Once upon a non-refrigerated time, a splash of brandy in the batter acted as a preservative. But there are still plenty of reasons to spike your sweets — such as Krystina Castella’s Rum-and-Coke Whoopie Pie.

In “Booze Cakes,” her new cookbook co-authored by Terry Lee Stone, Castella lays the groundwork for one serious cocktail party. There’s science, an open bottle of tequila and a 350-degree oven involved, so she gave us some advice.

Pick your poison carefully

Not all booze is created equal when it comes to baking. “Gin is a really hard one to work with because it’s so harsh and grainy,” says Castella. “Vodka’s also hard because it’s so sharp — you just need a tablespoon or two to get the flavor.” (For the adorable Screwdriver Cupcakes, she toned it down with an orange-flavored vodka.)

… And your cake

Depending on their consistency, different cakes absorb the alcohol differently. “Sponge cakes really soak up the alcohol, so you have to be careful,” warns Castella. “Butter cakes don’t, so you have to be careful about that, too.” Lightweight alert: Go easy on quick-cooking cupcakes, which don’t have time to burn off the booze.


Top-shelf optional

“You don’t need to buy an expensive bottle because of the amount of sugar in the recipes, and you’re using very little,” says Castella, who recommends moderately priced spirits. Or, grab mini airplane-size bottles if you don’t want leftovers — but we’re thinking you can handle it.

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