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Published August 28, 2019

This is the a cross-posting series following the food and literary blogger Stacey at A Literary Supper. It will follow her thoughts on books she has read, and some of the delicious food she has been inspired to make because of those books. Whether the meals appear in the books, or are simply inspired by them, they are included. This article is called “Tipsy Chocolate Cake – The Rules of Magic“.

“But rules were never the point. It was finding out who you were. In the kitchen there was a chocolate tipsy cake for breakfast. The girls might as well learn early on, this was not a house like any other.”

– The Rules of Magic, Alice Hoffman.

 have a tradition every year in October – I watch Hocus Pocus, The Craft and Practical Magic. Even though Halloween isn’t hugely celebrated within Australia (though it is gradually becoming more popular) it is still quite nice to embrace a little bit of the spookiness of the holiday.

I didn’t realise that Practical Magic is based on a book of the same name by Alice Hoffman – though, very loosely based I have to say. Still quite an enjoyable read though, Hoffman manages to illustrate such a beautiful and mesmerising world with her writing. Her descriptions of food, even something as simple as a burger or a pizza feel almost magical. So, once I saw she had brought out a prequel to the book, The Rules of Magic, I was quite eager to purchase it.

I ended up enjoying Rules of Magic so much more than Practical Magic, the combination of Hoffman’s magical words combined with the scenery of New York in the 1960’s blend together to create a stunning story. The history of the girls aunts from Practical Magic is somehow a lot more enticing in comparison. Plus, a staple within The Rules of Magic is Franny’s tipsy chocolate cake, a cake that “is the most chocolaty chocolate you’ll ever taste.”

This cake definitely ticked all the boxes, I made it gluten free since I had friend coming over to watch said movies that needed that particular dietary requirement. While it is not necessary if you don’t want to make it gluten free, any chocolate mud cake recipe will really work for this – however, the gluten free recipe did make it particularly dense, chocolate addled and overall delicious.

My friend Kea also gave this cake a solid 10/10 when filling in as official taste tester

Spending a night watching Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman cast spells, while eating spoonfuls of this decadent cake and drinking endless cups of tea is possibly the cosiest night you’ll ever have.

I based the cake aspect of this recipe off of a great gluten free, vegan one I found at – I’ve got my own good recipes for gluten free cake and for vegan chocolate cake, but struggled finding one that worked for both dietary requirements.

Tipsy Chocolate Cake


2 cups gluten free flour

1 1/3 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

3/4 teaspoons xanthin gum

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons of bi-carb soda

Pinch of salt

1 cup of vegetable oil

2 cups of milk (I used coconut – but anything you have would work fine)


100g of shortening (softened)

250g of butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups of icing sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

60ml of whiskey or rum (any dark spirit will taste amazing!)

1/4 cup of melted dark chocolate (not entirely necessarily – I just found it gave an even creamier, chocolatey taste to the frosting and cut through the sweetness of the icing sugar a little)

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C and grease the inside of two round cake pans (18cm or alternatively just one big one if you prefer), place a square of baking paper at the bottom of each also to help stop the cake sticking.
  2. Mix together all the dry cake ingredients and separately mix together all the wet cake ingredients. Stir very well until the batter is nice and smooth.
  3. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth down the top best you can – don’t stress if it doesn’t look perfect, we’re going to cover the entire thing in frosting anyway. Bake for about 40 minutes until the tops spring back at a touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool almost completely before removing them from the cake pans.
  5. While the cake is cooking is a good time to make your buttercream frosting. This is definitely best to do with a mixer – your arm will likely tire out before the frosting gets anywhere near done .
  6. Combine the butter with the shortening in your mixer and combine until fluffy – depending what kind of shortening you’re using it may take up to five minutes.
  7. Add in the rest of the ingredients, except for the booze, and mix together until combined – add in the booze a little bit at a time just to make sure it doesn’t go too runny.
  8. Once the cake is cooled feel free to spread the frosting on however you like, just use a bit of the frosting to sandwich the two cakes together! I kinda just lumped all mine on and spread it around till I made it pretty – decorations are pretty much up to personal tastes, I imagine chocolate curls and raspberries would be delicious.


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