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Kahl˙a Tipsy Cake

Kahl˙a Tipsy Cake

This cake was originally made by the Victoria Sandwich (named for Queen Victoria) cake method i.e. of beating butter with sugar until light and fluffy, and then beating in eggs 1 tsp at a time. Finally, folding in flour. Even with electric mixers this is time consuming, so my version of the cake is now made by the all-in-one method using well beaten, softened butter. You can also substitute butter Crisco or stick margarine. This substitution retains the same fat content but eliminates the cholesterol in the butter.

You need to add additional baking powder to give the same amount of 'rise' as would occur in the traditional method of cake making. If you use Crisco or margarine, the mix needs beating for 2 minutes only with an electric mixer but should not be beaten for longer as this will toughen the cake texture. In England we used to make this for weddings in a 16 inch square cake pan using a complete bottle of sherry or brandy until the cake was literally sitting in a puddle of alcohol laced syrup.

Update November 2008
I recently made the coffee version of this for Cook's Corner at the request of a producer. If you are used to drinking wine and strong alcohols, then you might want to use more orange or coffee liqueur and less orange juice or coffee syrup to give you more of the 'wow' taste. If you are not used to strong liqueur then the alcohol flavor might be strong for you. It's your choice.


  • 1½ sticks butter (6oz) softened (or I can't believe it's not butter, Crisco or equivalent but not a 'lite' margarine)
  • 3 extra large eggs or 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 c all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ c sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water (either 1 tbsp Folgers decaff. or 1 tsp instant espresso coffee powder).
  • 2 c very strong coffee
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • ½ c Kahl˙a coffee liqueur
  • 2 c hot water
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee powder (I used Folgers decaff or 2 tsp instant espresso coffee powder)
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • ½ c Kahl˙a coffee liqueur


1. Preheat oven to 375° and grease and flour a 10" across bundt pan with Pam. A Spring Form pan can also be used but the cake would then have to be placed in a different container for the syrup to soak in.

2. Put butter, flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs and coffee mixture in mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for at least 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Don't beat just until the mix looks combined. The more air you beat in the fluffier and smaller crumbed the texture will be.

3. If you are using margarine or Crisco, beat everything together in one bowl for 2 minutes. The raw texture will look different to the butter raw texture.

4. The batter should fall gently off a spatula or spoon with a sharp shake, not run off. If a bit too dry then add 1-2 tbsp more of milk, coffee or water.
5. Spoon batter into prepared bundt pan, smooth top and bake in preheated oven for approx. 25 - 30 minutes until cake is well risen, deep golden brown and deeper brown around the edges. It might have a crack in the middle but this will be hidden when you invert the cake. Note: a dark pan will darken cake sooner.

6. Remove from oven and leave to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then use a spatula or thin knife to release all edges of cake.

7. Turn cake out of pan onto plate. There is no need to let cake cool further.

8. Make syrup by dissolving sugar slowly in coffee or water, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cool for a few minutes and add alcohol.

9. Pour half of prepared syrup into bundt pan and return cake to bundt pan. (no need to wash pan first). Pour remaining syrup over cake and leave in pan for about 10 minutes until cake has absorbed all syrup.

10. Turn out onto serving plate and leave to finish cooling. This cake does not need cream, but my mother always served it with whipped cream and sliced almonds sprinkled on top.

© 2000-2008 Royal Temptations

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Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers a Personal Chef service, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, and makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.
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