Nutmeg Fritters with Vanilla CreamMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Oh, the junk drawer. It’s seriously a challenge, Annie, because I throw EVERYTHING in there and then I get mad at myself!

  6. Kate @ Framed Cooks

    I happily admit that my first drink was a Brandy Alexander, and that I would have a tantrum if anyone messed with my baking soda. And I NEED this cake!!!
    Kate @ Framed Cooks recently posted…Tuna Nicoise SaladMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I’m so glad you think my tantrum was justified, Kate. I was one mad lady!

  7. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary

    Oh gawsh, I am SO sorry you have an ant problem! That totally blows! BUT it could be worse, it could be roaches, or termites! Always try to find the silver lining, I know I try… though sometimes it is hard.. especially when your kid has an ant on their arm. Or when your husband tossed the baking soda. Hearing your story about that made me laugh, not at you, but because I immediately thought to myself, “that sounds like my husband!”. Men. They can’t be trusted! πŸ˜‰ Anyways, you need to fire your exterminator and I need to make this cake! Kahlua is my liquor spirit (hehe), so I am totally wanting this cake, stat. BUT you made it chocolate!!! And I can’t have chocolate!! I want to cry. Literally. I am going to have to sub out the cocoa for white chocolate because I don’t think I want to live another day of my life without some version of this cake! Pinned! Cheers, lovely. P.S. Good luck with the ants! xo
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Butternut Squash & Pancetta Baked Risotto {with Crispy Sage Leaves}My Profile

    1. Mir

      Men, indeed. They would all throw it away, I think! And as for making it with no chocolate, try this with a yellow cake! I mean, it’s Kahula. You can’t go wrong!

  8. Adri

    I love pudding cakes. They are simple to make, immensely flexible, and always dependable. I had to laugh when I read about the Baking Soda Debacle. That has happened to me too, and I always have to struggle to control myself when confronting the offending party.

    I too love to put liquor in desserts, and I have the liquor cabinet to prove it! About that first love, Kahlua and Cream, it was mine too. Over the years I have enjoyed all manner of liquors, but I never say no to Kahlua and Cream, and I never feel any shame either!

    I am sorry to hear about the ant invasion. We have the same problem, and I keep hearing from others who are also suffering the onslaught. Those pests drive me nuts!
    Adri recently posted…Gina DePalma and Copulettas – Half-moon pastries from SardiniaMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Oh, no! You also had a baking soda debacle?! That is awful. I’m so sorry! And I’ll try to let go of my Kahlua and Cream shame, since you say it’s okay. πŸ™‚ Ants are SO the worst. They multiply so fast!!

  9. Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat.

    You had me at kahlua – that stuff is amazing in dessert. I can’t even believe right now that I’ve never actually used it, just had it in restaurant desserts. That pretty much needs to change now. That’s awful about the ants! Hope you get rid of them soon!
    Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. recently posted…Apple Cinnamon Sweet RollsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Stacey! Kahlua is the best in desserts. It’s also great on its own! I had a little sip while I was baking it. πŸ™‚

  10. Jen | Baked by an Introvert

    I love Kahlua and chocolate in any dessert! This cake looks incredible, Mir!
    Jen | Baked by an Introvert recently posted…Bacon Egg Breakfast PizzaMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Jen! It’s the best combo!

  11. Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks

    I totally sympathize with your ant problem. We have four dogs and I shudder to recall the Great Flea Infestation of 2013. After dealing with that and the baking soda debacle, you totally deserve some boozy dessert. And you know I’m all for that!
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks recently posted…Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot PastaMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Oh nooooo, not fleas! You poor thing. And yes, you are the queen of the boozy dessert, Rachelle!

  12. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Mir!!! I feel your pain girl! first off, I hate ants too. . but I get crazy when it comes to fruit flies. oh my gawd, I loathe those things. . if those things are ever in my house, it’s like I can’t do anything until every last one is dead. anyway. . I feel you sister. . you were mad and dammit who doesn’t replace the baking soda?! especially knowing how much you bake?! I think you were fine. . plus you apologized soon after. . it’s ok. . keeps them in place. πŸ˜› and I don’t have any pests right now but I still need this Kahlua cake in my life to take the edge off!!! this cake looks so good!!!
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Pumpkin Apple TartMy Profile

    1. Mir

      The fruit flies in the summer hovering near the peaches and nectarines. I hear you SO loud and clear. Can’t stand those! And I tried to explain to Kenny that he was in my work space and I never throw anything out in his office, but he did not get it. I’m glad I could inspire the fear, though! πŸ™‚

  13. Manali @ CookWithManali

    I don’t drink alcohol but I sure don’t mind it in my desserts! This cake looks so rich and decadent Mir, I want a slice now!
    Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…Homemade PavMy Profile

    1. Mir

      It all bakes out and then you get the flavor, Manali. Best of both worlds!

  14. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg

    Girl, you have every reason to be mad! I don’t blame you. I’m glad that you were able to get a new box of baking soda because now we have this amazingly-delicious-looking dessert. Cue the hallelujah chorus! πŸ™‚
    Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg recently posted…Pretzel Crusted Chicken Skewers with Buffalo Ranch DipMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I need to always have baking soda, Erin. I guess he gets it now!

  15. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    Don’t even get me started on bugs. My ant infestations of ’07 is what started my horrible bug anxiety (complete with panic attacks). Reading about this nearly gave me one just thinking about it!! This cake would calm me down. πŸ™‚ My mom used to make one like, it SO good!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Apple Cider PieMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Oh no, you have PTSD from the ants! Seriously, I can only deal up to a point. Then I freak out and wonder why it’s taking the exterminator so damn long to get over here.
      Your mom sounds cool, by the way. I always see her comments on your posts, and she makes Kahlua cake!

  16. Aimee @ ShugarySweets

    Oh snap, look at that fudgy chocolate from the cake to the frosting. And you had me at booze. I won’t speak of the bugs…..
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets recently posted…Slow Cooker Italian BeefMy Profile

    1. Mir

      No need to speak of them. They’re there, and that’s enough. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Aimee!

  17. Amanda

    I love kahlua and chocolate together. It make such a great depth of flavor. And this cake looks so moist and tender!
    Amanda recently posted…Easy Vegetarian ChiliMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Yep, booze has great depth of flavor. πŸ™‚ That’s why everyone loves it!

  18. Michele @ Two Raspberries

    oh my gosh! this looks like super rich chocolate heaven!!!! drooling over this right now!

    1. Mir

      It’s pretty intense, Michele!

  19. Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)

    Girlfriend this cake is exceptional!
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes) recently posted…Coca-Cola Glazed Cornish HensMy Profile

    1. Mir

      You’re the expert, Jocelyn! Loving the new cake book! πŸ™‚

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