Saving Bad Beer for Good Cake

Spiced Beer Cake

This weekend I learned about middens. A word and archeological feature I was unfamiliar with despite all the ancient history classes during college.  This weekend I did not learn to kayak as originally intended. A novice kayaker couldn’t compete against gusting winds and cold spray. Not to worry, hiking saved the day!

Who else just pictured a tree superhero with roots for legs and branch hands posed in mid-stride, perching on top of the canopy, while staring over her domain — proud to have, once again, saved the day? Of course, her super powers would include running really fast, jumping up cliffs, talking to the animals… Anyone?

Though she would certainly be the coolest of superheroes, this isn’t the kind of saving I’m talking about today. Typically, I am very willing to call it a bad day and send myself home. At home there are pajamas to wear. There is also two bottles of what I consider to be one of the worst beers ever — Shiner’s Prickly Pear Lager. I can’t drink it and I can’t throw it out. Month after month it gets saved like so many other things that have been purchased. Some day I will get around to using those snorkeling fins. And that orange silk skirt — yup I’ll be wearing it one of these days.

Since September both bottles have stood at the back of the fridge. The one on the left started tilting some time ago and I can’t even be bothered to set it straight. Normally, this would be extremely irritating, but I’ve taken the ignoring them completely approach. Then the other week I decided to take on these two bottles. I started to think that a candy-sweet beer might be appropriate in something sweet and something with a lot of other spices and flavors might help diminish that same candy-sweet flavor.

The outcome was so bizarrely successful, I’m including the recipe here. There’s still another bottle after all.

Spiced Beer Cake
(adapted from other places)

Mix 1 1/2 cups flour with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon each of baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice.

In another bowl beat 1/2 cup of butter with 3/4 cup-ish brown sugar and 1/4 cup-ish buckwheat honey (or molasses). Beat in 1 egg. Alternate adding the flour mixture and 1 cup of beer into the butter mixture.

Bake in a greased and floured loaf pan at 375 degrees. Cool completely.

Beer Frosting
(also adapted from other places)

Beat 1/4 cup butter with some powdered sugar. Beat in about 1/4 cup beer. (This almost used up all the beer. I didn’t mind pouring out the rest.) I didn’t measure any of this step — perhaps I should have because the butter refused to stay beaten. It kept separating from the beer. Putting the cake in the fridge helped with this.

Frost the cooled caked.

Top with pepitas.


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