Bourbon Ginger Ale Cake

Bake up a Bourbon Ginger Ale Cake reminiscent of the classic cocktail combination. Made with ginger ale soda, which acts as a leavener, this easy cake recipe is soft inside with a crisp outer crust. Drizzle it with a sweet citrus and bourbon glaze.

a ginger ale bundt cake on a cake stand with a slice of cake and a bourbon ginger ale cocktail

Feast + West celebrated her 8th birthday this year, and I thought it was time I made her a cake.

One year I made birthday cake-flavored cinnamon rolls, other years I’ve made birthday cake cocktails.

I was thinking back to the first recipe I ever posted, a bourbon ginger ale cocktail, and I thought it would be fun to make it into a dessert to celebrate.

It’s been ages since I baked a bundt cake, so this was a really fun challenge. (Though I am now excited to try this orange poppy seed cake again soon.)

a top view of a bourbon ginger ale cake with a stack of mint green plates and gold forks

Bourbon Ginger Ale Cake recipe

The Bourbon Ginger Ale Cake recipe I ended up making is a bundt cake. Essentially, it is a ginger ale pound cake.

It came out with a golden brown, crispy crust while the inside part of the bundt cake baked up light and fluffy. It’s a delightful combination of textures.

The flavors? Oh, they’re just like the cocktail. With subtle flavors of ginger and bourbon in the cake, the glaze has flavors of vanilla, lime and bourbon and a bit of reserved ginger ale as well.

Altogether this ginger cake tastes a bit like a Moscow Mule — one of my favorite cocktails of all time. (Though a mule is different because it is made with ginger beer, not ginger ale.)

What’s more, this cake comes together in just 20 minutes. It takes over an hour to bake, but that frees you up to do other things like make the glaze and do the dishes!

You’re going to want to leave in any time to let the cake cool before serving, as the pieces are stronger once it has cooled down. If you try to cut it when it’s warm, the pieces may crack.

a cake stand with a bourbon ginger ale with a grey and white kitchen towel and mint green plates and gold forks

What is ginger ale cake?

Ginger ale cake is similar to a 7-Up Cake, which is a classic, delicious cake recipe from the 1950s that’s made with a can of soda.

The carbonation in the soda acts as a leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda.

Ginger ale can be used in lieu of 7-Up, as it also has lots of carbonation, which is why it works so well in this cake.

(There are other cake recipes out there that use soda, like the classic Coca-Cola Cake or this Cheerwine Cake.)

an unglazed bourbon ginger ale cake with a whiskey ginger cocktail

Ingredients

Here are the simple ingredients you will need to make this Bourbon Ginger Ale Cake:

To make the glaze, you will need a few additional ingredients:

  • confectioner’s sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • bourbon
  • lime juice (or lemon juice)
  • ginger ale

For the ginger ale, I used Seagram’s, but you can use Canada Dry, Schweppe’s or any ginger ale brand you like. You will only need about a cup of ginger ale, which is 7.5 ounces, for the cake, though you will need a bit more for the glaze.

a hand holding a gold spoon drizzling glaze onto the bourbon ginger ale cake

How to make Bourbon Ginger Ale Cake

The recipe is pretty straightforward to make.

First, you’re going to want to preheat the oven to 350°F.

Next, get out your stand mixer or an electric mixer and a mixing bowl. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with the vegetable oil and sugar on medium speed, until pale in color.

Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating them each time.

Then add the extracts and bourbon.

Next, you will alternate the ginger ale with the dry ingredients: Add half the ginger ale and blend until combined. Then add half of the flour, blending until combined. Repeat with the rest of the ginger ale, then the rest of the flour and the ground ginger until the mixture is evenly blended together.

Then, go ahead and grease your bundt pan. (I used this 10-inch bundt pan.)

Important note: Make sure you use butter to grease the pan — do not use cooking spray. It does not hold up! The first time I tested this recipe, I used cooking spray and the cake stuck to the pan, and broke when I tried to remove it. Here are some tips for greasing your pan to prevent bundt cakes from sticking.

Pour mixture into the prepared bundt pan. Bake in the preheated oven — on a rack in the middle of the oven — until the top is golden and is firm to the touch and springs back when pressed, altogether about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze. In your mixer, whisk confectioner’s sugar with vanilla extract, bourbon, lime juice and ginger ale.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack or plate so you can glaze it.

Then, spoon glaze on top in a drizzle. Let sit for 10 to 20 minutes to allow the glaze to harden. Transfer to and place cake on a serving platter. Slice when totally cooled to room temperature.

Serve it on its own, with homemade whipped cream or a dab of good vanilla ice cream. It makes a delicious dessert.

a ginger ale bundt cake with a whiskey ginger cocktail and a spoon, jigger and plates

More cocktail-inspired desserts

Moscow Mule Cookies are ginger lime cookies inspired by the classic cocktail.

It’s not Taco Tuesday without a slice of Margarita Cake.

Pina Colada Popsicles are delicious way to beat the heat in the summer time.

Baby Guinness Jello Shots are always a hit, especially at St. Patrick’s Day!

Let me know if you end up trying this recipe! Leave a recipe rating and comment below to let me know how it goes. Hope you love it as much as I did!

a cake stand with a bourbon ginger ale with a grey and white kitchen towel and mint green plates and gold forks

Bourbon Ginger Ale Cake

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Fizzy ginger ale acts as a leavening agent in this bourbon ginger ale cake, a spin on the classic 7-Up cake with subtle notes of ginger, lime and bourbon.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature, plus more for greasing
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 1 cup (7.5 ounces) ginger ale
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger

For the glaze

  • 1 pound confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons ginger ale

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, vegetable oil and sugar on medium speed, until pale in color.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating each one individually.
  4. Add the extracts and bourbon and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add half the ginger ale and blend until combined. Then add half of the flour, blending until combined. Repeat with the rest of the ginger ale, then the rest of the flour and the ground ginger, until the mixture is evenly blended together.
  6. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan with butter (see note). Pour mixture into the prepared bundt pan.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven — on a rack in the middle of the oven — until the top is golden and is firm to the touch and springs back when pressed, altogether about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, make the glaze. In your mixer, whisk confectioner’s sugar with vanilla extract, bourbon, lime juice and ginger ale.
  9. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack or plate so you can glaze it.
  10. Then, spoon glaze on top in a drizzle. Let sit for 10 to 20 minutes to allow the glaze to harden. Transfer to and place cake on a serving platter. Slice when totally cooled to room temperature.

Notes

Make sure you use butter to grease the pan — do not use cooking spray. It does not hold up! The first time I tested this recipe, I used cooking spray and the cake stuck to the pan, and broke when I tried to remove it. Here are some tips for greasing your pan to prevent bundt cakes from sticking.

Adapted from The New York Times

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 490Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 29mgCarbohydrates: 87gFiber: 1gSugar: 67gProtein: 5g

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Comments

    • Susannah says

      Hey Trevor, So sorry it didn’t turn out. I did link to the 10-inch bundt pan that I used, but I appreciate your suggestion to add that to the recipe card and I have done so. If you have smaller pans, you can divide the bater to bake two cakes.

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