Before I made this cake on Sunday afternoon, I sat down with a nice, tall root beer float. Sure, it was 10:30 in the morning. I suppose that technically that means I had a root beer float for breakfast. That’s one of the great thing about being an adult, you can have a float for breakfast with no resistance.
Something about a root beet float puts me on a conveyor belt back to some really random childhood memories. The taste, the bubbles, the increasingly creamy soda… it take me back to constantly skinned knees, playing in a beat-up old red wagon with my sister, and sitting in front of an old black and white television watching baseball with my grandfather. Funny what a little ice cream and soda can do in your brain, right?
But cake!? Root Beet Float Cake? I have so many questions. Will it have the same memory inducing effects as the real deal? Is that asking too much? Wait, is this cake chocolate or root beer? Can I eat it for breakfast? Will it change my life for the better?
Answers and cake, just a click away.
Here’s what you should know about the Root Beer Float Cake. It’s a wonderfully moist, super chocolate Bundt Cake. It’s the kind of cake that’s great to take to a outdoor summer party because it has the “hmmm” factor. People will wonder what’s in it besides the chocolate.
The cake doesn’t have the same memory inducing effects as a real root beer float. I blame that on all the chocolate. The root beer flavor does intensify in the cake the next day. I suggest making the cake a day ahead, wrapping it well, then frosting it and serving the next day. And yes… cake for breakfast is always encouraged around these parts. Cake for breakfast usually makes my life better.
Try this cake. Maybe for Memorial Day. Maybe put it on your summer baking list. I’d love to hear what you think!
Root Beer Float Cake
Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
2 cups root beer (don’t use diet)
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
Preheat even to 325 degrees F. Spray the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, or butter generously and dust with flour, knocking out the excess.
In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder and butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Add sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl whisk the eggs until just beaten. Then whisk into the cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy. You can give it a quick whisk if you like, but don’t over beat the batter or it could cause the cake to be tough. Don’t worry, the batter is very loose.
Pour the batter into prepared pan and cook for 35-45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking until a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely then loosen edges with a butter knife and turn out onto a cake plate.
Chocolate Root Beer Frosting
2 ounces 60% cocoa, melted
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt (you may want to use less… maybe just 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 cup root beer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using an electric hand mixer, beat softened butter and cocoa powder. Once combined add the melted chocolate, salt, powdered sugar and root beer. Beat together until smooth. Spread on top of cooled cake. Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream.
I just made this cake for my dad’s birthday (we share our “strange” love for root beer). I hope the buttercream stays “clean” until 8:00 p.m. I want to taste it with vainilla ice cream. The cake looks moist and the buttercream taste great.
The cake looks great! (And I am always so relieved when bundt cakes unmold without crumbling) But my frosting was a total flop. The chocolate seized up into tiny chunks so that the frosting has a weird texture and looked really lumpy. I ended up beating it until it was fluffy to disguise the lumpy texture, so it is more of a buttercream-looking frosting than a shiny bundt glaze. Maybe I should have used room-temperature root beer? I’d refrigerated it after I’d used some of it for the cake batter.
I don’t think the root beer temp should make a difference but if your butter was too cold, that could cause lumps. Also, sometimes it helps to sift your powdered sugar, especially if it’s older.
Hi, this is probably a silly question, but could this be baked at 350 degrees? Our oven is stuck on 350 and the repair guy isn’t coming until next week – would love to take this to a neighborhood BBQ this week! Thank you!
350 should be fine! just lessen the cooking time a bit. keep an eye on it!
You’re sweet to reply, thanks kindly! Love your blog.
I made 2 of these root-beer float cakes for my friend’s going-away party, but because I’m an overachiever, I made a few tweaks to really take it over the top! I pumped up the root-beer flavor using Watkins’s root-beer extract in the cake itself; plus I “basted” the finished cake in a root-beer syrup made from boiled-down A&W and some more extract. I served the cake in individual beer mugs, covered with a root-beer hot fudge sauce, topped with a peak of whipped cream, and garnished with a straw. Each portion looked EXACTLY like a root-beer float. And the root-beer flavor was loud and clear — and extremely delicious. I got rave reviews.
can you tell me how much extract you added?
I just made this for my birthday – I know, I know but I wanted to make one for me for a change :). The batter was incredible, not so much of a root beet flavor but rather an intensified chocolate. The frosting I am currently trying not to eat by the spoonful before supper….. Thanks for another great recipe Joy!
This recipe really intrigued me. I’m definitely going to try it. Something that crossed my mind that I think I want to try is that I’ve seen cakes made with ice cream before and I was wondering if adding vanilla ice cream might intensify the root beer float idea?
I absolutely love this recipe, unfortunately though every time I’ve done it I can’t taste the root beer :( I’ve tried 3 different brands (IBC, Goose Island, and Virgils) and I’ve added a teaspoon of root beer extract to the batter and frosting and neither time it’s tasted anymore then just a chocolate cake. Regardless of the lack of root beer flavoring it’s an amazing chocolate bunt cake recipe with an even more delicious frosting :)
As I was purchasing ingredients for this cake it occured to me that maybe the chocolate you’re using is too good? Perhaps crappy store brand cocoa would let the rootbeer flavor come through?
Joy! This cake changed my life. I’m obsessed. My roommate made it for my 21st birthday and it was simply perfect. I should have just invited you to the party, but here are some pictures of us with the AMAZING cake!
Also, I’ve totes taken all of you “21 years old” advice :)
I am currently in the process of making this cake for my sister’s birthday this evening, and it’s probably the most fun cake i’ve ever made! thank you!
p.s. it was delicious. especially the icing.
I wanted to tell you that I am participating in a cooking competition this weekend where the secret ingredient is Cherry Coke, so I am making this cake with Cherry Coke instead of root beer and it is DIVINE. I already tested it. With a little fresh whipped cream and a fresh cherry reduction drizzled on top. Oh my. After the competition is over, I fully intend to make it with root beer though, since it sounds AMAZING. Thanks for the recipe!!
Just wanted to give an update: We won best dessert!! Thanks again for the recipe! Everyone loved it.