Monday, October 31, 2011

Sassy Sweets: Root Beer Cake

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  This is a great cake for the holiday because it is so dark and rich.  I decorated the top with some festive candy corns, but this could be made any day of the week.  It was originally a bundt cake recipe which of course requires a bundt pan!  And, of course, I don't have a bundt pan.  Mom has a bundt pan and I knew these were going to be my Halloween celebration for weeks now.  But everytime it seemed I got close to her, I forgot to ask her about it.  So, this weekend, two days before Halloween, I decided to just modify the bundt to a sheet cake.  M loves her root beer so I promised her we would make this again when we are "roommates" (when we are home for Thanksgiving and for the first time ever, sharing a room).  I think the family will enjoy it as much as John and my colleagues did.

Now that I am a "grown-up", I don't get to go trick-or-treating in costumes (I tried).  It really is depressing.  I don't know if I'm old-fashioned or what but Mom ALWAYS made our costumes, none of the store-bought ones I see all over the place today.  My favorite was when I was a frog.  Yes, a frog.  Green face and all.  Those are some great pictures.  Don't tell John though, there are some things that are better when they stay in the family circle. 

I don't remember having a premade costume until I was old enough to work at Party City and dress up in their costumes (so like at 17).  Even then, my manager was a good friend of Dads.  So, when it came time to picking what I would wear to greet customers, Dad was the one who "approved" my costume.  That meant other girls got a long list of what they could be including the sexy witches and Britney Spears look-alikes (the first Britney of course...I really AM old).  My list had many black magic marker lines over any "risque" costumes and I got to be Dorothy (hair in pigtails with a long skirt) or Cleopatra (long flowing dress).  At the time I hated it, but I do love that story now!  Besides, I could rock Dorothy with the best of them.

Root Beer Cake (adapted from here)
Serves:  16 (9x13 sheet cake)
Cake:
2 cups root beer
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
Frosting:
1/3 cup chocolate chips, melted
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup root beer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large saucepan, combine root beer, cocoa powder, and butter.  Stir until the mixture is smooth and butter is melted.  Add the sugar and brown sugar.  Whisk until sugars have dissolved and remove from heat.  Break eggs in a large bowl and beat slightly.  Once the chocolate mixture has cooled slightly, slowly beat it into the eggs.  Add the flour and baking soda.  Mix well.  Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is set and a toothpick comes out clean.  Meanwhile, make the frosting by adding the chocolate chips, butter, root beer, cocoa powder, and confectioners sugar to the food processor.  Process until smooth and shiny.  Frost the cooled cake with the frosting.  Top with sprinkles or other candy. 

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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