Beer Cake Recipe – For Daddies (and Daughters)

beer cake

This feature is sponsored by KitchenAid, who is letting us play every day in the TasteSpotting kitchen with a stand mixer and a full suite of stand mixer attachments.

I peer down into the metal cauldron of my KitchenAid stand mixer, admiring the soft peaks of creamed butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs.

It’s beautiful, really — a simple base that can be used to make an endless array of cookies, cakes and baked goods. It could be the beginning of a red velvet cake with tufts of cream cheese frosting, a batch of slightly melty, ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies, a dozen blueberry lemon ricotta muffins with crumb topping or, if it’s Father’s Day…

… a beer cake.

Sigh.

I take a dismissive sniff of the licorice-colored stout and shake my head with dismay.
Beer Cake: Beer + Cake Batter
Beer. Such a shame, I think as I stir in the honey with the whisk attachment, and then follow it with the acrid beer.

The batter cringes in response – separating into unsightly chunks as the foaming stout bubbles and boils in the bowl.  Clearly the batter is trying to get as far away from the toxic ale as possible.

“I know.” I apologize to the cake batter, wincing in sympathy.

But I forge on. Because it’s not Daughter’s Day.  And with bikini season coming, it’s really better that I make a cake I won’t actually want to eat.

“It’s all for you, Dad,” I’ll say with a sly smile, hacking off a papa-sized slice for him to enjoy for breakfast.

I’ll wait until I return to the kitchen to gag in revulsion.
beer cake- batter with walnuts
My nose remains poised in the air as I add the lemon zest and milk, whisk in the flour and dry ingredients, and finish it off with a healthy smattering of toasted walnuts.

beer cake - in pan
“Huh,” I think, as I scrape the caramel batter into a springform pan. “It doesn’t look too bad.”

“Huh,” I think again, as I remove it from the oven approximately 45 minutes later. “It doesn’t smell that bad.”

“Hmm,” I think, as I pluck a warm, delicately spiced, not too sweet crumb and coddle it on my tongue.  “It doesn’t taste that bad either.”

At all.

I cut a papa-sized piece.

I take a bite.

I take another.

And another.

“A beer cake we can enjoy together on Father’s Day!”  I’ll tell Dad, as guilty crumbs tumble from my lips.

He can have his own cake on his birthday.
beer cake-baked

Beer Cake for Dad

With beer in it, we thought this would be the perfect for cake for Dad on Father’s Day, and because it’s called a “coffee cake alternative,” it lets Dad have beer for breakfast.

Beer Cake Ingredients

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, softened
¾ cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
7 ounces (¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons) dark beer, such as stout
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
½ cup honey
2 2/3 cups cake flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch grated nutmeg
½ cup chopped walnuts

Beer Cake Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9½-inch springform or cake pan.

2. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each, until fully incorporated. Beat in the milk, beer and lemon zest, then whisk in the honey. The batter will look separated at this point, but will come together when the dry ingredients are added.

3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and nutmeg, then whisk into the wet ingredients.

4. Gently fold in the nuts and lightly spoon the batter into the pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes if using a regular cake pan, or 45 to 50 minutes if using a springform, until dark golden and a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. Leave in the pan to cool for 10 minutes before turning out.

Recipe adapted from the Los Angeles Times, July 9, 2008.
Total time: 1½ hours
Servings: 12

Products We Used to Make Beer Cake:

More Ways to Bake with Beer on TasteSpotting:

  • Beer Spice Cake
  • Beer Sabayon
  • Beer Bread Rolls
  • Beer Pumpkin Waffles
  • Beer Pretzel Bites
  • Beer Brownies
  • Beer Apricot Cake
  • Stout Beer Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Beer Blueberry Brownies
  • Beer Cocoa Muffin
  • Beer Cheese Cupcake
  • Guinness Beer brownies
  • Beer Raisin Cake
  • Beer Chocolate Cake
  • Beer amisu

by diana on June 7, 2010 · 17 comments

{ 17 comments }

Yutjangsah June 7, 2010 at 11:51 am

Yum, beer cake. This is gonna be a big hit with my dad aka me. Great father’s day idea.

Sarah June 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm

i can’t believe you didnt bring me a piece of this yesterday … ;)

Gastronomer June 7, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I don’t have a dad, but if I did, I’d make him this cake ;-)

Diana June 7, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Sook – Thanks! Though it would be even better if the cake actually made it to my dad… ;)

Sarah – I still have most of the cake left — feel free to swing by for a slice! I’ll trade you one for some ice cream maker attachments…

Cathy – I bet Vern would appreciate it too!

Jennifer June 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm

This sounds great. And now I know what to make my husband for Father’s Day.

Banana Wonder June 7, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Mmmm…. beer… it’s what’s for breakfast? On Father’s day? Or maybe Frat Day (if they have such a thing). Your cake was super yummy. Kyriakos and I both agreed it tasted just like a greek cake called Kardopita. Your dad is gonna be a HAPPY and proud pops.

Chris huck June 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Sarah said to check it out and glad I did. I’ll eat that!

Janna M June 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm

This is a great post. It made me laugh.

Marly June 10, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Interesting. I never thought about adding a beer to a cake before. We have a lot of beer to get rid of so that’s not such a bad way to do it, eh? I’m not much of a beer drinker myself. I don’t even know how we ended up with this much beer, but there it sits. Thanks for this recipe!

Anisha June 11, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I love beer cake! Will definitely try this recipe!

ravenouscouple June 12, 2010 at 2:25 pm

we should use more beef in cooking…great job!

deeba June 19, 2010 at 8:49 pm

How intriguing…and what a great post. Just discovered this feature on TS… and lovin’ it!

Kathy Gennari February 2, 2012 at 4:43 am

Just baked for beer lover’s birthday tomorrow. Had a teensy taste from the bottom and it’s a taste sensation. I’m going to dust it with icing sugar to pretty it up! :-)

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David August 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm

This beer cake sounds wonderful, but how much is a cup? What is that in grammes or litres?

Andrea Leong February 6, 2013 at 4:41 am

Depends where you’re from… or more to the point, where the author of the recipe is from:

US: 237ml (half a US pint)
Aus: 250ml
UK: 225ml (half a UK pint, although for some purposes a UK cup is 284ml)

P.S. I’m not joking.

Andrea Leong February 6, 2013 at 5:00 am

Oh would you look at that, turns out in the UK they use 250ml cups for baking.

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