baking with booze: scotch whiskey oat cake

scotch oat cake

I’m no stranger to baking with booze. I’ve used a red dark ale in cake and some Jack Daniels in a batch of vegan chocolate cupcakes. But I’ve never poured a decent, peaty-tasting scotch into something I was going to throw into the oven. I’m sure some would cry heresy and a waste of good booze. Especially when in this hella-expensive booze province a bottle of mid-range scotch comes to a whopping $60.

scotch oat cake

But trust me, the scotch gives this cake a decided earthiness that helps to cut the sweetness (and next time I bake this, I’ll cut down the sugar a bit more to just a half cup). There’s steel cut oats in here too which add texture but doesn’t weigh this cake down. In fact, despite the oats and the whole wheat flour additions, this cake is light and springy and the perfect thing to eat with a spot of tea. This cake is also perfect for breakfast – it must be the oats that makes this highly suitable to early morning snacking.

This cake can be made in 2 loaf pans, but I wanted the cake to bake in a round pan. Unfortunately, I only have one 8″ pan and I still had batter left over, so the rest went into a prepped loaf tin. It worked out perfectly, so I suggest splitting the batter between 2 loaf tins to make things easier.

scotch oat cake baked in a loaf pan

elsewhere: Pop on over to Poppytalk and take a peek at my latest garage sale find along with a recipe for a super simple frozen yogurt.

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36 comments to “baking with booze: scotch whiskey oat cake”

  1. 1
    Kasey   March 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Baking with booze is the best. I’ve baked with plenty of booze, but never scotch, so thanks for the great idea!

  2. 2
    Chihiro   March 24, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    One of my favorite cakes is the Melissa Clark whiskey cake with the entire cup of whiskey! This one has much less, but it’s also more breakfast friendly which evens it out ;)

  3. 3
    Michelle   March 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I love steel cut oats, baking with them is new to me unlike booze which I try to pour into everything including my mouth.

    This is a great recipe and I can’t wait to churn out a batch – wait even better excuse to go peruse the liquor store! Win WIn!

  4. 4
    The Rowdy Chowgirl   March 24, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    This looks great, and I’m going to try it asap. I have a bottle of Bowmore Islay on the counter, and I add at least a few drops to all things baked–I figure it’s sort of like adding vanilla. It’s also not bad in a glass!

  5. 5
    Leah   March 24, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    This sounds great! I can’t wait to give it a go.

  6. 6
    vanillasugarblog   March 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    baking with booze is the best.
    i would love to see you do some crepes; maybe a savory version?
    i just made cake pops with a hint of midori liquor–so good, but i’ don’t like the candy melts as much.

  7. 7
    kickpleat   March 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Kasey, me too. The scotch was a new one for me and I’m so glad that it worked out so well.

    Chihiro, I think I’ve made that cake too – it’s a chocolate one, right? It was good. This one is quite different but just as tasty.

    Ha! I love that Michelle – you and me, we’re a lot alike ;)

    Thanks Leah!

    Vanillasugar, I’d love to make some savoury crepes. Yum!

  8. 8
    Joanne   March 25, 2011 at 3:15 am

    I do love me some alcoholic baked goods but I’ve never seen whiskey used in cake before! Love the concept. And with the exam I have in a few hours…I could totally use a slice of this for breakfast. Take the edge off.

  9. 9
    Eva   March 25, 2011 at 9:43 am

    This looks great, I love the ingredients! I’m not a huge scotch fan, but I’m going to give it a go…I like how you described what it does to the flavour of the cake!

    Have a great weekend!

  10. 10
    cindy   March 25, 2011 at 9:50 am

    oh yum. i do love oat cake, and it sounds even more wonderful with booze!

  11. 11
    Molly   March 25, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I love cardamom, the husband loves scotch whiskey, and we both love oats. A recipe for our entire household!

  12. 12
    Mrs. L   March 25, 2011 at 10:54 am

    My husband bought a bottle of scotch to drink with a friend last week and then told me I should “cook something” with what was left! This sounds perfect.

  13. 13
    kay   March 25, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Hi. What is the oven temp for this cake? Thanks.

  14. 14
    kickpleat   March 25, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Joanne, the scotch is different, but it really works out well here. My husband took the loaf cake to some friends and they all demanded the recipe!

    Eva, it’s good here. I’m not the biggest scotch fan, either, but baking with it gets two thumbs up!

    Thanks cindy!

    Mrs L, what timing!!

    Kay, thank you for your sharp eyes! I’ve amended the recipe to include the oven temp. Thanks!!

  15. 15
    Nicole   March 25, 2011 at 11:18 am

    And how is the scotch for sipping? :) Looks so yummy. A great excuse to have scotch for breakfast!

  16. 16
    lo   March 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I’m rolling around these flavors in my mouth and really loving what I’ve imagined. Oats & Scotch sounds just about perfect to me.

  17. 17
    heather   March 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Does it taste at all of scotch? Don’t hate me, but I am really averse to basically every type of hard liquor that’s put in front of me — much prefer wine, beer. I’m loving the overall mixture of ingredients, but the 1/3 cup of scotch has me iffy. Put me at ease?



  18. 18
    kickpleat   March 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Nicole, the scotch is a good sipper! Yes, a good way to have a nip at breakfast ;)

    Thanks lo, I’m sure you’ll love the flavours in real life too. So complimentary.

    Heather, there’s no alcoholic bite in this cake at all. None. But depending on the type of scotch you buy, it could taste like peat and that’s the flavour that is imparted. It’s not boozy at all. But the scotch does provide depth and everyone who had it couldn’t identify the flavours but loved the cake. So, no worries there!

  19. 19
    Robert   March 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    More fabulousness from Ms. Pleat. The cake’s in the oven, I went for cherries over cranberries. Now onto your froyo for the side dish. Hey, when you publish your cookbook, I can edit each recipe for completeness. This time, you’ve listed three ingredients that aren’t in the recipe: oil, nutmeg, cardamon.

  20. 20
    kickpleat   March 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Robert, thank you. You are awesome. I guess hustling to get out a post while I’m in the midst of doing 10 other things isn’t the best when I don’t keep a watchful eye on it. I am super thankful for your watchful eyes. And all my readers who keep filling me in :) Thank you!

  21. 21
    Bijoux   March 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I hear you on the expensive booze province! This cake sounds really good except I don’t have whiskey or scotch at home nor do I ever purchase it. But what I do have is a bottle of Grand Marnier so maybe, I can use that instead?

  22. 22
    kickpleat   March 29, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Bijoux, Ontario has cheaper booze than BC! Sigh. I’m not sure about the Grand Marnier since it’s really sweet. Hmmmm.

  23. 23
    Bijoux   March 30, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Really? I had no idea! I seldom go to the liquor store but the few times I do go for the Food & Drink magazine (hehe) I find most alcohol beverages expensive. A small bottle of Grand Marnier cost me $18. I actually wanted to get a bottle of Frangelico (hazelnut scented liquor) but that cost $25. No way Jose! Anyway, I’ll give this recipe a try with Grand Marnier and let you know how it goes. Remember, I like sweet :)

  24. 24
    kickpleat   March 31, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Bijoux, give it a try and let me know how it goes!

  25. 25
    C'tina   April 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    What a yummy combination…question: the oats should be cooked first, right??

  26. 26
    kickpleat   April 3, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    c’tina, no the oats do not need to be cooked first. They do soak in the buttermilk for 30 minutes (or you could leave them overnight) – they’re chewy but it gives the cake nice texture.

  27. 27
    C'tina   April 4, 2011 at 4:15 am

    Thanks! I made this yesterday, and I love the flavor…next time I’ll soak the oats over night or par cook them. Let’s just say the texture turned out such that I enjoyed savoring the bread, chewing very slowly, so as to not crack any teeth, lol. I had soaked them for an hour…my oats are old though, had expired 10/15/2010…but they didn’t smell rancid, so I used them. If you sew old oats, it may take longer, lol

  28. 28
    kickpleat   April 4, 2011 at 9:18 am

    C’tina, good to know about the old oats! Yeah, they shouldn’t be hard enough to crack any teeth!

  29. 29
    Ashley   April 17, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Everything about this cake sounds amazing! Love that you incorporate steel cut oats!

  30. 30
    kickpleat   April 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks Ashley, they give this cake some serious texture!

  31. 31
    Blanka   April 30, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    It looks like wonderful and tasty cake! Somethink a bit old-fashioned to bake – I was looking for something like this for a very long time as I’m somehow fascinated by old recipes (from 1940s and so on)
    Thanks for such a lovely recipe!

    Have a nice day!

  32. 32
    laura   May 1, 2011 at 7:27 am

    i don’t know if i could bear to pour single malt into this. some things are just so good all by themselves! none the less, i just bookmarked this with my account. we shall see…

  33. 33
    Elena   January 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I made this last night in honour of Robbie Burns’ birthday! I loved the light crumb of this cake, which I think must be because of the buttermilk.
    I’m a big fan of steel-cut oats for breakfast, and though I followed the recipe closely, I found their texture in the cake wasn’t quite “cooked” enough for me. In future I might actually prepare them as I would for porridge, then add into the batter. The somewhat-hard oats were too much of a contrast with the rest of the cake.
    And I subbed spelt flour and it worked out nicely! The flavour of this cake is really nice. Almost muffin-ish; I can pass it off as a healthy afternoon snack :)

  34. 34
    kickpleat   January 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Elena, it could be that your oats aren’t fresh. If they’ve sat around a while, they will take longer. I’ve amended the recipe to note that they may need an overnight soak if you have freshness doubts. Thanks for sharing and I’m glad you liked the bread! Glad you were able to sub in spelt easily.

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