Sidecar Cocktail Inspired Cake | Episode 6: Halloween Wars

 I bring to you a tried and true crowd pleaser of a cake - that is also cake master approved. This recipe is my baby, and I am so proud of her. It is bittersweet to release the details and recipes to the world, but I love it so much that I want the world to be able to experience this as well. It's pretty phenomenal. 

My Sidecar cake brings together all of the flavors and excitement of the Classic, Prohibition era cocktail. We're talking Brandy, Grand Mariner, and tart lemon. I think I could write about this cake for days, but you get the picture... it's GOOD. and it is every other synonym relating to good, amazing, delicious, spectacular, etc. 

A slice of this cake is the perfect showstopper for any birthday, anniversary, or whatever you have going on. It pairs great with any meal or drink, but it is especially amazing to enjoy alongside THE. SIDECAR. COCKTAIL. DUH! You can find the recipe for that classic drink here: The Classic Sidecar Cocktail

I competed with this cake on Episode 6 of Halloween Wars: Season 12. The episode was based on Portland, Oregon, and its dark Prohibition past. We had a blast putting our design together, and I am so proud of this cake.

The judges loved it, and I was so thrilled. They had so many encouraging and amazing comments that did not make it on the final cut aired on Food Network, but I will remember those moments during judging forever. Aarti Sequeria said, "are you sure you've never tried a Sidecar cocktail before?? ... because this cake tastes EXACTLY like the cocktail. Tart, bright, smooth, warm, tangy, and delicious. The right amount of booze. It's incredible." All of the judges agreed that they loved the granola crunch in the cake. They loved the crunch from the rice cereal, chew from the oats and cherries, and bite from the pistachios. 

I remember Eddie Jackson saying that "that Sidecar cake saved your team. Well done." I am forever grateful for that. WE MADE IT TO THE SEMI FINALS !! Final Three !! I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS.

This Cake Beauty is Comprised of:

- Orange Zest Cake Layers

- Orange Liqueur Simple Syrup

- Lemon Curd

- Cherry and Pistachio Granola

- Brandy Italian Buttercream


1. Mix together eggs, sugar, and orange juice and zest in a large bowl with a whisk.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix.

3. Heat milk, butter, and oil in a saucepan until boiling. 

4. Alternating between wet and dry, add the dry ingredients and milk mixture into the large bowl with the sugar, eggs, and orange juice and zest.

5. Carefully whisk until just combined. Do not over mix. 

7. Bake cakes until golden and cooked through.

8. Let the cakes cool, and once cooled - layer them up with whatever icing and fillings you desire. For Halloween Wars, I completed it by including: Orange Liqueur Simple Syrup (recipe below), Lemon Curd, Cherry and Pistachio Granola Crunch, and a Brandy Italian Buttercream. I promise it'll be a hit.

Sidecar Cocktail Inspired Cake | (Episode 6 : Halloween Wars)

              Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins

                   Recipe Yield: 1x 3 Layer, 8-inch Cake

                   Recipe by: Hannah Catherine - Rosemary Whisk

Cake Ingredients:

360 g           Flour - all purpose, white spelt, or gluten free

1 3/4 tsp      Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp          Baking Powder

6 each          Eggs, room temperature 

596 g            Sugar, granulated

2 tsp             Vanilla Extract

1 tsp             Orange Extract (or 1 Tbsp Orange Juice)

1                    Orange, zested

341 g            Milk, whole

86 g              Butter

101 g             Vegetable or Canola Oil

Cake Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease three 8inch cake pans and line with bottom with parchment circles.

2. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. 

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and orange extract/juice and zest. Mix for 1 minute - until foamy.

4. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat milk, butter, and oil just until boiling. 

5. Add 1/3 dry ingredients to egg mixture, and then 1/2 of the warm milk. Stir until partially combined. Add the 2/3 of the dry and the rest of the liquid. Stir until partially combined. 

6.Finally, add the remaining third of the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

7. Divide batter into the three greased cake pans.

8. Bake until golden and cooked in the center, about 30-35 minutes. 

9. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, remove from pan, and let cool on a cooling rack until room temperature. 

Assembly Instructions:

1. Prepare Orange Liqueur Simple Syrup:

1 oz        Water
2 oz       Orange Juice (preferably freshly juiced)
1             Orange, Zested
2 oz       Orange Liqueur (Grand Mariner, Cointreau, or Triple Sec)
1 oz        Sugar
Pinch    Salt

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to boil over medium heat. Cook until all sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and use for soaking your cake layers. Any extra can be stored in the refrigerator. 

2. Prepare Lemon Curd

5. Once cake layers and fillings have cooled - it is cake assembly time!

6. Place the first cake layer down on a plate, cake stand, or cake board. Add an even layer of brandy buttercream to cake layer and pipe a border of buttercream around the top edge of the cake. Fill the center with lemon curd and sprinkle with the granola.

7. Place the second layer of cake over top, and repeat the same filling process. Buttercream. Buttercream rim. Lemon Curd. Granola. Last cake layer.

8. Flip the last cake layer over, so the flat side faces up, and cover your cake in buttercream. Decorate however you please. Enjoy with a Sidecar Cocktail on the side.


Make sure that your cake layers are at least room temperature before you begin stacking the cake. I prefer to chill my layers in the refrigerator or freezer prior to assembling most of my cakes. It makes things easier, and it ensures that even more fragile cakes will stay intact during assembly.

- This cake will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator before it starts to get dry, but this cake also freezes well. So, wrap it up in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. Take it out of the freezer and thaw whenever you're ready to slice and dig in. 

- This cake was featured in Episode 6 of Halloween Wars: Season 12. I competed with my team "Squad Ghouls," and THIS CAKE helped us to make it into the SEMI FINALS !! FINAL THREE. WOW. 

With love & buttercream,

Hannah Catherine 


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