3/18/11

pb and root beer bundt cake


Remember when I first made the infamous root beer cake from Baked? Seems like years ago. Today it's still one of my favorites. No it really is. It's simple to make and packs a powerhouse of flavor. It's easily one of those cakes you can bring to a function/party to wow friends because it is so unique and tasty. Did you know that the bundt pan was actually invented by a person? I didn't. His name was David Dalquist--here is a little ditty on him here and here. He also invented/started Nordic Ware. But originally he called it the "bund" pan. Interesting. His success of the bundt pan stemmed from 1966 winner of the Pillsbury Bake Off, where a texas woman (Ella Helfrich) made a "tunnel of fudge cake" using the bundt pan. And from there 1000's of people wanted to make the tunnel of fudge cake at home--thus buying up bundt pans like crazy. I love the concept of bundt pans, just wish they weren't so strange looking. Coat them with enough frosting or glaze and they are better....looking.
Since I do like to make this root beer cake, a lot in fact, I've had it in my mind for a while to somehow kick it up a notch. Peanut butter was the easiest choice and so was pistachios. Who doesn't love a peanut butter sandwich with a cold glass of root beer? Peanut butter and root beer do pair very well together; the salty pb frosting layer adds a nice, gentle layer of salt.


root beer-peanut butter bundt cake
inspired from: Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
print recipe

cake:
1 & 1/2 cups root beer (do not use diet root beer)
1/2 cup of root beer schnapps (if you can't find root beer schnapps use 2 cups of root beer instead of the 1 & 1/2 cups as stated above)
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1¼ cups granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ts salt
2 large eggs

peanut butter frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 ts pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (I used 3 cups for extra thick)
2 TB milk

root beer frosting (I halved this, since I didn’t want a thick layer):
2 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), melted and cooled slightly
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 ts salt
¼ cup root beer or 1/8 cup of root beer schnapps
2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2½ cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously spray the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray; alternatively, butter it, dust with flour, and knock out excess flour.
In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, root beer schnapps (if using), cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into a 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 for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a small sharp knife inserted into the cake 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.
Make the pb frosting:
Blend cream cheese and peanut butter together, adding vanilla and confectioners' sugar gradually with 1 to 2 tablespoons milk. Beat with electric mixer until of spreading consistency. Spread on cooled cake.
I like to put a thick(er) layer of pb frosting on, let that set, then the root beer frosting.
Make the root beer fudge frosting:
Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth.
Use a spatula to spread the fudge frosting over the crown of the bundt in a thick layer. Let the frosting set before serving.

37 comments:

  1. I love that root beer cake, and this kicked up version sounds amazing!!!

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  2. Oh my ever-loving gods! This cake is TOO much. I want some, pronto!

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  3. How gorgeous. This would totally impress at a party. I love the flavor of root beer. YOU should enter the contest

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  4. What a great riff on the original. Love the peanut butter root beer combo!

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  5. Peanut butter frosting is the BEST way to kick things up! (Really the only way in my opinion.) Looks fantastical!

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  6. I want to cut that thing up and chow down, what a great looking dessert.

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  7. wow what a fantastic combination! mmm peanut butter frosting is simply the best.

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  8. This does sound incredible!!!!

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  9. It is unfair of you to make me drool so early in the morning! I am VERY familiar with Nordic Ware. They are much more than the bundt pan. Did you know that 2 out of 3 households have some sort of Nordic Ware product and probably dont even realize it!! The Dalquist family are wonderful people, I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with them. NICE NICE people with wonderful family work ethic. And the manufacturing plant is amazing!

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  10. I've never tried a root beer cake but you topped it with peanut butter so I am sure that it is delicious!

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  11. The cake sounds awesome enough to eat on it's own. Imagine the root beer cake float (sundae? split?) you could make with that!

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  12. My mouth is watering - I love this!!

    I'm trying to enter the BakeOff - I bought a bunch of ingredients but haven't been able to find time to actually test recipes. Gotta work on that :)

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  13. Great, now I'm craving root beer

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  14. Root beer cake is on my to-bake list, now I have to add the PB bit in!

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  15. That looks amazing! Have you ever made Buckeyes? This reminds me of a cake coated in candy buckeyes - brilliant!

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  16. What a treat! I can't tell which I like more -the cake or the frosting. This is my first visit to your blog and I've been browsing through your earlier entries. You have a beautiful site and I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers. I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  17. You make the most, seriously luscious desserts girl. And savory too. You are amazing!

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  18. love how you added the pb frosting to this... totally up my alley :)

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  19. to this day, i can't see a bundt cake without thinking about that scene in 'my big fat greek wedding' where she has trouble pronouncing the word and has no idea what it is. i know what this is--delicious!

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  20. I live in NZ, therefore root beer is not the easiest ingredient to find. Could this be substituted with a normal lite beer or what would you recommend?
    Thanks

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  21. chloe - i don't know what to use. i do not rec using a diet root beer at all.
    maybe you could try sprite, coke, pepsi or some other form of soda that you have in NZ?

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  22. You'd make Minnesota proud with that bundt! We are the home of Nordic Ware you know

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  23. Love this flavor combination--so unique!

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  24. Whoa, peanut butter AND root beer? It's like two desserts in one. Love it!

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  25. I am drooling over this cake...thanks for sharing.

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  26. Love the addition of peanut butter! It makes it extra pretty.

    Root beer + chocolate is an awesome combo. I kinda want to have a hot fudge sundae/root beer float now.

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  27. Can't wait to make this. Love the new VS image, too!

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  28. Yikes Dawn! Slice me up a piece would ya?

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  29. Somehow you're managed to take an over the top cake and make it even better!

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  30. this looks heavenly yummy...

    www.matbakhun.com

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  31. Hi,
    Was wondering if the unsweetened cocoa powder is the same as the dark unsweetened cocoa powder?

    Also, is the 60% dark chocolate sweetened?

    Thanks,

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  32. anonymous: there is a diff between reg cocoa powder and dark. and yes the 60% dark choco is sweetened; if it was not sweetened the bar or bag would would say "unsweetened" by still 60%. this is hard to find. also bittersweet is not that sweet either.

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  33. How cool does the heated cake mixture need to be before adding the eggs?

    Thanks,

    Tracy

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  34. tracy: i would say about 10 minutes it should be ok.

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  35. I missed adding the schnapps to the cake batter because it is not in the instructions. Aaahhh! But I ended up scrapping that one and starting a new one. I can tell by the difference in the batter with the schnapps it is going to be delicious.

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  36. tracy: thanks for seeing that! i guess i assumed people would know to add in the schnapps at the same time as root beer. i fixed it. thanks again for pointing that out!!!

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  37. Love, love, love this blog!! May I add to my blogroll?

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