It has turned in to a bit of a tradition for Nathan and I to post the birthday cakes that I make for him. Nathan also appears to be trying to make it a tradition that beer be a key ingredient to his birthday cakes. He keeps on muttering something about “Why can’t we just put a candle on top of a six-pack?” but I refuse to let him get away with it.
Last year I set the bar high with a Chocolate Stout Cake that blew Nathan away so this year I had to step it up! Like any good wife, I know my husband’s beer preferences (that’s normal, right?) and I know that he loves his Saison beer so I decided to incorporate some into whatever cake I made. I thought that the fruity and spicy flavors of the Saison style of beer would work really well in a similarly flavored cake so what better choice than a spice cake?
This cake is a rich blend of heart-warming spices balanced by a tangy cream cheese frosting. Perfect for a warm February night when you are unlucky enough for your birthday to fall on a boring Tuesday night!
I actually bought this beer on a whim a few weeks ago and Katryn and I really enjoyed it. When Katryn asked what kind of cake I wanted I figured it would be a great excuse to tell her that I wanted a cake with Saison beer in it so that I could buy some more! While Saisons are normally considered spring or summer beers, 21st Amendment brewed a winter Saison with more spices, including cardamom, and a heavier malt flavor than most Saisons. If you like Saisons but wait until warmer weather to enjoy them check this beer out!
Saison Ginger Spice Cake
based on this recipe
For the Cake
1 cup Saison beer
1 cup molasses
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon grated, peeled fresh ginger root
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 6-cup bundt pan.
2. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the Saison beer and molasses and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the baking soda. Allow to sit until the foam dissipates.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the eggs and both sugars. Whisk in the oil.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
5. Combine the Saison mixture with the egg mixture, then whisk this liquid into the flour mixture, half at a time. Add the fresh ginger and stir to combine.
6. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake for 1 hour, or until the top springs back when gently pressed. (Do not open the oven until the cake is almost done, or the center may fall slightly.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
For the Frosting
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
2. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness and thickness.
3. Spread frosting on with a blunt knife or spatula to decorate your cake.