This is a dark, spicy cake with subtle root beer flavor. Be sure to thoroughly grease the bundt pans or the cake will stick.
This same cake is available in individual bundt and cupcake form at most Firehook Bakery locations; call your local store to order or check availability.
Root beer extract is available at Fran's Cake and Candy Supplies in Fairfax City (703-352-1471) and can be ordered directly from the Cook Flavoring Co. (800-369-3400; www.cooksvanilla.com).
Yield: Makes eight 4-inch cakes, two medium cakes or one large bundt cake
- For the cake
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup regular or low-fat buttermilk
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons root beer extract (see headnote)
- For the glaze
- 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon root beer extract (see headnote)
- Pinch salt
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the insides of the bundt pans with nonstick cooking oil spray.
Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg in the large bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held mixer; beat on low speed for 20 seconds to combine. Add the butter; beat on low speed just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Combine the buttermilk, eggs and the vanilla and root beer extracts in a small bowl; whisk to incorporate. Slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the mixer with the speed on low.
Increase the speed to medium; mix for 2 minutes so the batter is smooth and has lightened in color. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan(s), dividing it equally if you are using more than one pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes for the individual bundt cakes, 40 to 50 minutes for the medium bundt cakes and 65 to 75 minutes for the large bundt cake, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan(s) for 10 minutes, then use a small, thin spatula to loosen each cake; invert onto a cooling rack.
When the cakes are cool, prepare the glaze: Whisk together the sugar, 1/2 cup of the cream, the root beer extract and salt. Add cream as needed to make a pourable glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the tops of the cakes.
From Firehook founder and pastry chef Kate Jansen, now at Willow restaurant.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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