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
Test Kitchen Notes
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. —The Editors
1 hour 15 minutes
canola oil (or other neutral oil)
light brown sugar
2 1/4 cups
all purpose flour
cocoa powder, natural preferred
4 1/2 teaspoons
1 1/2 teaspoons
dry mustard (such as coleman's)
1 1/2 teaspoons
nutmeg, freshly grated
2 1/4 teaspoons
dark beer (I used yazoo-dos perros ale)
1 1/2 ounces
canola oil (to melt with the chocolate)
half and half
In This Recipe
Grease and flour a large bundt or tube pan-10 to 12 cup capacity. Preheat the oven to 350.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, sorghum, eggs and salt.
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.
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.
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.
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.