Generally speaking, I am a less-is-more sort of person. Unless it comes to pairs of cute, comfortable flats, a most excellent face cream, and the most perfect pen ever created. Or, apparently, Bundt cakes. I don't know what it is, but man, I've got the hots for Bundt cakes. Every time I make one, I'm all, "Why haven't I committed more of my life to Bundt cakes? This is perfection!". They are so super easy, so unbeatably moist, they keep for days and days and just keep getting better. Plus, with the pretty pattern of a Bundt pan, all you need a glaze or a little dusting of powdered sugar and BAM!--instant prettycakes. Love it.
But then I recently tried a long-bookmarked recipe for a Root Beer Float Bundt Cake, and let me tell you what. This is some next-level Bundting right here. Cake plus chocolate plus root beer? Oh, hello, One-Way Ticket to Paradise--don't mind if I do.
So like I said, I've had a little Post-it on this recipe from the Baked boys'
first book for oh, approximately 100 years. And just as many times, I've intended to remember to buy root beer, but like scheduling a dentist appointment, just plain forgot about the whole thing. However! Recently I happened to be testing another crazy recipe that involved root beer, and in the sort of twist of fate that kind of makes you feel like you're totally part of the obesity epidemic, happened to have a serious excess of root beer on hand. And Boylan's too--the good stuff. Root Beer Float Bundt Cake was now officially on the docket.
Oh, and speaking of being part of the epidemic, guess how this recipe starts out? Yeah. Butter chunks and root beer in a pan. Excellent.
The rest of the recipe comes together in a flash, a one-bowl-and-a-whisk deal, the sort of thing I absolutely fall in love with. After a long bake that produces the kind of intoxicating smell that makes you have to chain yourself to something heavy to keep from charging the oven, you top the whole glorious thing off with a chocolaty root beer glaze.
Truthfully, the original recipe calls for a much more ample topping, but I wanted something a bit leaner. And because you know me by now, I don't mean lean for the benefit of my pants--Lord knows I could've taken a bath in that aforementioned saucepan of buttered root beer--but I just feel like all is right with the world when a Bundt cake has a sexy, drippy glaze. So I've doctored the topping a bit to get there. After mowing down this cake with its more modest glaze, I can't even imagine the places this cake might take you to with a fuller fat frosting. It's just--I can't--I mean, I'm married
, you guys.
Glazed Root Beer Float Bundt Cake
Adapted from Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito's Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
If you can, make this cake a day ahead--the root beer flavor really comes out after a day to rest at (cool) room temperature.
Don't even think of using diet root beer here. Not even for a second. Thanks.
For the cake:
2 cups root beer
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Valrhona)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup root beer
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
Position an oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 325 degrees. Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan generously with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine the root beer, cocoa powder and butter in a medium saucepan. Place it over medium heat and warm the mixture, stirring often, until the butter is melted. Whisk in the sugars. Let cool.
In large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl, then whisk them into the cooled root beer-cocoa mixture. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry. The batter will be slightly lumpy, and this is perfectly fine. Don't overmix the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes (the original recipe says 35-40, but I needed 10 minutes more). Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan before gently loosening the sides of the cake from the pan and inverting it onto a wire rack to cool completely (spray the rack lightly with nonstick spray before inverting the cake to prevent it from sticking as it finishes cooling).
To make the glaze, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla and root beer in a medium bowl until well-blended. Whisk in the softened butter until smooth. If necessary, adjust the glaze with more confectioners' sugar to thicken the glaze or a bit of root beet to thin it--you want it to flow lazily off a spoon--not to runny, but no where near spreadable. Spoon the glaze over the cake and let it drip down the sides. Let the glaze set for 15 minutes or so before serving. This cake keeps covered at room temperature for at least 5 days (and just gets better and better as it sits), or longer if refrigerated.