Bourbon, Rye & Butterscotch Loaf Cake

Bourbon, Rye & Butterscotch Loaf Cake


Deliciously rich, moist and festive bourbon and rye loaf cake. Topped with the most decadent and rich butterscotch buttercream. The perfect afternoon treat!

bourbon rye

I’m not usually a fan of alcohol in bakes, all too often I think it just leaves a really unpleasant bitter taste. But bourbon is something else. I’m a big fan of bourbon anyway, but in this loaf cake it really amplifies the chocolate and rye and gives a gorgeous caramelly depth of flavour. It also somehow makes the cake taste festive…which I know isn’t a ‘flavour’ but I honestly can’t describe it any better than that!

What goes into the loaf cake?

So first things first, lets talk flour. I love using rye flour in cakes (Check out my Salted Chocolate Rye Cake here!) as it gives an earthy deep flavour to the bake. That being said, the darker the rye flour you use, the denser and fudgier your cake will be. So I included some plain flour into the cake to give a good balance between fudgy and light.

Then the Bourbon…the most important part am I right?? You don’t need anything too fancy for this, but as its a relatively small amount used in the loaf cake I’d just use a little from a bottle you like to drink. I used Jim Bean.

loaf cake
butterscotch buttercream

Then the chocolate. Now I know I didn’t put chocolate in the title, so you may be wondering why there’s chocolate in it at all! But I think chocolate balances so well with rye and bourbon it was just a no brainer for me. However, its definitely not the star ingredient. It’s all about the rye and bourbon, I promise.

Now, onto the buttercream! Which is pure butterscotch, mixed in with icing sugar. It is the ultimate decadence.

How do you make butterscotch?

So if you’ve already read my Butterscotch Tahini Brownies post you’ll know the answer to this. But essentially, butterscotch is made like a caramel but with brown sugar instead of white. This gives it a really deep gorgeous flavour that I absolutely love!!

Now for this buttercream, you’ll effectively be making a standard butterscotch and then whipping icing sugar into it. You’ll then need to leave it to cool completely before you top the cake. Seriously. If you try and use it when its still warm it will be a mess. A literal hot mess.

loaf cake

You will however want to eat the entire bowl before you even put it on the cake. Believe me, this buttercream is soooooo good. Like crazy good. It’s definitely not one for a big layer cake, as its so thick, rich and creamy. But for a loaf cake it fits in perfectly.

Also this buttercream is the perfect place to use your homemade bourbon vanilla extract, that if you haven’t made already you ABSOLUTELY should!

So there we have it. Deliciously rich, moist and festive cake. Topped with the most decadent and rich buttercream. Oh, and covered in festive sprinkles because WHY NOT.

I really hope you like this cake as much as I do!

bourbon rye

On with the recipe!

loaf cake

Bourbon, Rye & Butterscotch Loaf Cake

Aimee Field
Deliciously festive Bourbon and Rye Loaf Cake. Topped with the most decadent and rich Butterscotch buttercream. The perfect afternoon treat!
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course Cakes
Cuisine British
Servings 10 Slices



  • 115 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g light brown sugar
  • 80 ml double cream plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract Can use bourbon vanilla extract if have
  • 150 g icing sugar


  • 190 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 190 g light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100 g rye wholemeal flour
  • 30 g plain flour
  • 40 g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 20 ml bourbon


  • festive sprinkles


  • Firstly, for the buttercream: Put the butter and brown sugar into a small pan and place over a medium heat until the butter melts, stirring every now and then. Boil the molten mixture for 2 minutes, stirring every now and then to stop it catching. Then remove from the heat, and whilst stirring pour in the cream. Then add the salt and vanilla, and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
  • Pour the slightly cooled butterscotch into a large bowl, and using an electric whisk, mix in the icing sugar in stages. Once all the icing sugar has been combined, add a little more cream if you want to thin it out a little. Then cover with clingfilm (directly on the surface of the buttercream) and leave to cool completely.
  • For the cake: Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin and preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas Mark 3.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together using an electric whisk. Then add the eggs, one by one, mixing until just combined. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, and then add to the wet batter in two batches. Mixing only until just combined. Then stir in the bourbon by hand, and pour into the prepared loaf tin.
  • Bake for 42-45mins, until a skewer comes out almost clean (the cake will continue to cook outside the oven for a few minutes). Let cool for 5 minutes in the tin, and then remove and place onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Once both the cake and buttercream are cool, place the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip (I use Wilton 2D). Pipe swirled lines across the cake widthways. Then decorate with sprinkles.


Will keep for up to 5 days in an air-tight container. 
Keyword bourbon, butterscotch, chocolate, loaf cake, rye

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating