Root Beer Bundt Cake

This recipe comes from the clever folks at Baked, an innovative bakery located in Red Hook, Brooklyn. I picked up their cookbook, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, last week and was immediately smitten with the Root Beer Bundt Cake. “We weren’t looking for a hint of root beer,” wrote chefs Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, “We needed an avalanche of root beer.” The Astronomer baked the cake this weekend to celebrate a certain Gastronomer’s 27th. While the cake didn’t quite deliver the landslide of sassafras we were hoping for, it was a solid chocolate cake with an intriguing essence of root beer.

For cake

  • 2 cups of root beer (do not use a diet root beer)
  • 1 cup of dark cocoa powder, like Valrhona
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cups dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs

Baked Note: If you can find root beer schnapps, substitute 1/2 cup of root beer with root beer schnapps. The root beer flavor will be more pronounced.

For frosting

  • 2 ounces of 60% chocolate (melted and slightly cooled)
  • 4 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup root beer
  • 2/3 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Make cake

Preheat oven to 325º degrees.

Generously grease or spray (with a non stick spray like Pam) and flour your bundt pan to ensure that your bundt cake will slip out easily. Knock out the excess flour.

In a small saucepan, heat root beer, cocoa and butter over medium heat until butter is completely melted. Add both sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove mixture from heat to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk eggs until just beaten, then whisk into cooled cocoa mix until combined.

Gently fold flour mixture into chocolate mixture. Mixture will be slightly lumpy—Do not over-beat which could cause the cake to be tough.

Pour mixture into bundt pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Rotate pan half-way through. A small sharp knife inserted into the bundt should come out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan completely.

Once cooled, gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn out onto a cooling rack. Make sure the cake is cooled completely before adding frosting.

Make this cake the night before serving to let the root beer flavor intensify.

Make frosting

Place all ingredients, chocolate, butter, salt, root beer, butter, and confectioners sugar, in a food processor. Pulse in short burst until fudge frosting is shiny and smooth. Use a spatula to spread the fudge frosting over the crown of the bundt in a thick layer. Let frosting set before serving.

Serve with a big scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.

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