I'm not really a big soda drinker, but I really love root beer. I don't drink it very often, maybe just a few times a year. But when I do indulge, I sure do love it! Big brands, like A&W are okay, but I really like the artisan varieties that are sold in glass bottles. Such a treat!
I recently gave in and bought Baked, a cookbook that seems to be all the rage across the blogosphere these days. I've picked it up and browsed through it numerous times at the bookstore, but never bought it. I finally bit the bullet when I ordered a few things from Amazon last week.
This cake was one of the first things that called to me, and given my love of root beer, and especially root beer floats, that should come as no surprise. We were invited to a friend's house for dinner last weekend, so I offered to bring this for dessert. It is very simple and straightforward to make, and the frosting is made utilizing the food processor! I have never used my food processor for frosting before, but I have to say, it was so fun and so fast! No creaming butter, whipping egg whites, etc. Just throw everything in and pulse a few times until the frosting comes together. When it came to frosting the cake, I decided to throw caution to the wind and just go for "whimsical."
This cake is not for the chocolate-weary. It is very very rich, and I highly suggest you serve it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream to cut the richness a bit. Plus, that makes it feel like you're eating a root beer float! The root beer flavor isn't quite as pronounced as I would have liked, but according to the authors, it will intensify over the course of a day or two. I think the root beer flavor was perhaps masked a bit by the cocoa powder. It calls for dark cocoa powder, which is a much stronger taste than the classic. So I think the chocolate just overshadowed the root beer a tad. Either way, it was still really delicious.
As a sidenote, does this cake look like a giant chocolate doughnut to anyone else? :-)
Root Beer Bundt Cake
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
For the cake
- 2 cups root beer (not diet)
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 oz. dark chocolate (60% cacao), melted and cooled slightly
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup root beer, plus more as needed
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
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 heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and let cool.
In a medium 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 overbeat, as it could cause the cake to be tough.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 35-45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking time, until a small knife inserted in the center 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.
To make the frosting, add all the ingredients to a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth. Add more root beer, a few teaspoons at a time, if the frosting is too thick to spread easily with a spatula.
Use a spatula to spread the frosting over the crown of the cake in a thick layer. Let the frosting set before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream on the side.