Black Russian Chocolate Kahlua Vodka Cake

From 6 Bittersweets
Cake loosely adapted from Rum Cake from Always Order Dessert

XIAOLU’S NOTES: I actually made a 1/2 batch of this recipe using an 8-inch wide Bundt pan. Aside from halving all the ingredients, the only change I made was to reduce the baking time to 35 to 45 minutes, or just until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out mostly clean (a few moist crumbs are fine). 

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup dry milk powder
6 Tbsp Dutch-process (dark) cocoa powder
Scant 1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp canola OR vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk [NOT skim]
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup vodka
1/3 cup coffee-flavored liqueur (such as Kahlua OR Homemade Recipe below)

3 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp water
6 Tbsp granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
6 Tbsp coffee-flavored liqueur (such as Kahlua OR Homemade Recipe below) 
***you can use up to 1/2 cup liqueur if you like your booze cakes to be well-soaked
Sifted powdered sugar, to garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 10 to 15-cup Bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder; set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, dry milk powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and white sugar. Add the butter, oil, milk, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer on medium the batter is smooth and uniform. Add the eggs, and continue beating until well incorporated (no more than 1 minute). Finally, add the vodka and coffee liqueur, then mix until evenly combined.

Pour into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 25 minutes, then invert onto a rack. Let cool for 30 more minutes.

While the cake cools, wash and thoroughly dry the Bundt pan then prepare the syrup. In a large saucepan with high sides, combine the butter, water, granulated sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the butter completely melts and the sugar dissolves. Let reduce slightly, keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over. Remove from the heat and stir in the coffee liqueur (it may bubble).

Quickly place 
the clean pan over the cool cake and invert the cake back into the pan. While the syrup is still warm, poke holes across the top of the cake with a toothpick or fork and brush/pour the syrup evenly over the cake. Let soak for at least 4 hours (ideally, overnight), then invert the cake back onto a serving platter, sift powdered sugar on top (if desired), and dig in! Keeps covered for about 1 week at room temperature.

Homemade Homemade Coffee Liqueur
Adapted from Liv Life
Makes about 5 1/2 cups

2 cups water
3 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp molasses
3/4 cup instant coffee OR espresso powder
1 split vanilla bean OR 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups good quality vodka

Stir water, sugar, molasses, and coffee powder together in a medium to large saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the sugar and instant coffee powder dissolve completely. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, being careful to stir as it’s cooling to avoid crystallization of the sugar. Add vanilla and vodka. If you notice any grains of undissolved sugar, you can strain them out using a fine-mesh strainer. Bottle and cap tightly, then store in a cool, dry place. If using the vanilla bean, allow the liqueur to develop for 3 to 5 weeks, then strain out the bean, re-bottle, and enjoy straight or in recipes calling for coffee liqueurs such as Kahlua. If using vanilla extract, let the liqueur rest for at least 1 full day to allow the flavors to meld before drinking.