Because Emily is a little Thanksgiving crazy, we’ve already started planning and practicing for our late-November feast. This year we’ll be making a boozy dessert, inspired by a new release and accompanying recipe from Booker’s. Maw Maw’s Batch is an insanely good bottle of hooch with rich vanilla notes and an underlying nuttiness — which make it a perfect ingredient for this easy bundt cake featuring bourbon-soaked raisins, crunchy pecans and rich dark chocolate chips.

After some testing, we tweaked the recipe quite a bit, but one of Maw Maw’s old booze-cake tricks (yeah, she’s a real person) that intrigued us was a step after the cake is done baking. Legend has it that she soaked a cheesecloth in bourbon and then wrapped the cake with the cheesecloth to let is sit before serving. This insures a spongy bourbon exterior that will impress your guests (and maybe even get them the slightest bit tipsy!).

Of course, you don’t need that much bourbon for the recipe, so take a tip from our book and save the rest for Thanksgiving survival.


Bourbon Bundt Cake
¾ cup seedless raisins
About 1 cup good bourbon (plus more for the cheesecloth)
2 sticks room-temperature butter (plus more for the pan)
2 cups sugar
6 medium eggs
3 cups flour (plus more for the pan)
1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ cups pecan pieces
1 cup chocolate chips


Two hours before cooking, in a bowl or large measuring cup, combine the raisins with the bourbon and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 325ºF.

Using a stand (or handheld) mixer on medium speed, cream the 2 sticks of butter with the sugar for about six minutes, or until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, blending between each addition.


In a separate bowl, sift together the 3 cups flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 phases, mixing on low (or with a spatula) between additions. Add the raisins (along with the bourbon they’ve been soaking in), the pecans, and the chocolate chips and mix on low speed or with a spatula until everything is evenly distributed.

Butter a bundt pan and then lightly dust it with flour. Transfer the batter to the pan and bake in the oven, uncovered, for 90 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.


Remove from the oven, then allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire cooling rack and allow the cake to cool room temperature.

Add a two-foot length of cheesecloth to a small bowl, then gently pour the bourbon into the bowl until the cheesecloth is saturated. Dape the soaked cheesecloth over the cake and store the cake in something airtight. When ready to serve, remove the cheesecloth, slice and serve with vanilla-bean ice cream and a glass of good bourbon.