My brother’s girlfriend totally rocks.  She is super fun, as sweet as can be, smart, loving, incredibly gorgeous…  She goes with me to Britney Spears concerts.  She is my perfect teammate for Wii Pictionary (what what?!)  And to top it off, she is a fellow brownie lover who really, truly loves brownies as much as I do.  Her birthday was in early March and obviously brownie something or other was in order.  But this wasn’t just any birthday – it was her 21st.  I started thinking of ways to combine brownies and booze and this was the first idea to strike me.  It was also the last, because really how could I improve upon boozy brownies layered with Kahlua and Bailey’s spiked whipped cream and chocolate syrup?  You’re right.  I couldn’t.

This cake’s outrageousness is ideal for a 21st birthday, but don’t worry – you could just as easily adapt this to make a single layer of boozy mudslide brownies (divide the recipe in half and bake in an 8 x 8 inch pan.)  Because the brownie layers are dense and fudgy compared to the light, fluffy whipped cream, the cake should be assembled just before serving.  (If you assemble it further in advance it will still taste awesome but just be a bit unsightly.)  And obviously, since we’re talking about three layers of brownie, a thin sliver is plenty so there is lots of cake to go around.  This can feed a crowd for sure!  If there are kids or others in attendance who choose not to partake in alcohol, consider baking an extra pan of brownies for them and have vanilla ice cream at the ready.  No one should be left out of birthday fun!


For the brownies: 
10 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
16 tbsp. (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
6 tbsp. cocoa powder
6 large eggs
2½ cups (17.5 oz.) sugar
1½ tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
2 cup (10 oz.) all-purpose flour
About 2 tbsp. Kahlua (or other coffee-flavored liqueur)
About 2 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish Cream

For the whipped cream: 
1½ cups heavy cream
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Kahlua
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Bailey’s Irish Cream

To finish: 
Chocolate syrup, for drizzling


  • 01

    Place an oven rack in lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line the bottom of three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.  Lightly grease and flour the edges of the pans, shaking out the excess.  Set aside.  In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth.  Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth.  Set aside to cool.

  • 02

    In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt; whisk until combined, about 15 seconds.  Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until incorporated.  Then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and spread into even layers.  Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 30-35 minutes.

  • 03

    Transfer the pans to a wire rack.  Brush the warm brownie layers with Kahlua and Bailey’s.  Allow it to soak in and repeat one more time.  Let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.  Run a knife along the outside edge of the brownie layers and carefully turn them out of the pans.  Remove the parchment paper.

  • 04

    When ready to serve, place a brownie layer on a cake board or cake platter.  In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar.  Whip on medium-high speed until medium-stiff peaks form.  Blend in the Kahlua and Bailey’s until evenly incorporated.  Spread about a third of the whipped cream in an even layer over the first brownie layer.  Drizzle generously with chocolate syrup.  Top with a second layer of brownie.  Smooth half of the remaining cream over the top and drizzle with chocolate syrup.  Place the final brownie layer on top, top with remaining whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate syrup.  Slice and serve.

  • Nur Ain

    Annie! This looks soo yummy! Sorry for asking. Can I omit the Baileys Irish cream?

  • Annie, this cake is gorgeous! I especially love the simple whipped cream topping!

  • LisaR @ Who Stole My Baby?

    This is unreal. That chocolate on the top makes it look like a stained glass window of awesome, except with chocolate and cream and cake instead of icky glass.

  • Tracy

    What a fantastic birthday cake! I love how you dressed up a brownie to make it festive and boozy. Your brother’s girlfriend is lucky to have you in her life!

  • I want to go to there.

  • annieseats


  • Amanda @ The Scacchi House

    This looks amazing!

  • JensFavoriteCookies

    How about you and I become best friends, so I can get one of these for my birthday too?! I have such a weakness for brownies.

  • WHOA. That’s like 3 layers of awesome insanity. And a perfect way to celebrate #21.

  • lemonsugar

    Gorgeous, as always Annie!

  • Tessa @ Handle the Heat

    Oh my… Where were you for my 21st birthday!?

  • Um, yes PLEASE! I’ll be making this soon.

  • Caroline L.

    This would be the best 21st birthday gift ever :)

  • marcie @ flavor the moments

    My birthday’s coming up. I wish somebody would make this for me! I sure won’t be 21, however. This cake looks outrageously good!

  • I love everything about this! Brownies are a favorite around here so I will be making this soon!

  • Brittany

    Hi Annie, You are such an inspiration and each morning I look forward to seeing your spectacular creations!! Quick question, did you flip each brownie cake over when you assembled? Keep up the great work!

  • OMG this is deadly with Kahlua and Baileys – to die for!

  • Wow! It caught my attention anyway. I have to make this and have a birthday coming up I need to bake for, Cream might not be the way to go as I have to travel with it, so maybe homemade marshmallow fluff might work.

  • Swiss Miss in the Kitchen

    Oh my…. That looks soooo delicious!! You are a fantastic baker Annie!

  • annieseats

    Yes, I actually did flip them and then brush the alcohol onto the bottom side because it was more porous than the top, which had a sort of delicate crust. Hope that helps!

  • Loretta E

    It looks gorgeous! I love seeing the layers between the frosting…

  • Oh,this has my face ALL OVER IT :)

  • Now I know what to make for my roommate`s 21st birthday this year! :D

  • Jill

    Made this for a St. Patrick’s Day party and it was awesome! I only made one layer of brownies and dyed the whipped cream light green. Topped them with chocolate syrup and mini chocolate chips. They were awesome! The alcohol soaked into the brownies perfectly and the icing was delicious. We used the leftover whipped cream for Irish coffee and hot chocolate

  • I need this. Now. Looks incredible!

  • Tina @ Tina’s Chic

    Looks too good to eat!

  • Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner

    I wish this had been the cake for my 21st birthday! My husband’s traditional cake is one brownie layer and one banana cake layer covered with chocolate frosting…..this looks just as good!

  • Yes. Please!

  • I love this cake!Thank you for this wonderful recipe!!!

  • Lena_Reed

    Looks amazing! Making it right now.. Is there really no baking powder/soda in the cake? And how far in advance can I assemble the cake?

  • annieseats

    That’s correct. Most brownies don’t have a leavening agent included and these are brownies, not cake. The assembly info is included in the text of the post. Enjoy!

  • Lily_Rolfe

    Too yummy! (Is that possible..?) Made this for my brother’s 21st birthday, it was a total hit! Thanks so much, Annie :-)