There’s only 1 teaspoon of rum in Citizen Cake’s Rum Butter Cake with Key Lime Cream and Tropical Fruits, yet rum is the first word in the recipe title. It makes sense—spiked desserts sell. I certainly wouldn’t turn down a grilled peach topped with bourbon-vanilla whipped cream, an apple tartlet doused with Calvados cream, or a taste of whiskey-spiked butterscotch pudding.
But when you start to model desserts after mixed drinks, things can get dicey. I probably wouldn’t be the first in line to sample a Harvey Wallbanger Crock-Pot cake made with pound cake mix, instant pudding packets, and of course Galliano, but I could definitely get into some Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes.
Now, obviously, the violent history of the Irish Republican Army isn’t something to joke about. I was at a college bar at Notre Dame the first time I saw a shot of Baileys and Jameson get plunked into a pint of Guinness, which was then sucked down by an Irish-studies student. At the time, I wondered if his heartbreak over the sad history of Northern Ireland was what drove him to chug that spiked pint in one gulp, but I later learned that (a) the drink will curdle if you don’t consume it quickly, and (b) that dude was totally insensitive.
Still, the largely Irish American student body of my alma mater generally loves these inappropriately named drinks, and while I’m not one for chugging (anymore) I like the idea of topping chocolate stout cupcakes with an Irish cream– and whiskey-laced frosting. I might even bring some to my next tailgate.