Two Shots for Dad

by Natalie Madison

Bourbon Pecan Praline Cupcakes

If Pops has a favorite bourbon, you can bet he's going to love it in a cupcake version.  And we have the perfect easy peasy recipe for you.

Bourbon Cupcakes

First're going to have to sneak into Dad's Liquor Cabinet... But do us a favor...don't take the good stuff.  Avoid taking anything that says reserve or special stash. :) Can't get into the cabinet?  We've got you covered.  Lorann Oils Concentrated Bourbon Flavoring will act as a great substitue.  Experiment with combined flavors like Bourbon plus Pecan Pralines and Cream or Butter Rum and Caramel.  They're delicious and we use them in everything!

Lorann Flavors

Alright...assuming you've broken into Dad's cabinet, or you've selected your Lorann Oils substitute, you're ready to get baking!

Everything Used in This Recipe

Grocery List

  • 1 boxed cake mix
  • 2 to 3 eggs (follow cake mix instructions)
  • 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup vegetable oil (as per cake mix instructions)
  • 4 cups water, divided (you may not use it all depending on your cake mix directions)
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2.5 pounds Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, pieces or whole
  • 1/2 cup of Hi Ratio Shortening
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) plus 1 tbs Butter, softened (and salted is good)
  • 1 cup of Dad's favorite Bourbon (but not the really good stuff)
  • 1 dram of Lorann Oils Bourbon Flavoring
    • 2 dram containers of Caramel Flavor by Lorann Oils
    • 2.5 teaspoons Vanilla Extract 
    • 1 cup of Peter's Caramel
    • 1 package 6x6 gold candy foil squares
    • Cupcake Baking Liners
    • Bacon *optional but delicious



    First, bake your favorite basic chocolate cupcake (or any flavor cupcake that he prefers.)  These don't have to be fancy, a boxed mix will do.  You're going to need a boxed mix, eggs, oil, and water. Now for our version, we created a double decker cupcake.  You can either choose to bake a standard cupcake and slice it in half or bake short cupcakes and stack them...your call.  Or if he's not into all the extra icing, stick with a standard cupcake and just put the buttercream on top.

    Baking Cupcakes

    Bourbon Syrup

    Create a simple syrup to drizzle or soak your baked cupcakes.
    • 1 cup of granulated sugar
    • 1 cup of bourbon or 1 cup of water plus 10 Drops Bourbon Flavoring by Lorann Oils
    • Saucepan
    1. Pour 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of bourbon into a saucepan, or alternatively switch out that 1 cup of bourbon for 1 cup of water plus 10 drops of Lorann Oils.  Need a dropper?  We have that, too.
    2. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
    3. Allow the mixture to simmer an additional three to five minutes to thicken slightly then remove from heat.
    4. Let the mixture cool, then use it to drizzle lightly onto your fully baked and cooled cupcakes.
    5. Let the syrup soak into the cupcake, but don't water log it to mush. :)
    Psssst...this simple syrup is also refreshingly tasty in iced tea, and it appears that summer has set in a little early around here so refreshing and cool sounds delicious.  If he's not a tea drinker, Bourbon Syrup is also perfect for sweetening his morning coffee.  Make a double batch and Bam! You can turn Father's Day into a Bourbon All Day kind of day!  He's going to feel pretty special. Bourbon Iced Tea

    Salted Caramel Buttercream

    We don't often share our famous recipes, but here's our Salted Caramel Buttercream.  You're welcome. :)
    • 8 ounces Butter, softened (and salted is good)
    • 3.5 ounces of Shortening (about 1/2 cup)
      • We prefer a hi-ratio shortening for better stability in the heat and an excellent creamy texture
    • 40 ounces (2.5 pounds) Powdered Sugar
    • .4 ounces Vanilla Extract (2 teaspoons)
    • .2 ounces (about 2 dram containers) of Caramel Flavor by Lorann Oils
    • 4 fluid ounces of Hot Water (half a cup)
    • .1 ounce Sea Salt or Kosher Salt (about 1/2 a teaspoon - dissolved in the above hot water)
    • Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer
    Recipe Yields 56 ounces, enough for 2 ounces for 24 cupcakes and a smidge leftover.
    1. In a stand mixer or a bowl with hand mixer, cream together the softened butter and shortening until light and fluffy on medium speed.
    2. Reduce the speed and slowly add half of the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and Caramel Flavoring.
    3. Pour in half of the hot water with salt and increase speed to medium again.
    4. Reduce speed and mix in additional powdered sugar and water alternatively until the mixture is fully combined.
    5. We like our icing soft, but different brands of powdered sugar absorb moisture at different rates.  You may not need all of the water...and then again, you may have to add an additional tablespoon or two to get your buttercream to an easy squeeze and easy pipe consistency.
    6. Mix on medium high speed until the resulting buttercream is light and whippy again.
    7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for use once we have our caramel and candied pecans pulled together.

    Caramel Sauce

    We make our own caramel by dry cooking granulated sugar to hard ball candy stage then adding butter and heavy cream for silky smooth caramel.  We use it for drizzling onto our cakes and for fillings and making sauces.  Making caramel can sound like a challenge, so you can cheat by purchasing a block of Peter's Caramel to melt down and use as needed instead.  We offer the 5 pound blocks.  You will only use about 1/4 of the block, but the remaining will last indefinitely when wrapped tightly in plastic and stored at room temperature.   And caramel apple season will be here before you know it!

    Just slice off what you need and put it in a microwavable bowl.


    • 1 cup of caramel
    • 1 tbs butter
    • 4 to 6 drops of Bourbon Lorann Oil Flavoring
    • Microwavable bowl
    1. Place all ingredients into the microwaveable bowl.  
    2. Microwave on high for 45 seconds, then stir.
    3. Continue microwaving in 15 second increments until the caramel is smooth and drizzle-able.  Yep, that's a word.
    4. Don't try to heat it to liquid stage.  You will just have to let it cool again before putting into a piping bag.
    Candied Pecans

    Candied Pecans

    • 1 cup pecans, pieces or whole
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons of the warmed caramel
    • half teaspoon vanilla  extract
    • pinch of salt
    • 2 tbs brown sugar
    • sheet pan lined with parchment paper
    • small non-stick skillet or saute pan
    1. Place your pecans over medium heat to begin toasting lightly, stirring and tossing often.
    2. Once you begin smelling the first signs of toasted nuts, add your caramel, salt, and vanilla, stirring it in and coating the pecans.  Toasted nuts burn easily, so stay with the pan continuing to stir and toss.
    3. Cook on medium heat until the caramel begins to bubble across it's entire surface, which should happen quickly.
    4. Once bubbly, cook for 2 minutes more on medium heat, then pour the pecans onto the parchment lined sheet pan.
    5. Spread the pecans out a bit with a spoon.
    6. Sprinkle with brown sugar for that slightly sugary grainy texture.
    7. Allow the pecans to cool before breaking them apart for use on the cupcakes.  They will be sticky at first, but if the caramel was cooked long enough, the coating will harden slightly as it cools.


    1. Remove the cupcakes from their liners.
    2. If you baked standard height cupcakes, split them in half.
    3. Fill a piping bag with coupler with the Salted Caramel Buttercream, about halfway full.
    4. Pipe a small amount of buttercream between the two halves of your double decker cupcake.
    5. Place your top half of the cupcake on the filling.
    6. Pipe a swirl of icing on the top of your cupcake.
    7. Fill another piping bag, without the coupler, with slightly warmed Peter's Caramel...just warm enough to be able to squeeze gently out of the bag.
    8. Cut a small piece off of the tip of the bag to pipe a small steady stream of caramel over the cupcake icing swirls.
    9. Sprinkle candied pecans on top of that.
    10. We took a moment to wrap our cupcakes with a square of 6x6 gold candy foil, just to reduce the mess a little bit while eating this handheld goodness.

    P.S. Bourbon Pecan Praline Cupcakes go really well with a plate of salty fried bacon.  Mmmmm...just saying.  Candied Bacon

    So go out and make Dad's day by treating him to Bourbon Pecan Praline Cupcakes...and maybe a bit of bacon.  And be sure to toast him with a shot of his favorite whiskey.  One shot for the cupcakes, two shots for Dad.

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