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Coffee Cake Brulee

by | Dec 1, 2020 | 0 comments

We know that there isn’t actually coffee in a coffee cake. But you’re supposed to drink a cup with it, right? Our Coffee Cake Brulee combines the two in a decadent cocktail perfect for dessert…or breakfast.

This week, I’ve got a brand new original cocktail for you. I created the drink for the Coffee Cocktail Challenge hosted by Mr. Black Roasters & Distillers and Steve the Bartender. It’s an 8 week-long competition, challenging mixologists worldwide to make a cocktail out of Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur.

Coffee Cake Brulee

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Recipe by Carl Busch Course: BeverageCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium


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We know that there isn't actually coffee in a coffee cake. But you're supposed to drink a cup with it, right? Our Coffee Cake Brulee combines the two in a decadent cocktail perfect for dessert...or breakfast.



  • 1.5 ounces 1.5 Mr. Black

  • .5 ounce .5 Vanilla Vodka

  • .5 ounce .5 White Creme de Cacao

  • .5 ounce .5 Cinnamon Demerara Syrup

  • .25 ounce .25 Heavy Cream

  • 1 Egg 1 Whole


  • Combine all ingredients into tin
  • Dry shake for 10 seconds
  • Add ice to tin
  • Shake for 15 seconds
  • Double strain into a coupe glass
  • Grate nutmeg on top
  • Grate cinnamon on top
  • Sprinkle demerara sugar over top, almost covering the entire top
  • Use a brulee torch and caramelize the demerara sugar

So, what is Mr. Black? It’s a combination of a lovely cold-brewed Arabica (Ah-RAB-ick-uh) coffee and Australian wheat vodka. I hadn’t heard of it until this competition, and I had to convince my go-to liquor store to order in a case when I decided to enter.

I wasn’t ready for how good it is. The Mr. Black website says their mission is to make people care as much about coffee liqueur as they do about their morning coffee. I can get behind that mission.

I didn’t think there was a better marriage than the one I have with my wife, but I was wrong. She wouldn’t even be mad about me saying that. A coffee roaster AND a liquor distiller? It’s like they were reading our diaries. She’s a coffee addict, and I make drinks.

So, what makes Mr. Black great? It tastes like a good cup of coffee. Slightly sweet and robust.

I didn’t know if I wanted to join the competition, but then my creative side took over. I started thinking about all of the cocktail possibilities, and the next thing I knew, I had a pretty good first draft of this Coffee Cake Brulee.

I used Pearl vanilla vodka, a whole egg, and heavy whipping cream to get the cake flavor. These are the same ingredients I used to make the Boston Creme Pie cocktail for our anniversary, and it worked perfectly. Here’s another example to show you that you don’t need to buy cake-flavored vodka to make a cake-flavored cocktail.

Then came the challenging part. Getting the flavor of the streusel crumble topping. To make the crumble, one would use brown sugar and cinnamon for the cake, so I did the same for the cocktail. Except I used demerara sugar and cinnamon sticks to make a simple syrup.

To make the cocktail almost sinfully decadent, I use white creme de cacao. The subtle chocolate flavor isn’t quite identifiable on its own. It’s there to magnify and support the other flavors. I experimented with making my own for this recipe, but buying a bottle of good quality creme de cacao would be just fine.

Once I had combined all of the ingredients and utilized both a dry shake and a wet shake to incorporate the egg, I had a good cocktail. But it wasn’t quite there yet.

So, I fixed it with sprinkled demerara sugar on top. Then I used my new brulee torch, which I was finally able to convince the other half of Alchemix is a crucial bar tool. Using the heat gun to caramelize the sugar topping gave the cocktail that little extra something in flavor and aroma.

Final Thoughts on Coffee Cake Brulee

Both of us are pleased with how this cocktail turned out. There are still five more weeks of the Mr. Black Coffee Cocktail Challenge. We’ve been playing around with turning our favorite coffee beverages into cocktails. We haven’t found one we don’t like yet, so stay tuned for those in upcoming weeks.

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