How to Bake with Beer: Spiced Beer Cake

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Have you ever tried to cook with beer? Personally, I’m a big fan of the resulting flavor I get from cooking with beer. Some of my favorite beer recipes include chili and butternut squash soup. Now, I’m venturing into new territory by baking with beer.

You maybe thinking how I can write for a healthy cooking site and justify cooking with beer. Well, surprisingly, beer can actually be good for you. Plus, some of the alcohol dissipates during the cooking process, which is nice as we preach moderation here! Overall, this baking with beer recipe is way lighter than most other cakes anyways. For today, I’ve decided to share with you all one of the best beer desserts recipes I’ve come across. I like this cake because it’s not overpoweringly sweet, as the ginger, cloves and stout help to add spicy notes to the final product. This beer recipe is perfect if you need a unique dessert to serve to a crowd.

Spiced Beer Cake

  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/5 cups brown sugar (you can use brown sugar substitute if you desire)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch allspice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 bottle dark beer


  1. Dissolve brown sugar in beer.
  2. Sift flour, spices and baking soda into beer and mix until smooth.
  3. Pour batter into a greased baking tin and bake at 375 degrees F for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Slice thinly and serve with cold butter on top, if desired.

Note 1: I’ve been making more of an effort to feature gluten-free recipes, or at least ways to make a recipe gluten free. Now, with that being said, the beer and the flour in this recipe means this is not gluten free at all. Instead of flour, you can use your favorite gluten-free flour alternative or a gluten-free baking mix. I’ve never baked with anything but wheat flour, so I can’t say how well any gluten-free flour works. I just know there are a number of products out there. Additionally, I know there are a few gluten-free beers out there. However, I’ve never used gluten-free beer when cooking with beer, so I have no idea it would affect the taste of this cake.

Note 2: For some folks, this recipe calls for an awful lot of brown sugar. There are available brown sugar substitutes if you want something a little lighter. You could also use real maple syrup and honey, but you might need to adjust the amount of flour if you do. Of course, you could just cut back on the amount of sweetener in the cake if desired.

Note 3: For the beer, choose a high quality stout or dark porter if you can. Guinness would a be a great choice for this cake. I personally would recommend choosing a stout made by a local craft brewery for maximum flavor. For my fellow Mid-westerners, I’m especially impartial to the stouts made by Bell’s Brewery and Founder’s Brewing Company.

See, baking with beer is incredibly tasty and unbelievably delicious. Another bonus with this cake is that it’s vegan! Cooking with beer is is easy, and the resulting beer-flavored dish doesn’t have to be super heavy. Enjoy!

Your Turn: Do you ever bake or cook with beer?



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