Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Orange cardamom beer cake

This is a sponsored post by Challenge, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible! 

Liqueurs and spirits are common in baked goods. You may remember I’ve used amaretto, Grand Marnier, and Bailey’s Irish cream in past recipes. But have you ever considered baking with beer? 

There are actually several benefits to baking with beer. The alcohol in beer inhibits gluten formation, which results in a more tender crumb. What I mean by that is it leads to a lighter, softer texture. The carbonation in beer also acts as a natural leavening agent, meaning it helps baked goods rise. And beer also imparts flavor. What kind of flavor? Well, that depends on what type of beer you choose.

When choosing a beer for your recipe, it is very important to keep your culinary goal in mind. Porters and stouts are brewed with dark roasted malt, which means they’ll impart flavors of cocoa, dark caramel, and coffee. IPA beers are very hoppy, which means they can be very bitter. Lagers and witbiers are paler brews and will not impart much beer flavor. Lagers are very light and can be fruity, spicy, or sweet. Witbiers are also very light and have notes of citrus and coriander. Above all, bake with a beer you enjoy drinking! If you don't like the way a beer tastes on its own, you won't like the way it tastes in a baked good.

There are two strategies you can take when baking with beer. You can either add a few tablespoons for flavor, similar to adding vanilla extract. Or you can replace some of the liquid in the recipe with beer. However, beer is fat free, so if you use it to replace a liquid like milk or buttermilk, you will need to account for that subtraction of fat, The best way to do that is by adding an extra egg yolk or oil.

Here's a tip I learned from King Arthur Baking: It is important to use recently opened room temperature beer, and pour it out and let it sit for at least five minutes before using so the foam dissipates. Then double-check your measurements after the foam subsides.

The orange notes of witbiers are the inspiration behind this cake recipe. I wanted something light, breezy, and easy—perfect for a spring or summer evening with friends. The only liquids in the recipe are beer and orange juice, both of which are fat free, so I added additional egg yolks to make up for the missing fat content.

Challenge unsalted butter is my other fat of choice in this recipe. It’s churned from the freshest, purest cream without any artificial or synthetic ingredients.

Some notes before you start baking

  • If you don’t want to use alcohol, non-alcoholic beer should work just as well.
  • All ingredients must be room temperature before starting this recipe.
  • Don't just spray your loaf pan with nonstick spray, line it with parchment paper, too.
  • If you can't find cake flour, you can make it by combining 105 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup - 2 Tablespoons) and 14 grams (2 Tablespoons) cornstarch.

Orange cardamom beer cake

Yield: One 8 1/2" loaf cake

Time: About 1 hour 30 minutes


For the cake

  • 240 grams (2 cups) cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 117 grams (1/2 cup) beer
  • 30 grams (2 Tablespoons) orange juice
  • 248 grams (1 1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 113 grams (8 Tablespoons) Challenge unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 100 grams (2 large) eggs
  • 28 grams (2 large) egg yolks

For the glaze 

  • 227 grams (2 cups) confectioners' sugar,  sifted
  • 30 grams (2 Tablespoons) beer
  • 30 grams (2 Tablespoons) orange juice


For the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Grease 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom together. Set aside.
  4. Combine beer and orange juice. Set aside.
  5. In large mixing bowl, mix together sugar and orange zest for about 30 seconds or until orange zest is fragrant. 
  6. Add butter and cream at high speed until mixture appears light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add eggs one at a time on low speed, making sure batter absorbs each egg before adding another.
  8. Scrape down bowl and add half of dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until just combined. Then add half of beer/orange juice mixture. Repeat until all ingredients are used. Mix on low speed until batter is just combined.
  9. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until cake pulls away from edges and registers around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool for at least an hour before icing.

For the glaze

  1. Add beer to powdered sugar and mix. Then add orange juice and mix until smooth. Icing should be thick, but still pourable.
  2. Remove cake from loaf pan and drizzle top with icing.
  3. Wait for icing to set before cutting and serving cake.


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