Mmmmm. Hmmmmm. Ohhhhhh. Yeeeeeaaaaaaa. That is what I thought to myself when I watched Carla from The Chew (I love that show. And I love her. Anthropologie lovers, Carla wears a lot of clothes from there, on the show) make her chocolate root beer cake. I went online to get the recipe and I was disappointed to see that the recipe for the cake part differed from the one she made on t.v. I gave it up until I saw that someone in the comments had geniusly used a boxed cake mix and substituted the water it called for for root beer.
I can do that, I thought.
But then I didn’t.
I drank the root beer and ate some chocolate cookies and considered the flavor craving dealt with.
I had forgotten that I know myself well enough to have purchased two bottles of root beer. So when I came across the other bottle sitting unsuspecting on the shelf. Minding its own business. Not knowing that soon it would be meeting its soul mate, chocolate. No need to tell it about the part involving the oven. And then my mouth. Let’s be kind… I had to make the cake.
This is my new favorite cake. I am so excited to share this recipe. The best part about it is that it is incredibly easy to make. Well, and it tastes good. Our cake was gone in two days. We are a family of four. Two days. The math adds up to
Time to unite the star-crossed lovers…
1 devil’s food boxed cake mix
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup root beer plus 3 Tbsp. root beer reserved for cooled cake rounds
1 cup root beer
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup white chocolate melted (I used Merckens melting chocolates because I had it but she said to use white chocolate chips. Either will work)
A pinch of salt (I just added three shakes of my salt shaker)
1/2 cup (1stick) softened salted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If you have a convection oven, preheat at 325 degrees F convect bake. Generously spray two nine inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In your mixer or with a hand mixer in a bowl, beat together melted butter, eggs, cake mix, and one cup of root beer until mixed together. This is about one minute.
Pour cake mix evenly into the two cake pans. Give them each a gentle tap on the countertop to rid them of extra air bubbles. Put the cake pans in the oven and bake cake according to directions on box. Because of the fluffy mix produced from the root beer, my cakes needed two minutes longer than the longest baking time on the package (I baked mine thirty one minutes on convect bake).
Remove cake rounds from the oven. Let cool for five minutes in cake pans.
After five minutes, run a butter knife gently around the edge of the cake and the cake pan. Flip cake over onto cooling rack. Repeat with other layer. Allow to completely cool.
In the meantime, pour the one cup of root beer for the frosting into a small saucepan. On medium low heat simmer the root beer until it reduces to a third of a cup. I actually was overzealous with my simmer and reduced it to a quarter cup. This still worked out fine. This should be about five to seven minutes to reduce.
It will look like this. Turn off burner. Allow to cool.
Now that the cakes are cool, you are going to brush the cake layers evenly with the 3 Tbsp. of reserved root beer (not the reduced stovetop product! That is for the frosting) with a basting brush. Yep. Give the two lovers a wet root beer kiss.
Melt white chocolate (I put mine in a bowl and microwave for thirty second intervals, stirring each time. Usually takes 90 seconds to melt).
In your stand mixer or with your hand mixer in a bowl, beat together softened butter and powdered sugar until fluffy about two minutes. Add salt and mix. Add white chocolate and beat for a few seconds until incorporated. Add reduced stovetop root beer, and vanilla extract and blend until smooth.
I, very helpfully, do not have a picture of this part. I do, however, have a picture of me posing with the frosting. Which I have been told
has nothing to do with is very important when baking a cake.
Place one cake round with basted root beer side up on a cake stand. Spread one third of the frosting on the layer towards the middle, leaving a little room at the edges because when you put the other cake layer on top, it will push the frosting further out.
Place the other cake layer on top of the frosted bottom layer. Frost top with remaining frosting. I like to place it in the middle and then gently ease it towards the edge until it barely goes over.
Cover or immediately serve.
Now eat the mingled lovers. Why does something that sounds so wrong taste so right? Don’t try to analyze it, just enjoy.
My daughter has requested this cake as her birthday cake coming up in October. She doesn’t even usually like cake. My husband woke me up the day after I had made this at 9:00 in the morning holding a plate with a half eaten large slice of the cake that he could not resist for breakfast (this is not a breakfast cake. He just has as much self control as his wife). Maybe he was feeling the ingredient love.
I promise, a bite of this cake , and you will feel the romance, too.
P.S. My Giveaway ends tonight at 9:00 PST. Please do not forget to enter.