Let Them Drink Cake!

November 26 is National Cake Day, and we have some amazing beer-enhanced cake recipes!

Libby Murphy Nov 25, 2016 - 13 min read

Let Them Drink Cake! Primary Image

Let’s take a moment to appreciate a world in which there is an entire day in a year where, outside your birthday, you can enjoy the bejeezus out of cake without it being awkward if you’ve replaced your meat and veggies with nothing but sweet, delicious carbs. Tomorrow (November 26) happens to be National Cake Day, and if you’re doing anything right tomorrow, you’re eating at least five kinds of cake (at a minimum) and pairing each slice with some kickass beer. I think the beer will somehow counteract the sugar high, so if you’re worried about bouncing off the walls when all is eaten and done, you probably have nothing to fear.


But for those who want to throw caution to the wind for the day, let’s get down to business. Cake is nothing but the good stuff. It’s flour, sugar, and eggs, with all sorts of yummy things thrown in to make us happy. I’m talking vanilla, spices, fruit (I have to sneak it in somehow), candy, nuts, and other deliciousness. There’s really no way to go wrong here.

We at Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® are so fortunate to work with excellent chefs who contribute recipes that use beer and are 100 percent out of this world. Not only that, but they’ve included beer pairings that go with the recipes, so you get the full-meal deal. Below are five of our favorite Cooking With Beer cake recipes.


Hoppy Lemon Bundt Cake with Goat Cheese−Icing

Contributed by Christopher Cina

Serves: 12

Lemon Cake

16 Tbs (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for the Bundt cake pan
2½ cup sugar 
3 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for the Bundt cake pan) 
Zest of 1 lemon 
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp kosher salt 
6 large eggs 
½ cup (4 fl oz/118 ml) very hoppy beer 
1 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.


With an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. While your butter/sugar mixture is whipping, combine the flour, lemon zest, baking soda, and salt; mix well.

Once the butter/sugar mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs on low speed one at a time until fully incorporated. Alternately add the flour mixture, beer, and sour cream until it is fully incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the buttered and floured Bundt pan and tap the pan to even out the batter.

Bake 55–60 minutes or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15–20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to a cooling rack.


Once cool, top with goat cheese–beer icing and serve.

Goat Cheese–Beer Icing

Makes enough to ice one cake

1 cup powdered sugar 
1 oz (28 g) goat cheese 
2 Tbs (1 fl oz/30 ml) very hoppy beer 
4 Tbs (½ stick) butter, melted

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, goat cheese, and beer; mix well. Add the melted butter and whisk. Pour the icing over the cooled Bundt cake.


Beer suggestions: For the lemon cake and icing, grab the freshest, hoppiest, Imperial IPA available to you.

Chocolate Milk Stout Torte

Contributed by Cooper Brunk

You can serve this torte simply with fresh whipped cream, but you could you also use it as a base for mousses and ganaches.

Active preparation time: 15 minutes 
Total time: 2 hours
Serves: 8


1 cup (8 fl oz/237 ml) milk stout 
1 cup granulated sugar 
12 oz (340 g) premium semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 
4 Tbs (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 
6 large eggs 
2 Tbs all-purpose flour 
1 Tbs (½ fl oz/15 ml) pure vanilla extract 
1 cup (8 fl oz/237 ml) whipping cream, whipped

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the beer and sugar to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and butter. Stir slowly until the chocolate has completely melted and everything is incorporated. You should have a thick hot fudge-like consistency.

Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour and vanilla.


Grease a 9-inch (23 cm) cake pan or springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and shake or tap lightly to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 45–60 minutes. Rotate about halfway through if the oven heat is uneven. The cake will rise some but should collapse as it cools, leaving you a dense, moist, and decadent dessert. Cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Beer Suggestions: Left Hand Milk Stout (Longmont, Colorado), Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin (Paso Robles, California), Great Divide Yeti (Denver, Colorado), Surly Darkness (Minneapolis, Minnesota).

Doppelbock Bundt Cake with Doppelbock Ganache

Contributed by Sara Dumford

Preparation time: 30 minutes 
Baking time: 40–45 minutes 
Serves: 12


Doppelbock Buttermilk Bundt Cake

1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder 
1 cup (237 ml) doppelbock 
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter 
½ cup packed brown sugar 
2 cup flour 
2 tsp baking soda 
½ tsp baking powder 
1 tsp salt 
3 eggs 
1 cup granulated sugar 
¾ cup (177 ml) buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Prepare a Bundt cake pan by spraying it well with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Combine the cocoa powder, doppelbock, butter, and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer stirring constantly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil over. When the butter is completely melted, remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, and buttermilk and mix on medium speed until well blended. Add the dry ingredients to the egg and sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Add the slightly cooled doppelbock mixture. Stir together until combined and uniform in color.


Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Do not fill the pan more than two-thirds full. Bake until just set, 40–45 minutes. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a plate and top with the Doppelbock Ganache.

Doppelbock Ganache (The icing on the cake!)

1 cup (237 ml) heavy cream 
½ cup (118 ml) doppelbock 
10 oz (283 g) quality bittersweet chocolate, pieces or chopped 
½ tsp orange zest

While the cake bakes, make the ganache by heating the cream, doppelbock, and chocolate over medium heat to a simmer. Add the orange zest. Cook, stirring well to make sure the ganache is smooth and well-mixed, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator before using.

Pour the ganache along the top of the cake, allowing the ganache to drip down the sides of the cake. Allow the cake to set for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before slicing and serving.


Beer suggestions: Paulaner Brauerei Salvator (Munich, Germany), Brauerei Aying Ayinger Celebrator (Aying, Germany), EPIC Double Skull Doppelbock (Salt Lake City, Utah), Wasatch Devastator (Park City, Utah).

Brown Ale–Poached Pear Upside Down Cake

Contributed by Christopher Cina

This recipe is from our 2016 *Cooking With Beer issue, which is available now!*

Active preparation time: 60 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Makes: One 10" (25 cm) cake (12 servings)


Poached Pears

2 Bosc pears
1¾ cup (14 fl oz/414 ml) The Dudes’ Grandma’s Pecan
Zest and juice of 1 orange
½ vanilla bean, scraped
¾ cup sugar

Peel and core the pears, then slice each one into twelve wedges. In a small saucepan, combine the pears with the remaining ingredients and simmer until the pears are fork tender. Remove the pears and save the poaching liquid.


8 Tbs (1 stick) butter
1½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cup all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom
1 cup (8 fl oz/237 ml) sour cream
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 batch poached pears
½ cup toasted almonds

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).


In a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Add the eggs, mix, and scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.

Sift together all the dry ingredients. Alternate additions of the dry ingredients and the sour cream in three batches. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and mix until smooth.

Line the bottom of a 10" (25 cm) cake pan with parchment paper, then arrange the pears in concentric circles on the bottom of the pan.

Gently dollop the cake batter on top of the pears and carefully smooth the top with a spatula.


Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Cover with foil, rotate, and continue baking for another 20 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean from the center of the cake when it’s done.

Let cool, invert on a serving plate, and cut into twelve slices. Garnish with toasted almonds, and serve each slice with a drizzle of the reserved poaching liquid.

Beer Suggestions: Pair with the remaining The Dudes’ Brewing Company Grandma’s Pecan (Torrance, California). Avery Brewing Ellie’s Brown Ale (Boulder, Colorado) and Humbolt Brewing Company Brown Hemp Ale (Paso Robles, California) would also work well in this recipe.

Get 84 new recipes made with beer as well as successful cooking and pairing tips from Tired Hands Brewing and learn to brew with seasonal ingredients with beer recipes from Scratch Brewing in Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®’s 2016 issue of Cooking With Beer. Order your copy today!


Pumpkin Beer Cheesecake

Contributed by Christopher Cina

So it’s not technically a cake-cake, but it’s cheesecake, and it’s got pumpkin in it so it’s good for you. And for those of you who are trying to figure out what to do with all that pumpkin beer you stocked up on before it goes bad, this recipe is for you!

Serves: 10

1-3/4 cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (15–17 whole graham crackers) 
3 Tbs light brown sugar 
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted 
24 oz (680 g) cream cheese at room temperature 
One 15 oz (425 g) can pumpkin puree (or fresh pumpkin puree, if you have it) 
3 eggs plus 4 egg yolks 
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/59 ml) sour cream 
1-1/2 cup sugar 
1 cup (8 fl oz/237 ml) pumpkin beer 
4 Tbs all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Mix until it resembles wet sand. Press into the bottom of a 10" (25 cm) springform pan. Refrigerate while you assemble the custard. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the pumpkin, eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, sugar, beer, and flour; mix well. Pour the custard into the chilled springform pan and bake 60–65 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the custard is set. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate at least 4–6 hours before serving. Beer Suggestions: Cook with a pumpkin beer you enjoy drinking. Our managing editor used New Belgium Pumpkick (Fort Collins, Colorado) when she made this cheesecake to share at the office. Pair with a rich-bodied imperial stout. Or for a special treat, pair with a barrel-aged imperial stout. Or for a special treat, pair with a barrel-aged imperial pumpkin beer such as Avery Brewing Rumpkin (Boulder, Colorado) or Uinta Oak Jacked (Salt Lake City, Utah).