Gingerbread Beer Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze

By • February 16, 2012 • 40 Comments

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Author Notes: Beer in a gingerbread cake??? Absolutely! Dark brews give a depth to the spicy flavor of the cake. And as always, a little chocolate makes it better; this quick and easy one bowl cake batter has a ribbon of chocolate swirled through it and dark chocolate glaze drizzled over the top. Some may find the use of sorghum unusual but here in the south, we use it in everything. It has a milder flavor than molasses and tends to add less color and is worth the time spent finding it. What beer you bake with is up to you but I suggest one that is dark; an ale or porter will work out nicely.

This recipe is adapted from the gingerbread beer cake featured in my first book Sky High, Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes. For valentine's day, i needed a cake for a class I was attending and decided to turn a triple layer cake into a bundt cake. The recipe has been reworked and adjusted for a bundt pan and to yield a decadent dessert that is quick and easy to make and does not require any cake decorating skills!
janeofmanytrade

Food52 Review: WHO: janeofmanytrade is a devoted gardener, beekeeper, and cook.
WHAT: A deeply spiced chocolate cake with a secret ingredient.
HOW: Make a glaze while a marbled batter bakes in the oven, and try to wait until it cools to eat.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The unusual ingredients in this cake (mustard, sorghum, beer -- we're looking at you), combine to make one of the most complex, nuanced chocolate cakes we know.
A&M

Serves 12-16

  • 2/3 cups canola oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sorghum
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, natural preferred
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (such as coleman's)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cups dark beer (I used yazoo-dos perros ale)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil (to melt with the chocolate)
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons half and half
  1. Grease and flour a large bundt or tube pan-10 to 12 cup capacity. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, sorghum, eggs and salt.
  3. Place a large mesh strainer over a bowl and place the flour, cocoa, spices, baking powder and baking soda in it. Sift about half of the dry ingredients over the egg mixture and then return the remaining dry ingredients in the strainer to the other bowl while you fold the batter a few times. Add the buttermilk and fold until smooth. Sift the remaining dry ingredients over the batter and dump any that have collected in the bowl into the batter as well. Fold a few times, add the beer, and fold until completely mixed. Remove 2 cups of batter for the ribbon and pour the remaining batter into the prepared pan.
  4. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the 1 teaspoon of oil on the lowest setting. Stir until smooth and then stir into the reserved cake batter. Pour this chocolate batter over the top of the batter in the pan and using a spoon, gently stir it in to create a marbled effect in the batter.
  5. Bake until a pick inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes and then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.
  6. To glaze, melt the bittersweet chocolate with the half-and-half in the microwave on the lowest setting. Stir until smooth and glossy. Place the cooled cake on a serving platter. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze all over the top of the cake. Allow the glaze to set in the fridge for 15-20 minutes but serve it at room temperature for the best flavor.

Comments (40) Questions (5)

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27 days ago Cindy Wells

I have a similar recipe, but use molasses instead of sorghum. I use Young's double chocolate stout. The cake actually gets better after sitting for a few days, if you can resist that long. It's based on a cook's illustrated recipe, but I go extreme with the fresh ginger and use only brown sugar.

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about 1 month ago Laura415

This recipe really caught my eye. I can't wait to try this instead of my go to chocolate stout cake. I plan to sub the sorghum syrup with a mix of other liquid sweeteners I have on hand. Probably Molasses and honey because of their spicy taste. I don't use seed oils so will use a combo of melted butter, light tasting olive oil and coconut oil. This will not change the recipe much unless you refrigerate the cake. I always use spelt flour in cakes and it works very well. Thanks for this gem. Looking forward to making it my own.

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about 1 month ago Cherie

Over here in South Africa, sorghum is a flour, but I see most comments imply a sort of syrup? What should I use?

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about 1 month ago cookingcontestjunkie

If you live near any Amish or Mennonite markets they usually have sorghum.So glad!

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4 months ago Ntailleart

I just made this for a potluck and it was a hit! I would say it has a very grown up flavor that pairs well with coffee or red wine. The recipe also stood up to some abuse. I made it gluten free (just used my favorite all purpose mix) and with gf stout- the cake didn't suffer for it all. And lastly, I made the cake several days in advance and froze it. Day of, I thawed it out and iced it- it held up great!

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5 months ago Michelle Trim

I used half molasses and half lyles golden... can't find sorghum here in CT. I think next time I will use golden and agave. The molasses darkened the cake so much that the marbling was invisible and it deepened the flavor too much. Otherwise, great cake, especially on the first day.

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5 months ago henandchicks

Has anyone tried NOT marbling this cake- just adding the chocolate to all of the batter?

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5 months ago Sharon Hanna

Hi - Great recipe - however canola oil (at least in Canada) is almost always genetically engineered. I'd recommend using another type of oil - grapeseed perhaps.

Stringio

about 1 month ago enthous

Yes! It is in the states too.

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5 months ago Rachel

I'm in England and don't think sorghum is available here. Would golden syrup be ok? or maybe a mix of molasses or treacle and golden syrup?

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about 1 year ago ehuckaby

I was able to find sorghum at a brewing supply store (apparently, it is used to make gluten-free beer). The cake was so lovely; interesting but not heavy or overly rich. Congrats!

Parmigiano-reggiano_gal

about 1 year ago PRST

I just made this cake and it fell- smells delicious though. My batter was on the runny side so I am wondering about the amount of flour I used. I fluffed up the flour in my canister and then spooned it into the measuring cup. Wished the recipe had weights, especially for the flour. Also, I assumed the brown sugar was 2 cups, PACKED.

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about 1 year ago essabagel

I rarely bake but couldn't resist the siren song of this cake, and I'm so glad I gave in to the temptation. It turned out beautifully, one of my all-time favorites. I thought I'd find sorghum at my local Whole Foods; when they turned out not to have it, I grabbed a jar of barley malt syrup instead, and that seemed to work well as a substitute. I can't wait to make it again!

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5 months ago Yogamani

How much barley syrup did you use?

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about 1 year ago moxyroxy

I just made this beautiful cake (: I used molasses instead of sorghum, and baked it in a 9x13 pyrex for 30 minutes. The texture is delicate and it is aggressively spiced (which I like). Do sift the dry ingredients!! I don't have a sieve, and some clumped up dry mustard snuck its way past my spatula into the finished cake. I'll think of it as an element of surprise...

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over 1 year ago DulaNotes

This is such a beautiful cake. I'll have to make it for the next special occasion. Congratulations on your win!

Fb

over 1 year ago BlueKaleRoad

Stunning cake! I love all the flavors you included. Congratulations!

Smokin_tokyo

over 1 year ago BoulderGalinTokyo

Congrats on a boosy cake, with mustard even! I must try this.

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over 1 year ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks wonderful! Many congrats on your win!!

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over 1 year ago Lizthechef

I cannot wait to try this - congrats!

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over 1 year ago cookbookchick

After making Teddie's Apple Cake THREE times in a row, THIS is my next cake! Congratulations, janeofmanytrade!

Jampro

over 1 year ago Bevi

Congrats! This looks simply delicious and I think I will try it for our annual neighborhood full moon snowshoe party!

Dscn3274

over 1 year ago inpatskitchen

Warmest congratulations! Beautiful cake!

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over 1 year ago Gibson2011

I haven't invested in a good bundt pan yet. Any suggestions for alternative baking pans for this recipe?

Stringio

over 1 year ago Ted Drake 1

It's hard to go wrong with the basic nordic ware bundt pan. It'll last for years, it's easy to use, and reasonably priced. http://www.amazon.com/gp...

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over 1 year ago kyliefmcd

Looks AMAZING! If I can't find sorghum, can I use molasses instead? (I have a jar sitting in my cupboard.) Thanks and congrats!

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over 1 year ago janeofmanytrade

you can use molasses but it is much stronger in flavor than sorghum would be. if you can find sorghum, it is worth purchasing. in the south, we can find it in farmers markets and grocery stores and i recently noticed that the whole foods supermarkets also carry it here.

Stringio

over 1 year ago Allison Longenbaugh

I used it when i made it yesterday and it was amazing. My bundt pan was terrible (so i could barely get the cake out), but the flavors were so good that we just ate it with ice cream & didn't care that it wasn't the prettiest thing in the world. I highly recommend it and will order sorghum on-line so i can try the recipe with that next time.

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over 1 year ago Stephen Wagner

Sorghum is a syrup made from sorghum plants that look a lot like corn stalks which they're often mistaken for in the South. It's grown for the sugar content and I'm guessing it's pressed for the juice. In China the reeds are woven into baskets and trays. When I worked for the Pottery Barn we had huge shipments of baskets arriving from China and a sizable portion was made up of sorghum trays and baskets.

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over 1 year ago schiugriffin

yummmmmm

Stringio

over 1 year ago Allison Longenbaugh

Where do you find sorghum? Is it a flour or a syrup?

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

What a beautiful cake, Love the marbling and chocolate glaze. Brilliant! Congrats on being a finalist.

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over 1 year ago EmilyC

I've made gingerbread with beer before, but with a chocolate glaze on top? Um, yes please! Can't wait to try this! Congrats on being a finalist.

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over 1 year ago Midge

This is one awesome-looking cake. Congrats!

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over 1 year ago gingerroot

Mmm...I love dark and spicy notes and I'm looking forward to trying this. Congrats on being a finalist!

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over 1 year ago Kitchen Butterfly

Congratulations on being a finalist - it looks delicious

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over 1 year ago healthierkitchen

this sounds wonderful and just might be my weekend project! congrats!

Sausage2

over 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I had thought I had commented on this before, but apparently that was only inside my head. Anyway, drool, yum, wow. Congrats on being a finalist. This looks delightful!

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over 1 year ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Made this for a party last night and the crowd went CRAZY for it - spicy and moist and chocolatey - really delicious

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over 1 year ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I missed this the first time around but holy crap it sounds good! Excuse my French :-) I am intrigued by the use of dry mustard - I am assuming that spices things up a bit ....