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!

  • Yield about 16-20 servings


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.