Root beer floats and I go way back. Often, on Sunday nights after church, my family would go to the local A & W. It was the old school pull up and order into the metal box. This had to have been mid 60’s to early 70’s.
While in high school I worked at Knott’s Berry Farm in the ice cream shop. I worked there to get free admission to the park where we would dance the night away on the weekends. Of course, as a Baptist preacher’s kid, this was not allowed so it involved sneaking and scheming. But that is for another blog. When it got super hot we had to warn the customer to not push the ice cream down with the straw. The warm root beer mixed with the ice cream created a volcano if pushed. Of course, human nature makes it impossible to resist so the warning would no sooner leave my mouth than some smarty customer would push the ice cream with the straw. Ice cream would foam over and lucky me got to mop it up.
Those experience didn’t quench my love of A & W Root Beer. I still enjoy a super cold root beer once in awhile. My niece and nephews went through a phase this summer of wanting root beer floats. When I saw this Root Beer Float Cake, from the cookbook Baked, I knew they I had to make it for them. It is dark but light and bursting with flavor though no one will guess what that flavor is. Serve with a big scoop of ice cream.
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
1/4 cup root beer
2/3 cup unsweetened dark 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.