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RECIPE: Bake A Cake With Beer

Another cake following on the heels of yesterday’s pound cake recipe?

Yes, because September 28th is National Drink Beer Day. We’re not only suggesting a beer to drink; we’re giving you a cake recipe that uses the same beer, witbier.

Belgian witbier, also known as white beer, bière blanche, or simply witte (photo #3), is a barley/wheat, top-fermented beer brewed mainly in Belgium and The Netherlands. It gets its name from the suspended yeast and wheat proteins, which cause the beer to look hazy or white. Here’s more about it.

Witbiers have notes of citrus and coriander that make them an ideal pairing for fruit desserts. The herbs can also go into the dessert; for example, lemon sorbet with a pinch of coriander, or this cake recipe.

Examples of American craft witbiers/wheat beers for both baking and drinking with the cake, in alphabetical order: Allagash Brewing Company White, Avery Brewing Company White Rascal, New Belgium Brewing Company Fat Tire Belgian White, Samuel Adams Cold Snap (photo #2) and UFO White Ale.


A citrus sour cream frosting complements the rich, slightly tangy flavor of this fine-grained cake (photo #1).

The recipe was developed by Lori Rice for King Arthur Flour. Prep time is 30 minutes, bake time is 54 to 57 minutes.

Ingredients For One 8-1/2″ Loaf Cake

Ingredients For The Cake

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated blood orange zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon blood orange juice
  • 1/2 cup witbier (see *footnote below)
    Ingredients For The Frosting

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated blood orange zest
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons blood orange juice
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • Pinch of ground coriander

    *When baking with beer, pour out the amount in a measuring glass and let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the foam to settle.

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour an 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan.

    2. WHISK together the flour, baking powder, salt and coriander in a small bowl. Set aside.

    3. BEAT together in a large bowl with electric beaters on low, the butter, sugar and orange zest until light in color. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing at medium-high speed until the first is absorbed, before adding the next.

      Witbier White Ale Pound Cake
    [1] This flavorful cake has accents of blood orange, coriander, and witbier (photo courtesy King Arthur Flour).

    Samuel Adams Cold Snap Beer

    [2] Samuel Adams Witbier, a seasonal brew called Cold Snap, may be the easiest to get your hands on. We have more recommendations below (photo courtesy Protech NYC.)

    [3] A glass of witbier to drink with the cake. These specially designed witbier/wheat beer glasses are from Spielgau.

    4. SCRAPE down the bowl and add 1/4 cup of the dry ingredients. Mix until combined, then add the orange juice and half of the beer.

    5. ADD half of the remaining dry ingredients, mix to combine, then add the remaining beer and the rest of the dry ingredients. Gradually raise the speed to medium-high and mix for 30 to 45 seconds, until smooth.

    6. POUR the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 54 to 57 minutes, until the cake just begins to pull away from the edge of the pan, and a paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes in the pan on a rack.

    7. MAKE the frosting: Mix together the sour cream and orange zest. Whisk in the confectioners sugar, orange juice, salt and coriander. The frosting will have a pourable yet thick consistency that will be able to sheet a bit down the sides of the cake.

    8. TIP the cake out of the pan and drizzle with frosting while still slightly warm. Let cool completely before slicing. Store leftover cake at room temperature in plastic wrap for up to three days. Freeze for longer storage.

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