root beer cake topped with “root” cream

root beer cake with root liquor frosting

When I went to San Francisco recently I had a small mission to accomplish: buyΒ Root liquor. Root is a traditional spirit produced by a group of Philly artists known as Art in the Age and they’ve created this root beer wallop from a recipe not seen since the early 20th century. It’s readily available in Philadelphia and in a few North Carolina locations, but not at all available in Canada. Luckily, I found it at Cask, a great San Francisco shop filled with hard-to-find small-batch spirits. $40 later and it was carefully swathed into my luggage bound for Vancouver.

root liquor

When I got it home, I was eager to give it a taste test to find out it the beautiful packaging outsmarted the flavour inside. Thankfully, the inside is just as beautiful as the outside. We had it over ice and it’s very root beer-ish but with nice herbal notes and it gives a pleasant chest-warming glow. It’s the perfect adult root beer. While I want to try it over ginger beer or mixed with a bit of club soda (there are a lot of great looking recipes & videos on the Art of the Age website), I figured I could use this stuff in baking.

root beer cake with root liquor frosting

As for the root beer cake, I had been wanting to make this cake forever. The recipe is adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking cookbook which is a well-used cookbook in my kitchen (remember the clumpy crisp granola & the white-out cake?). While I followed the recipe for the cake I decided not to make the fudge root beer frosting, but try out a Root-flavoured whipping cream instead. I thought the whipped cream would be closer to the idea of a root beer float and would pair nicely with the Root liquor.

root + cake

The cake was well-loved. It’s not too heavy on the root beer – in fact, the cocoa really over powers the flavour of the soda in the cake, so I think it would be safer to call this a really simple & delicious chocolate cake. However, with the addition of the Root cream (get your mind out of the gutter!), this cake is totally over-the-top awesome. If you can’t get ahold of Root, you could try subbing in some root beer schnapps or extract instead.

Want more boozy cake ideas? Try these beloved ones from my archive:

root beer cake with root liquor frosting

Elsewhere: You can hear me waxing on about my dream flavour of ice cream over at ReadyMade or drink up a gallon or two of fridge-brewed iced tea over at Poppytalk. It’s hot, it’s seasonal, get some blog refreshment!

34 comments to “root beer cake topped with “root” cream”

  1. 1
    AlyssaG   July 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    wow i love root beer! that looks amazing! YUM

  2. 2
    Patricia   July 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Looks and sounds delicious. Great option for root beer fans!

  3. 3
    Bijoux   July 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    From a bird’s eye view the cake reminded me of Pac Man…haha! I used to love root beer as a kid and one summer I even developed an addiction to root beer floats.

    This cake looks awesome. The whipped cream look so creamy and it’s the perfect topping for a summertime cake.

  4. 4
    Marisa   July 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Isn’t Root liquor amazing! When you run out, let me know. Being that I’m in Philly, I could easily send you more.

  5. 5
    Maddie   July 8, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    You know, I never grew up drinking soda (or pop, for that matter), but I think this cake could make me a root beer fan. What a creative touch with that flavored whipped cream!

  6. 6
    geek+nerd   July 8, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Ooooh, I’m always intrigued by random small batch spirits…plus your recipe looks delicious! Must find ROOT!

  7. 7
    Marisa@make happy   July 8, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    We actually had a friend buy us some Root while he was in Philly and fly it back to us. And YOU made a cake out of it. I love cake. And now I love you. πŸ™‚

    Can’t wait to make this! Thank you!

  8. 8
    Joanne   July 9, 2010 at 3:19 am

    I have to say I’m not the biggest fan of root beer but I think I still need to try this. I’m a huge fan of alcohol in dessert form. And Root cream? Can’t get enough of that πŸ˜›

  9. 9
    heather @ chiknpastry   July 9, 2010 at 7:13 am

    I really do love root beer, and i’ve never heard of this fine drink you mention. and although i’m from NC, i’m actually going to be in/near SF sooner, so i’m adding that spot to my “to-do” list!

  10. 10
    shellie   July 9, 2010 at 8:17 am

    ooooohhhh sweet jesus…that sound delicious…when i was pregnant that was the only craving i had…it lasted for a year after the pregnancy as well…i wish you lived down the street!

  11. 11
    Eva   July 9, 2010 at 8:54 am

    wow, what a great recipe, my husband would love this! He is obsessed with Root Beer, and now finally there is an adult version + its a good exuse to go to SF…thanks!

  12. 12
    beth maher   July 9, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Ooooooh! I’ve wanted to try this cake for so long. I’m definitely going to make this soon (again, maybe when this heat is a little less… well hot).

    My favourite beverage in the whole WORLD is root beer, and has been since I was a teensy little girl. I’ve had a root beer Schnaps before, that would probably work in this recipe – but I’m not a huge fan of it. The flavour was a bit too liccorice and caramel – and I prefer notes of vanilla and wintergreen (yes, I’m a connoisseur of root beer). There is a root beer vodka in the LCBO right now – I wonder if it would do the trick… If only I could make it out to San Fran! The Root sounds lovely.

    You know, you’ve been complaining about all this cold, but it really seems like it’s shaken you up a bit and put you on a culinary roll!

  13. 13
    kickpleat   July 9, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Thanks Alyssa!

    Patricia, it’s a great adult version.

    It’s totally pacman, Bijoux! I love root beer floats but I only had my first one a few years ago. I used to be against the idea of ice cream + anything else.

    Marisa, I might take you up on that offer!

    Maddie, drinking pop was a real treat when I was a kid…and this cake is a total adult treat!

    geek+nerd, search it out! It’s worth it.

    Thanks Marisa, well, just the whipped cream has Root…but still πŸ™‚ Thanks for the love!

    Joanne, you can’t really taste the rootbeer in the cake…it’s subtle. But the root is filled with great wintergreen & herbal notes. Even if you don’t like root beer, you might like Root.

    Heather, I hope you seek it out.

    Ha, shellie, I understand that craving…a few summers ago I craved root beer floats – and I wasn’t even pregnant!

    Thanks Eva! I’m sure you both would love this cake.

    Beth, we are right now in the middle of a heatwave! Luckily for colder weather it encourages me to cook more often…so I’ve got a nice backlog of recipes to showcase! Root beer vodka? Sounds good, though I think you’d love Root since it’s full of vanilla and wintergreen notes (and lots of other awesome things).

  14. 14
    Sues   July 9, 2010 at 10:17 am

    What a unique, perfect idea! I love it! And it looks like an ice cream soda πŸ™‚

  15. 15
    Elizabeth   July 9, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Wow, I love root beer and that sounds fantastic! I hate that it is not available in Canada though! Luckily my husband is going to Philly next week and is already on a mission to bring back booze! I will have to add this to the list…:) Thanks!

  16. 16
    Ashley   July 9, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I’ve been wanting to make that rootbeer cake for a long time! Love the icing/whipped cream you used and I’m most intrigued by this root liquor.

  17. 17
    hannah   July 9, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    i’ve made this! and loved it. i need to make it soonsoonsoon, because it’s so awesome.

  18. 18
    kickpleat   July 9, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    I think so too, Sues.

    Elizabeth, I know it has such a small distribution. Yes, make sure your husband smuggles you back a bottle.

    Ashley, the cake really was a crowd-pleaser and stayed moist for days.

    Hannah, it is awesome and so easy to make. I’ll be making it again soon!

  19. 19
    lo   July 10, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Am going to have to keep my eyes open for some of that ROOT liquor. We have a pretty liberal import policy for liquor — so I half wonder if I can find it locally… worth a try at least.

    Rootbeer and chocolate is a combo that I’ve never thought about — but I can totally envision it working. Gotta put this on my list of things to try.

  20. 20
    kickpleat   July 13, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Lo, I hope you find some…it’s mighty good.

  21. 21
    Aletheia   July 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    As a Philadelphian, I can say that Root is best thing we’ve came up with since the US Constitution.

  22. 22
    Madame Fromage   July 15, 2010 at 5:29 am

    I love that you wrote about Root! I live in Philly, and this is one of my little treasures — I like to whip it out of the liquor cabinet when I have guests in from out of town. My favorite way to serve it is on the rocks with soda water and lemon.

  23. 23
    Megan Gordon   July 15, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Awesome. I just bought Baked at Omnivore Books in SF and this is one of the recipes I’ve been eying. And wouldn’t you know I live a few miles from the city and have never been to Cask?! So thank you for giving me a nudge. Root liquor sounds like a must for the summer, and looking forward to trying your adaptation. By the way, I hear the Baked guys are coming out with a new, rad cookbook this fall that spans regional American desserts…should be good I think. Happy weekend.

  24. 24
    kickpleat   July 17, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Nice to hear, Aletheia!

    Madame Fromage, I’ll have to try it that way. Thanks!

    Megan, just do it. It’s such a great recipe.

  25. 25
    Elizabeth   July 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Just looking at this cake makes me happy!

  26. 26
    kickpleat   July 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Elizabeth πŸ™‚

  27. 27
    Adrianna at A Cozy Kitchen   July 28, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Umm…hello, lover! I love the Baked cookbook and this cake looks incredible. Love the cherry on top–super retro and fun.

    I’m so glad you left a comment on the Mocha Popsicles because now I know your awesome blog exists!

  28. 28
    Lisa   July 28, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I’m a huge fan of ROOT as well – went through my first bottle without getting to bake with it, though. They have a new product out: SNAP. (Like ginger snap.) It’s a bit too potent for me, though. Am going to get another bottle of ROOT just so I can do some baking experiments!

  29. 29
    kickpleat   August 1, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Thanks Adrianna, glad you found me back πŸ™‚

    Lisa, I haven’t heard of Snap at all. Sounds good! Love to see small local producers.

  30. 30
    Exploded Daniel   August 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    This is what I want my life to be like.

  31. 31
    Penny Wolf   September 21, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I just recieved my ROOT, SNAP, and RHUBY yesterday. It was delivered to my doorstep by FEDEX from Order online or call and it will be shipped. It is some serious flavors! I am eager to play with them in my baking and this recipe took the thoughts out of my mind. Think of fruitcake soaked with SNAP or ROOT. The chocolate with rootbeer I thought was more of a black cow. I’d like to drop the cocoa in this recipe to a much smaller amount. Do you think it would be a mistake?

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