i stopped drinking soda about six years ago, after i realized that my diet coke habit was a teeny bit out of control.
like, 12 cans a day out of control. pretty bad, huh?
giving up soda wasn’t as difficult as i thought it’d be, and today i pretty much hate the stuff. with the exception of root beer.
oh em gee, root beer. why are you so delicious?
typically, my craving for root beer comes around every few months or so. i’ll treat myself to a tall root beer float with extra vanilla ice cream and call it a day.
this time, i upped the ante and made a root beer float cake. oh yes, i did.
root beer cake isn’t a new or novel concept. it was popularized when Baked: New Frontiers in Baking was published, and boy oh boy did that cake take the internet by storm.
i first baked that root beer cake back in 2009, and while it was delicious, it didn’t have enough root beer flavor for me. the chocolate icing atop the chocolate root beer cake was just a little too rich, and the root beer flavor was sadly lost.
i forgot about the cake for a little while, until i stumbled across a few rogue bottles of root beer in the fridge a few weeks ago. we had a party and someone had brought some hand-crafted, microbrew root beer and forgot it in our fridge. lucky me!
it was high time to re-make the root beer cake, but with a few minor adjustments.
i decided to make little mini root beer bundt cakes. totally adorable, right?
guys, i totally nailed it. this cake is crazy good! it very well may be the moistest (most moist? you know what i mean!) cake i’ve ever baked. it’s deeply flavorful, with rich chocolate and plenty of root beer goodness throughout.
i could seriously eat this cake for breakfast. it’s that good.
who am i kidding? i did cake for breakfast! a few days in a row, in fact. that’s our secret though.
i topped each of my little baby root beer cakes with a little scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, and drizzled them with warm root beer sauce.
suffice to say that i totally got my root beer fix with this cake.
if you make one cake this month, let it be this root beer float cake. seriously. it’s that good!
this cake would fit in perfectly at a picnic. or a backyard cookout. or a pool party. or at breakfast. your call.
root beer float cake: 100% sassafrastastic!
root beer float cake
Yield: one large bundt cake or 12 miniature bundt cakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
don't have a bundt pan, or a mini bundt pan? no worries! you can use a standard muffin pan to make cupcakes, or 8" or 9" round cake pans to make three cake layers.
for the cake
2 cups root beer (don't use diet root beer! also, i like Virgil's root beer a lot!)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1¼ cups granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons root beer liqueur (found at most liquor stores!)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup root beer
for the root beer sauce
2½ cups root beer, cold
2 teaspoons cornstarch
for the cake
preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, or 300 degrees F if using a dark metal pan.
butter and flour your pan, and set aside.
in a medium saucepan, combine the root beer, cocoa powder and butter. heat over medium and whisk until the butter is melted and the mixture is combined.
add the granulated sugar and brown sugar, whisking over the heat until the sugars are dissolved. remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
in a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
whisk the beaten eggs and root beer liqueur into the cooled root beer mixture, and whisk until combined.
pour the root beer mixture into the flour and gently fold together until the flour has dissolved and the batter is just mixed. if you have a few lumps, no problem.
pour the batter into the prepared pan.
if baking a standard bundt pan or 8" or 9" round cake pans, bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. the cake should spring back when lightly touched.
if baking in a miniature bundt pan, or standard-sized muffin pans, bake for 30-35 minutes.
when the cakes are done, remove from the oven. using a wooden skewer, poke a good number of holes into the cake, about halfway through it.
using a pastry brush, brush the remaining 1/4 cup root beer liberally onto the cakes. you don't have to use the entire 1/4 cup, but make sure the cake is well-saturated.
if using a bundt pan or mini bundt pan, you'll need to invert the cake onto a cooling rack about 5 minutes after removing from the oven.
if making cupcakes or round cake layers, just cool them for about 20 minutes in the pans before removing and cooling completely on a wire baking rack.
once the cakes are cooled, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.
for the root beer sauce
when you're about an hour away from serving the cake, begin preparing the sauce.
combine the root beer and cornstarch in a small saucepan, whisking to dissolve the cornstarch.
turn the heat on medium-high, and reduce the mixture by half, which should take about 20-30 minutes. make sure to whisk frequently.
the sauce should be thick and syrupy.
serve immediately on top of the cake, with plenty of vanilla ice cream!
cake adapted from baked: new frontiers in baking