Beer Cake

~ With Bourbon Soaked Raisins ~

beer cake

This beer cake is one of those easy cake recipes. I will be the first to admit it's not even close to the traditional Italian cakes I have all through my site. Now I will say we frequently use liquor in our Italian dessert recipes, and this cake does call for bourbon soaked raisins. So, I thought why not add it to the site?

This beer cake came about, not because I was pregnant and craving something weird. Way too old for that. (Not the "craving something wierd", but the pregnant part) Nope. It was late in the evening. After dinner. And my nocturnal sweet tooth came to life. So, I began scrounging my cookbooks And while I was browsing through a cookbook I saw a cake called a "beer cake". I thought Ok, interesting. Hmmm. I do have a ton of beer sitting in my bottom vegetable bin drawer - and thought "why not"?!

This tastes like homemade raisin bread with that yeast raised flavor. The surprise is it's cake-like in texture. Very interesting combo. And definitely soak the raisins in bourbon! Only bummer, it takes over an hour to bake! Seriously. But to outweigh the cooking time - this is one of those can't pass up easy cake recipes .

If you want to tone it down to an American rendition check out the substitution section below for ideas. But really the only Italian dessert recipe thing I did was:

  • soak the raisins in bourbon vanilla
  • add a minor hint of anise powder to the topping
  • ALL of which can be omitted. But why be boring?

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    Beer Cake

    YIELD: 1 - 10 inch cake


    * 1 cup of flour

    * 3 cups sugar

    * 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    * 1/8 teaspoon powdered anise (TOTALLY optional!)

    * 1 1/8 cup unsalted butter

    * 3 eggs

    * 1 Cup of raisins

    * Enough bourbon to cover the raisins (so they can soak and absorb!)

    * 2 cups of beer (pale)

    * 4 cups of flour

    * 1 1/2 rounded tablespoon of baking powder

    * 1/2 teaspoon salt


    * Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

    * Set aside raisins in deep cup and cover with enough boubon so raisins sit in liquid.

    * Prepare topping:

    * Mix 1 cup of the flour with cinnamon, anise and 1 cup of sugar.

    * Cut in 1/2 cup of the butter - then set aside. (Topping done!)

    * In large bowl beat remaining sugar and remaining butter until creamy.

    * Add eggs, beat after each addition.

    * Sift the dry ingredients and add to egg/butter mixture.

    * Drain the raisins.

    * Fold in beer and raisins.

    * Spoon mixture into the greased 10 inch cake pan.

    * Add the topping

    * Bake for hour (really!) or until toothpick comes out clean.

    TIP : I used a 9 inch pan and I baked this for 1 hr and 20 mins. I don't advise going with a smaller pan. My topping imploded because the center wasn't done, and the the outer edge was dry. I'd stick with the suggested 10 inch pan!

    What kinda beer works best?

    The kind no one will miss if you bake with it.

    Wan I use rum instead of bourbon?

    Yup. I just like the bite of bourbon over the sweet of rum. We cook with both of them quite often in Italian dessert recipes.

    Where's the nuts?

    Where ever you want 'em. Add them to the topping or the batter. I've never done it. Don't see why ya can't though.

    Are there other beer recipes?

    We don't drink or use much beer in our culture.(Not saying we don't love it!) We just capitalize on the liquor and wine in our recipes. Other than this beer cake recipe, I have a spice cake recipe that uses dark beer and molasses.

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