Saturday, August 7, 2010

Root Beer Bundt Cake


Dave is going to be away, except for a few hours here and there, for the next five weeks. We're not going to have a weekend together until some time in September. So, this last week we've been trying to get a bunch of things done before he leaves, and also spend some time together just goofing around. I have been cooking--as usual--but I've not spent time in front of the computer for at least a week.

One of the most unusual things I've baked recently is a root beer cake. It's a chocolate bundt cake flavored with root beer and frosted with more root beer and chocolate fudge.

The recipe is from the fabulous book Baked.
Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

The cake recipe does include eggs, so if you want a vegan version you could use an egg substitute, or you could make a vegan chocolate cake like skillet cake and make a vegan version of the root beer frosting. You can even buy some root beer extract to flavor a vegan chocolate cake.
root beer flavor extract

When I was icing the cake, I tasted the frosting and I thought it was just too sweet. But after leaving the cake overnight, the flavors came together and the sweetness was more subdued. The cake stayed nice and moist for several days, and was a huge hit with Dave.

To make this cake even more special, serve it with vanilla ice cream in the spirit of a root beer float.

Root Beer Bundt Cake
2 cups root beer (not diet)
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs

Root Beer Fudge Frosting
2 ounces dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup unsalted butter (or vegan margarine), softened
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup root beer
2/3 dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

Preheat the oven to 325F. Generously spray the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick spray; alternatively, butter it, dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.

In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy--do not over-beat, as it could cause the cake to be tough.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a small sharp knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack.

For the frosting: Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth.

Use a spatula to spread the fudge frosting over the crown of the bundt in a thick layer. Let the frosting set before serving, with the ice cream on the side.


  1. Wow. this cake sounds awesome! I love root beer. I will have to try this out or at least make the skillet cake and do the root beer icing as you suggested! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. :o)

  2. I can't imagine how good this cake is with the root beer, Michele. I will have to try it soon. It reminds me of the Guinness cake I make, which gives it a richness and depth. My mouth is watering! Plus you are so sweet to make this for D. :)

  3. I can't quite imagine how a root beer cake would taste, but root beer is so good, that it must be delicious. Isn't it interesting how some baked goods mellow and taste better the next day? It can be really noticeable!