For the final installment of this year’s salute to St. Patrick’s Day and the 20th celebration of day The Artist and I first met, I have a wonderful and easy chocolate bundt cake for you … spiked with root beer and Bailey’s Irish Cream. This is one treat that you will want to make all year long!
Today is Secret Recipe Club Day and this month I was assigned the blog Our Eating Habits written by the delightful Jamie. She and her adorable family live in Canada and she enjoys sharing her passion for cooking, baking, eating out, trying new recipes and restaurants. You will definitely find plenty of fabulous recipes to try that will likely become new family treasures. Be sure to head over and say hello, and tell her I sent you. 😉
When Jamie made this cake she and her guests all agreed that it was one of the best they had ever eaten and I have to agree. Jamie’s version used all root beer in the batter. But because I had some Bailey’s left over from last week’s Irish Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes and Tuesday is St. Pat’s, I substituted Bailey’s for some of the root beer. It was a great combination with just enough kick to elevate this cake to party status.
When I was growing up, celebrating our Irish heritage every March was taken very seriously. As the youngest in the family, my brothers had the advantage of age and experience. It took me a few years to figure out that if I didn’t wear a nightgown with some green on it the night before, when I got up on St. Paddy’s Day I was going to get pinched, a lot!
The rule in our house was if someone wasn’t wearing green, they could be pinched. But if you pinched them and they had some hidden green on, they got to pinch you back twice! Needless to say, we often had bruises when the day was over, LOL. My nemesis was the green stripes on the elastic band of my brother’s underwear – it got me in more trouble. 😉
My mom was even sneakier – she got up early and put on green eyeshadow! Until we wised up, we all got pinched twice by her. 🙂
To avoid getting pinched, don’t forget to wear your green on Tuesday. Everyone is an honorary leprechaun on March 17th! And make sure you wrap up this cake tightly and store it in the refrigerator. The leprechauns have been known to sneak off with it in the night, the hooligans! 🙂
This year The Artist and I will be celebrating an amazing 20 years together, toasting the day we met. I hope you have an equally fun and safe St. Paddy’s Day!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
When pouring root beer, it will foam up. Wait for it to dissipate before measuring. Measure the actual liquid level, not the top of the foam. Also, you won’t have to wait long for this glaze to set up because of the melted butter in it. As the butter cools it solidifies and helps the glaze set much more quickly than regular milk/powdered sugar glazes.
If you are using a gluten-free flour blend with rice flour that is not super-finely ground (like the products from Authentic Foods), setting the batter aside for 15 minutes to rest before putting the pan in the oven will help. It gives the flours time to more fully absorb the liquids, reducing the sense of grittiness common in many gluten-free baked goods.
Also, sometimes a recipe can benefit from a little extra moisture but adding liquid will throw off the ratio of dry to wet ingredients. That’s when adding 1 tbsp of mayonnaise (not salad dressing or Miracle Whip!) really helps. It gives you a little more egg and some oil without affecting the flavor of the batter. If your gluten-free cakes are coming out dryer than you want, try this trick and see if it helps.
- Bundt Cake
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 1-1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-1/2 cups root beer - do not use diet root beer (for gluten-free, buy A&W, Barq’s, or Mug Root Beer)
- 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream* or more root beer (2 cups liquid total)
- If using gluten-free flour, add 1 tbsp mayonnaise (not salad dressing or Miracle Whip!)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 4 oz) butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-1/4 cups granulated cane sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown or golden cane sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Root Beer Glaze
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- 3 to 4 tbsp root beer, or as needed
- 1/2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar, or as needed
- Set both oven racks in the lower third so there is enough room for a bundt pan. Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a bundt pan, including the outside of the center tube; set aside.
- Mix the Cake Batter: In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until blended. Set aside.
- In medium-sized saucepan (about 3-quart), combine the root beer, Bailey’s (if using), butter and cocoa powder. Stir until all the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth. Scrape into the bowl of your standing mixer with a flexible spatula.
- When the mixture has cooled for about 5 minutes, add both sugars and beat until smooth and creamy. The bowl should feel slightly warm on the bottom. If it is too hot, keep beating until cool enough to easily hold the bowl in your palm. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next one.
- Add half the flour mixture and slowly beat until it is incorporated, add remaining flour and mix it in. Turn off the mixer and scrape the bowl and beater(s). Turn the mixer back on to low and then bring it up to medium for 30 seconds to whip the batter slightly.
- Bake the Cake: Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan, slide the pan into the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted halfway between the edge of the pan and the center tube comes out clean. Remove from the oven, set on a wire rack and cool for about 15 minutes. Then using hot pads, flip the pan upside down and turn the cake out onto the wire rack. Finish cooling thoroughly.
- Make the Glaze: In a small bowl combine the melted butter, root beer, salt, and powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth. If needed, add a little more root beer to thin or more powdered sugar to thicken. You want it thin enough to pour but thick enough that it may need a little nudging to get it to flow over the edges.
- Glaze the Cake: Set a sheet of parchment paper under the wire cooling rack with the cake to catch the excess glaze. Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, towards the outside. Make sure the entire top is coated and use the back of the spoon to help the glaze go over the outer edges if needed. Now come back and pour over the top again, this time closer to the center of the cake so the glaze flows down the inside of the opening. Let the glaze set up before slicing and serving.
- * Bailey’s contains Irish whiskey and caramel coloring that may cause issues for some people with strong sensitivity to gluten. Leave out for celiacs or those who are highly reactive, adding more root beer in its place.
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