Kahlua Crunch Cake

Kahlua Crunch Cake—grab a spoon and let’s dig in. Chocolate cake is always something I gravitate to.

Kahlua Crunch Cake via Bakers Royale

For this chocolate cake I decided to give it a Kahlúa profile based on the Black Russian Cocktail.

Kahlua Crunch Cake with Bakers Royale

Summer is in full swing at our house, that means pool parties, beach days and family BBQ’s—lots of entertaining. With that, I’ve also paired up with Kahlúa for their Kahlúa Summer Shake-up campaign to share how I’m shaking up my entertaining-at-home tricks.
Now I’ll admit, while I love entertaining, I’ve only recently come around to actually hosting an event in my home. In my group of friends, I’m usually the one that will coordinate it at a pool, a park, someone else’s home—any place but my own.

Kahlua Crunch Cake by Bakers Royale

That is until I’ve finally learned a few tricks to ease up the pressure on myself

  • Food set-up: I don’t do formal sit downs, in the sense of passing around plates and platters. Nope. I set up a long table for food and then a dessert station and beverage bar. This way everyone moves around and interacts more, and people actually eat more since they can help themselves.
  • Beverage bar: No way am I mixing drinks for a crowd of more than four. To keep it simple, I do two featured drinks with recipe cards prominently and stylishly displayed for guests to make their own.
  • Dessert station: There’s always a mix of something like the featured cake in this post—a cut and serve—and something that guests can assemble to their taste, like this.

And as I mentioned, I’m just getting around to feeling fully at ease with entertaining in my home, so I would love to hear your entertaining tricks for how you shake things up while entertaining. Along with that, I’m hosting a giveaway with Kahlúa. So make sure to share your tips and tricks in the comment section below and you could win a summer picnic basket, which will include a cooler to keep all your cocktail fixings, a Kahlúa tumbler, a martini glass, and a cocktail card with all of their lead signature Kahlúa Summer cocktails.

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Chocolate Kahlúa Cake



  • 5 oz. dark chocolate
  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ buttermilk
  • ¾ cup brewed coffee, cooled slightly
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup Kahlúa
  • ¾ cup hazelnuts, toasted


  • 6 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup Kahlúa
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup of butter, softened


To make the cake

Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees and line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment rounds.


  1. In a heat-proof bowl, microwave the chocolate on high power in 20-second intervals until melted; stir between intervals. Let cool slightly.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, coffee, Kahlúa and vanilla; set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and salt at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at time until fully incorporated. Turn mixer speed down to low, in 3 alternating batches beat in the dry ingredients and the wet mixture, scraping down the side down the bowl as needed. Fold in chocolate.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out free of wet batter.  Let the cake cool in pan for 20 minutes. Remove and transfer cake to a wire rack. Using a wooden skewer, poke holes in the cakes and brush Kahlua all over cakes.


To make the buttercream


  1. In a heat-proof bowl, microwave the chocolate on high power in 20-second intervals until melted; stir between intervals. Let cool slightly.
  2. Transfer chocolate to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and on medium speed beat in Kahlúa and heavy cream.
  3. Turn mixer speed to high and add butter in two tablespoons at a time and beat until the frosting is thick and creamy.


  1. Transfer chocolate one cake layer to a serving platter or cake stand spread buttercream on top. Place second layer on top and spread frosting on top and sides of cake. Garnish as desired.



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50 Responses to “Kahlua Crunch Cake”

  1. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — July 8, 2014 @ 9:45 pm

    Gorgeous cake, I love the crunch!


  2. #
    Todd — July 8, 2014 @ 10:42 pm

    Holy Kahlua!! This looks incredible. I love the contrast of the dark cake and the light background. Amazing photos as always, Naomi.

    As for entertaining tips, I’m with you – beverage bar all the way. Oh, and it’s ALL about the playlist ;)


  3. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 8, 2014 @ 11:24 pm

    Your cake looks incredible. I love that there’s buttermilk, coffee, and kahlua all in it! With Kahlua buttercream <— pass the spoons! pinned

    Entertaining in my home? Only if I do it like you, with a food station, dessert area, and drink station. Same!


  4. #
    Thalia @ butter and brioche — July 9, 2014 @ 12:17 am

    wow this looks AMAZING & your photography is brilliant. what a great recipe and awesome flavour combination. thanks for sharing, definitely a recipe i will be trying out.


  5. #
    Jess @ Sweet Menu — July 9, 2014 @ 1:34 am

    Wow gorgeous cake – love the height and the rich colour. Bet it tastes amazing! I would love a piece right about now ;)


  6. #
    Betsy | JavaCupcake.com — July 9, 2014 @ 2:03 am

    I can not wait to try this recipe! YUM!


  7. #
    Allison — July 9, 2014 @ 2:39 am

    This cake sounds amazing! I love entertaining in the summer, when all I have to worry about is dessert and a cheese plate beforehand, then when it’s dinner time everyone meanders outside and we grill.


  8. #
    Alice // Hip Foodie Mom — July 9, 2014 @ 3:42 am

    Beautiful cake, Naomi! My tips and tricks for entertaining are pretty simple. . I also set up a self serve table and have lots of finger foods and appetizers so it’s easier to eat. and I like having a simple DIY dessert table for the kids to keep them busy, like a sundae station or table. gets messy but it keeps them busy and happy.


  9. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — July 9, 2014 @ 4:16 am

    This is gorgeous!! Love that outer crust!!


  10. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — July 9, 2014 @ 4:22 am

    Whoa. So much chocolatey goodness in this cake!!


  11. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — July 9, 2014 @ 4:37 am

    This is beautiful, and i love your entertaining tips Naomi!


  12. #
    Brian — July 9, 2014 @ 4:53 am

    Can this be any more tempting and delicious. I love a good cake (World’s Best Cake comes to mind) and this is on my to do/to eat list. Thanks for sharing.


  13. #
    Tieghan Gerard — July 9, 2014 @ 4:54 am

    I love, love, love kahlua and my very favorite way to use it is in chocolate cake or really any chocolate dessert. This is beyond awesome and I love your summer entertaining tips!


  14. #
    Belinda@themoonblushbaker — July 9, 2014 @ 5:05 am

    Winter entertaining or summer parties the single food table idea, drink station and cutlery that people get themselves is the best way to keep everyone happy.
    I am in the mood for chocolate, booze and coffee. I think I am set with this cake :)


  15. #
    Karen @ Lushious Eats — July 9, 2014 @ 5:23 am

    This looks absolutely delicious! Is is ok to eat kahlua crunch cake for breakfast? ;)


  16. #
    jenna @ just j.faye — July 9, 2014 @ 5:26 am

    This looks fantastic! I have a bottle of Kahlua that will take me 10 years to get through unless I bake something with it. This cake is the perfect solution to at least make a dent in the bottle.


  17. #
    Ashley — July 9, 2014 @ 5:31 am

    Love your entertaining tips! Especially the “make your own drinks!” And this cake….killer.


  18. #
    Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg — July 9, 2014 @ 5:45 am

    This looks amazing. I do love your styling too.


  19. #
    Mary Frances — July 9, 2014 @ 7:30 am

    I totally share your entertaining style. Low-pressure parties where everybody has a chance to mingle are so much better than formal sit-downs.


  20. #
    Jennifer Farley — July 9, 2014 @ 7:49 am

    This cake is perfection!


  21. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — July 9, 2014 @ 8:05 am

    GAH! This is stunning!! I want a big ol’ slice!!


  22. #

    That cake — if looks to. die. for. If I were one of your weekend party guests I’d be totally in heaven!


  23. #
    Shashi @ RunninSrilankan — July 9, 2014 @ 10:02 am

    I love your idea of a buffet table / dessert bar and drink bar – so casual and a great way of intermingling! And now to this cake – not only is it gorgeous, but it sounds delectable!


  24. #
    Tracy | PeanutButter and Onion — July 9, 2014 @ 10:19 am

    I too am just getting comfortable entertaining at home. Love your tips, and great cake


  25. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — July 9, 2014 @ 11:45 am

    if you always serve cakes like this at your parties, I’d love to come!


  26. #
    Nancy @ gottagetbaked — July 9, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

    This cake is absolutely stunning! And I love Kahlua. I think I’ll mix myself a few drinks to wash this delicious cake down!


  27. #
    Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming — July 9, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

    great tips! and amazing cake :) i definitely agree with the buffet set up! and make ahead single serving desserts (even single servings of ice cream) are a lifesaver!


  28. #
    Fitrah — July 9, 2014 @ 2:11 pm

    Sorry if I missed it in the recipe, but where do the hazelnuts go? Are they folded into the cake or are they for garnishing like you did for the photographed cake?


  29. #
    Aimee @ Simple Bites — July 9, 2014 @ 5:31 pm

    I’m down with chocolate cake anytime, especially when Kahlua is involved!


  30. #
    Gaby — July 9, 2014 @ 6:10 pm

    What a fabulous cake! I could eat at least 3 slices!


  31. #
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout — July 9, 2014 @ 6:34 pm

    These pictures are sinful yummm. This post got me out of bed and into the kitchen for some late night dessert :)


  32. #
    Krystle(Baking Beauty) — July 9, 2014 @ 6:43 pm

    My birthday is coming up this weekend! I might have to treat myself to this boozy delight!


  33. #
    Julianne — July 9, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

    pinning, making this weekend.

    Kahlua Crunch Cake for dinner on Saturday… and Sunday.

    xo Julianne


  34. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — July 9, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

    I am in love with this cake!!!!!


  35. #
    Ala — July 9, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

    I bookmarked this page even before I started scrolling down–Kahlua, crunch, and cake are good enough for me. That being said, the I-want-to-lick-my-screen-off photos added a nice justification for that quick bookmark. I’ll be making this very soon!


  36. #
    Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen — July 10, 2014 @ 5:40 am

    This looks amazing – so rich, so decadent – so perfect for ME! :-)


  37. #
    Joanna — July 10, 2014 @ 7:48 am

    Beautiful cake, beautiful pictures! Very tempting!



  38. #
    Rachel — July 10, 2014 @ 10:24 am

    What nuts would be best to substitute for the hazelnuts (allergies)?


  39. #
    Tracy | Pale Yellow — July 10, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

    Black Russians make a great inspiration! This cake looks phenomenal!


  40. #
    Alexis @ Upside Down Pear — July 10, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

    This cake is gorgeous and I want it now! I’m going to have to make this for my birthday!! It’ll be my gift to me :D I love adding coffee to chocolate flavored foods, and of course who can resit Kahlua?


  41. #
    Danae @ Recipe Runner — July 10, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

    Love your tips for entertaining, especially about the beverage bar, so smart! This cake looks incredible, kahlua should be added to all chocolate desserts!


  42. #
    marla — July 11, 2014 @ 10:55 am

    This cake looks wonderful!!!


  43. #
    Clare — July 12, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

    I love your cake – it looks delicious! We do a lot of entertaining by our pool and since it’s a bit of a hike from our house, I look for dishes that can sit out for a bit without ‘melting’ and keep things very informal so that people can help themselves.


  44. #
    Nicole — July 13, 2014 @ 4:45 am

    looks delicious but the cake recipe calls for ¾ cup hazelnuts, toasted – but the directions never say where you add them.


  45. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — July 13, 2014 @ 12:27 pm

    This is my kind of dessert! Totally impressive!


  46. #
    Meagan @ The F&B Department — July 14, 2014 @ 9:22 pm

    The cake looks absolutely stunning, especially the buttercream. Batching cocktails for guests is always a great idea. Punches are easy to make, and guest can serve themselves!


  47. #
    Barbara — July 17, 2014 @ 10:46 am

    I also prefer to take food to someone else’s house! So I don’t have the pressure of making the whole meal, I will buy some and cook some; cook the entree and dessert and have guests bring sides; or I make an assortment of ingredients so people can make their own (salad, fajitas or whatever).


  48. #
    nefta — August 12, 2014 @ 3:26 am

    Hi! Is the oven degrees in farenheit or celsius? Thanks!


  49. #
    Cecily — August 12, 2014 @ 6:00 am

    I want to try this cake. When I entertain I always try to keep it simple and fun.


  50. #
    Benthe — August 22, 2014 @ 12:20 am

    I agree with your view on entertaining – don’t overdo it and just let people walk around & eat. That way you get to enjoy the get-together yourself :)


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