Yesterday, in preparation for a New Year’s Eve get together, I decided to make the final cake. A Root Beer Cake! Now choosing cake #52 was not an easy decision, but I love root beer and chocolate – so it seemed like this was the cake to finish up the “Cake-aWeek” year well!
I found this recipe in a “Sifted” magazine by King Arthur Flour, which is a fantastic baking resource. It looked so amazing in the photos. I my imagination it is a lot like a coca-cola cake. But, of course, I don’t that for sure yet since I haven’t tasted it. Confession: I did not use freshly grated ginger or smoked cinnamon (whatever that is…).
Root Beer Cake with Chocolate Root Beer Ganache.
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground star anise
1 1/2 cups root beer, flat or fizzy
16 tablespoons (1 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-process or natural
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
*The original recipe calls for smoked cinnamon; if you can find it, by all means use it.
1/4 cup root beer, flat or fizzy
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, Dutch-process or natural
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground star anise
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-cup Bundt pan, a 9″ x 13″ pan, or two 9″ round cake pans.
To make the cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a medium saucepan, bring the root beer, butter, and cocoa powder to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, cool for 5 minutes, then mix into the flour mixture.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla and stir into the flour mixture. Fold in the grated ginger.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan(s) and bake for 50 minutes for a Bundt cake, 35 minutes for a 9″ x 13″ cake, or 33 to 35 minutes for 9″ layers, until the edge of the cake begins to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven. Gently loosen it from the pan around the edge, if you can. Place a cooling rack on top, across the surface of the cake. Very carefully turn the cake and rack over so that the cake (in its pan) is resting on the rack. Wait 15 minutes, then carefully lift the pan off the cake, jiggling it gently first to make sure it’s not stuck.
To make the ganache: Bring the root beer to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and cocoa powder, stirring until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, then whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, spices, and salt until smooth and glossy. Pour over the top of the cake while still warm.
In case you’re concerned, or sad to see the year of the bundt cake end, be of good cheer: I’m not done baking. In fact, I have a few plans up my sleeve for this coming year – and I hope you’ll keep reading, baking with me and dreaming about cake! There are many more recipes to be tested!