If you have read my blog for a while, you probably remember me mentioning the amazing chocolate cake my husband makes, that is requested at many family events. While this cake is not quite as amazing, it is so rich and chocolate-y it might make it near the top of my “most decadent” chocolate dessert list in my recipe compilation. The root beer is very faint, there’s just enough of it to deepen the flavor of the chocolate. (Somewhat similar to adding espresso or coffee to chocolate desserts.) If you want a more pronounced root beer flavor, replace ½ cup of the root beer with root beer schnapps. The authors of Baked suggest serving this with vanilla ice cream, but that’s up to you. Delicious as this cake is, it is sweet enough to cause a diabetic coma. I wouldn’t suggest serving it to small children who are on the hyperactive side!
For the cake:
2 cups root beer (do not use diet root beer)
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into 1” pieces
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
For the frosting:
2 oz. dark chocolate (60% cacao), melted & slightly cooled
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup root beer
2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (300 degrees for a convection oven) Generously spray the inside of a 10” bundt pan with non stick cooking spray; alternatively, butter it, dust it with cocoa powder, and knock out the excess powder. (Using cocoa powder instead of flour for dusting pans for chocolate cake, keeps the outside brown, no unsightly white spots.)
In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Fold enough that you no longer see white flour, but don’t over-beat, as it could cause the cake to be tough.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick or small sharp knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack.
To make the root beer fudge frosting
Put all of the frosting ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth.
Use an offset spatula to spread the fudge frosting over the crown of the bundt in a thick layer, Let the frosting set before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.
*Honestly, I think the frosting is the best part of this cake. I plan on using it in the future on anything that requires chocolate frosting. y.u.m.