Recipe: Edward Hayden’s Whiskey and Salted Caramel Cake

This rich cake is a little bit like Kilkenny-man Edward himself: generous, fun and a great addition to any social gathering!


Serves 8–10
175g (6oz) plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
175g (6oz) brown sugar
1 tablespoon Irish whiskey
2 large eggs
2 level tablespoons black treacle
200ml (7fl oz) milk
110g (4oz) butter, melted
Salted Caramel Buttercream
110g (4oz) caster sugar
60ml (2floz) cream
A pinch of sea salt, to taste
300g (10oz) icing sugar
110g (4oz) butter, softened


50g (2oz) chopped hazelnuts


20cm (8in) cake tin
Baking parchment
Wire rack
Spatula or palette knife


1. Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm (8in) cake tin and line with baking parchment.
2. Sieve the flour, baking powder and spices together into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the brown sugar and whiskey. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together with the treacle and milk. Add the melted butter and mix well.
3. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the egg and treacle mixture and mix until a smooth batter has been achieved. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 45–55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack and allowing to cool fully.
4. To make the salted caramel buttercream, heat the caster sugar and four tablespoons of water in a saucepan over a gentle heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and cook the caramel, without stirring, for two or three minutes, or until golden and slightly thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly whisk in the cream, taking great care as the caramel will be very hot and may splutter and boil up a little when you add the cream. Stir in the salt, pour into a clean bowl and set aside to cool.
5. Cream the icing sugar and butter together for at least four or five minutes, or until pale, light and fluffy, then beat in a tablespoon or two of the caramel for a smooth consistency.
6. Spread this icing over the cake with a spatula or palette knife, then drizzle with some additional salted caramel and some chopped hazelnuts.
Top Tip
If you like, you could carefully slice the cake into two slimmer layers and sandwich these together with some of the icing.