Typically, the holidays are a time for bakers to whip up their best desserts. At each holiday gathering, there’s a chance that you might see the same delicacies: fruit cake, hundreds of types of cookies, moist coffee cake, various cakes, delicious pies, and so much more. The best part is that they’re all equally delicious. (Well, maybe except the fruitcake. But we’ll let you be the judge of that.)

COMO Living reached out to a few local chefs when we decided to tackle booze-infused desserts. What two things go better together than booze and dessert? To us, not a whole lot. Inside this spread, you’ll see a hot buttered rum donut, Irish Coffee Bread Pudding and a coffee flavored cake soaked in Frangelico with a Nutella butter cream and toasted hazelnuts. Did you just drool a little bit? Harold’s Donuts, 44 Stone Public House, and local chef Shana Woody were gracious enough to share their delicacies with us.

We were able to taste-test these delightful desserts and they are for sure COMO Living approved.

Food styling and photos by Keith Borgmeyer

Kahlua Coffee Cake with a Frangelico Soak and a Nutella Buttercream

Shana Woody



  • ½ cup *Filberts (Hazelnuts) or Cocoa Nibs­
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Instant Coffee Crystals + hot water
  • ¼ cup Kahlua
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • ¼ cup Frangelico (Hazelnut Liquor)
  • 1-1/2 stick Butter softened
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • ½ cup Nutella
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Heavy Cream



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease, flour, and parchment two 8 inch round baking pans. (I highly recommend parchment paper. I know it seems like an excessive step, but it always guarantees a clean release).


*If you’re using Filberts (Hazelnuts) and you weren’t able to purchase them toasted. I recommend toasting the raw hazelnuts prior to baking the cake, you can do this process as you prep your cake batter. Start by placing them in a baking dish, place in your preheated oven, and stir about every ten minutes until fragrant and light golden brown. This usually takes 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool. While the cake is baking roll them a little on a cutting board to remove some of the skins. Discard the skins that fall off and chop the remaining nuts finely. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Melt 2 sticks of butter in a pot over medium-low heat. While that’s melting, add 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon instant coffee to ¾ cup boiling water. Set aside.

Once butter has melted, add coffee mixture and Kahlua to the butter in the pot. Let it come to a boil for about ten seconds, then turn off the heat. Set aside for just a minute.

In a separate bowl, add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.

Pour the butter/coffee mixture into the flour mixture. Stir the mixture together gently. It doesn’t need to be mixed together perfectly, you just want to cool down the heat from the butter/coffee mixture before adding the egg mixture.

Add in the egg mixture and fold/stir gently until well combined. Then pour into pans. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (crumbles are okay).

Allow to cool for about 10-20 minutes. Turn out the cakes onto a wire rack.


Drizzle the Frangelico onto each cake, there are many ways to do this, but I personally like to poke holes in the cake with a skewer, then use a silicone pastry brush to “sprinkle” the Frangelico over the top. Just be careful to get as even as a drizzle as possible.

While the cake continues to cool, prepare your frosting.


Beat the butter with the paddle attachment of a standing mixer until fluffy.


Add the powdered sugar. Pulse the sugar in (turn the mixer on and off quickly a few times to get the powdered sugar worked in without it flying everywhere). Beat until incorporated.


Add the Nutella and salt. Beat again until well combined.


While mixer is beating on low, add heavy whipping cream 1 tablespoon at a time until you have a smooth, fluffy, spreadable texture.


Once the cake is completely cooled, start by icing the first layer, add a layer of hazelnuts (or cocoa nibs), then place the second layer on top, ice the rest of the cake, press the remaining hazelnuts onto the exterior of the cake, or you can just sprinkle on top if you don’t want that much crunch. I’ve done it both ways. Cut, Serve, and Enjoy! Happy Holidays!



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