Honey Spice Beer Cake 12.000

Daniel Kukla

Jul 15, 2010

The ancient Egyptians used yeast to make the first cakes sweetened with honey and they drank beer, but they didn't think to combine beer and cake to make one of humanity's greatest inventions: beer cake.

For this recipe, we used Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss beer, brewed in Wisconsin. It is available at Total Wine & More in McLean.

Servings: 12
  • For the cake
  • 3 3/4 cups flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups honey
  • Freshly squeezed juice and grated zest of 1 lemon (3 to 4 tablespoons juice and 2 teaspoons' zest)
  • 1 1/2 cups (12-ounce bottle) honey beer (see headnote)
  • For the frosting
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey beer
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups roasted unsalted mixed nuts, for garnish


For the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Use nonstick cooking oil spray to grease the inside of 9-by-13-inch baking pan, then dust lightly with flour to coat evenly, shaking out any excess. Line the bottom with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl.

Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add the honey, lemon juice and zest; mix well.

Add the flour mixture and the beer in 3 alternating additions. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool (in the pan).

For the frosting: Combine the butter and one-third of the confectioner's sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on low speed to incorporate, then add the beer and the remaining sugar in alternating sets of additions; beat on medium speed to form a smooth and creamy frosting. Add the honey and mix to incorporate.

When the cake has cooled, spread the top of the cake with a generous amount of the frosting (you may use two-thirds of it or all of it. Scatter the nuts (as needed) evenly across the top of the cake. Let them set for a few minutes before cutting into it into squares.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Booze Cakes," by Krystina Castella and Terry Lee Stone (Quirk 2010).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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