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Pumpkin Beer Cake

November 12, 2010

Yesterday was nice because all i did was drink a bunch of pumpkin beer. It’s fall now, and that’s when all the pumpkin stuff comes out. What i get most excited about is all the pumpkin beer. I’m even thinking of getting some cases of it and keeping it around so i can have it all year round.

My favorite pumpkin beer is Southern Tier’s Pumking. I had once last year and i remembered it tasting like i had blended a pumpkin pie and then drank it. A carbonated delicious hoppy pumpkin pie. It’ll also get you drunk as shit.
Yesterday we had bought a pint of it at Fairway when we were out grocery shopping. We still had Post Road, Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead ale, Dogfish Head’s pumpkin ale, and Four + Punk’n. The only one i wasn’t much of a fan of was Dogfish Head’s. It just didn’t taste pumpkin-y enough.

So this morning when i went to the grocery store to get a stout for my planned chocolate stout cake, i saw that they were stocked with Pumking! How awesome! I debated whether to stick with the recipe’s call for chocolate stout, or go with my favorite beer even though it was an ale. I went with Pumking, just to take a chance. I figured it’s thick enough, and has pumpkin puree in it, so it’s definitely not going to be a weak ingredient.

I was a little worried when i checked in on the cake while it was baking. It was bubbling and looking really really liquidy in the middle. But i perservered and it came out just the way i imagined it would. Very moist, beery-y but not overpowering. Like a rich boozey chocolate cake. Also, this is by far the best peanut butter frosting i’ve made yet. It reminds me of the filling in Nutter Butters.

[p.s. here is the can of Peanut Butter we got at the grocery store. It was a big factor on the decision to make peanut butter frosting for this cake. To be honest, it didn’t matter what cake i ended up making, it was going to have peanut butter frosting on it — only $9!]

Chocolate Pumpkin Beer Cake with Peanut Butter frosting
* 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
* 2 cups sugar
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* Pinch fine salt
* 1 bottle Southern Tier Pumking Ale [or which ever beer you want]
* 1 stick butter, melted
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 3 large eggs
* 3/4 cup sour cream

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
Lightly grease 2 8″ – 9″ round cake pans, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.

Peanut Butter Frosting
* 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
* 1 cup creamy peanut butter
* 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* heavy cream

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add in peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Mix until smooth-ish, then add in a little bit of cream until it gets frosting smoother. Add more cream until it gets to the consistency you desire.
*i added a spoonfull of sour cream to it to get it extra creamy. I also threw in a scoop of peanut butter to get it extra flavorful.
*as you can probably tell i don’t really measure. My advice is to embrace that. Baking doesn’t need to be scary. Have fun with it, especially when it comes to frosting. You don’t need to be exact.

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