Are you looking for a creative and thoughtful gift for the beer lover in your life? Both a baked beer cake and a beer cake made from cans are fantastic ideas that are sure set to get the conversation going at the party.
We will show you how to make a beer cake using cans of beer, and if you have some leftover booze, why not bake an actual beer cake?
How to make a beer can cake
Making a beer cake using cans of beer makes for a great birthday gift. It is so much better than handing someone a 30- pack and saying ‘happy birthday!’
You have probably seen one of these ‘cakes’ at your local liquor store and wondered how to make them. Well, a beer can cake is actually an easy craft that makes a big statement.
Follow these simple steps to make a can beer cake:
Step 1. Gather the supplies
To make a can beer cake, you will need:
- Beer packs- 12 pack, 18 pack, or 24 pack according to your preference
- Pair of scissors
- A pizza pan
- 2 circular cardboards
Step 2. Get your cans of beer together
The size of your beer cake will depend on the number of cans you have at hand. We recommend experimenting with a small number, perhaps a 12-pack before advancing to making a bigger can cake.
Arrange the cans according to the size and number of layers you want your cake to have. If you start with a 12-pack, for example, you could have a 3-tiered cake of 6 cans at the bottom, 4 in the middle, and 2 at the top.
Step 3. Prepare the cardboards
The cardboards will represent each layer of the cake and will help support the beer cans. Cut out circles of different sizes from a larger piece of cardboard. For example, for a 3-tiered cake, you could use a 7-inch pizza pan for the bottom layer, a 5-inch, and 3-inch cardboard for the middle and top layer respectively.
Using something as sturdy as a pizza pan for the base helps especially if you will be moving the beer cake from one point to another.
Next, wrap the two cardboards and the pizza pan with decorative paper based on your chosen theme.
Step 4. Layer the beer cans
Now that you have determined the size of your cake, you can go ahead and set up the layers for your beer cake. For example, you could arrange 6 beer cans around the 7-inch pizza pan at the bottom, 4 beers around the 5-inch cardboard in the middle, and 2 beers around the 3-inch cardboard at the top.
Place the middle cardboard on top of the bottom layer beer cans and the top cardboard on top of the beer cans in the middle layer to come up with a 3-tiered layered cake.
Step 5. Add the finishing touches
Wrap a ribbon around each bunch of cans and hold the ribbon in place with glue. This will clamp the cans together and serve as a decoration as well.
Add any decorations of your choice. A popular option is to crown the top layer beer cans with beer muffins, throwing mini liquor bottles in there, or decorating with ribbon or burlap. The possibilities are endless and it all depends on your imagination.
There you have it—a ‘cake’ that you can make in just a few minutes. If after this you find yourself with a little more beer than you can possibly drink, why not take the celebrations to the next level by making and serving up a real beer cake pastry.
Don’t worry—you do not have to be a gourmet chef to try your hand at cooking with beer. We have a super simple recipe for you that you can whip up in an hour or less.
How To Make a Beer Cake: Baking Method
If the idea of infusing your favorite dessert or birthday cake with a beery flavor sounds delicious, you are actually right. Not many people dare to venture out to make cake using beer. But, done the right way, beer can lend a wonderful range of flavors and uplift an otherwise average cake.
Other than adding flavor, beer also leavens baked goods. As the liquid base, booze lifts and tenderizes cakes and breads.
There are many beer cake recipes but we’ll show you a simple one that you can comfortably try even with basic or intermediate baking skills.
Here is our step-by-step guide to making a beer cake pastry:
Step 1. Gather the ingredients
To bake beer cake, you will need the following
- 3 cups flour
- 2 ounces of melted cooking chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda
- 1 cup of chilled beer
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cups of softened butter
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ¾ cup of buttermilk
For the frosting, you will need:
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons of beer
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
Step 2. Prepare the oven and cake pan
Preheat the oven to 350oF. Meanwhile, combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Also, grease your cake pan and set it aside.
Step 3. Melt the chocolate
It is best to melt cooking chocolate on a stovetop using a double boiler rather than in a microwave. You will have more control over the heat to avoid burning the chocolate.
To set up the double boiler, simmer a medium saucepan filled halfway with water. Sit a heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan and add the grated chocolate into the bowl. Turn down the heat to low and keep stirring the chocolate until it melts.
Remove the bowl from atop the saucepan and wipe the bottom to avoid any water drops or moisture from getting into contact with the chocolate.
Step 4. Mix the cake batter
In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar into a light and fluffy cream. Pour in the melted chocolate, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix the contents in the mixing bowl to come up with a nice chocolatey batter. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Step 5. Pour in the beer
At this point, your cake batter is ready to be infused with beer flavor. Remove the beer from the fridge and gradually add it to the batter as you stir to evenly distribute the beer. Add some cherry juice and buttermilk and stir until the batter is well mixed.
Step 6. Bake the beery cake
By now, your cake batter has a decadent beery aroma (yum!). Transfer the batter to the baking pan, pop in the oven, and bake for 30-45 minutes or until the tester comes out clean.
Step 7. Allow the cake to cool
Once the oven has timed out, bring your cake out, place it on a wire rack, and allow it to cool before decorating it.
Step 8. Prepare the frosting
The cherry on top of this beer cake is the beer-infused chocolate frosting, which is equally easy to prepare. Simply mix butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, sweetener, and salt in a bowl. Add the powdered sugar and whisk all the contents into a smooth, creamy frosting.
Step 9. Pile on the frosting
Be as generous as you can be with the frosting. Spread as much of that beery goodness as you can over the cake. Then, slice it up and enjoy it with your favorite beer.
Tips for baking with beer
To get the most from your beer cake experiment, keep these tips in mind:
Choose the right beer
If you are just getting started with baking with beer, start with stouts and porters. These styles of beer might seem dark, intense, and scary, but they are the perfect choice because the roasted malt in the beer lends flavors of caramel, cocoa, coffee, and chocolate.
If you want a slight bitterness to your pastries, porters and stouts are the way to go. Opt for lighter pale ales for citrusy and spicy flavor notes in your beer cake.
Use de-carbonated beer
Flat beer is best for baking as the carbonation can interfere with the other ingredients. To de-carbonate your beer, simply pop it open, transfer it to a bowl, and let it sit for a few minutes. You may return the beer to the fridge to chill it before adding it to the recipe. Just be sure to use fresh beer and not beer that has stayed open for days.
Opt for full-fat ingredients
Because beer is acidic, it can ‘break up’ ingredients with low-fat levels and this will interfere with your recipe. As such, you should use full-fat ingredients including buttermilk, milk, and butter.
Whether you make a beer can cake or bake an actual beer cake, you will certainly make an impression. With so many beer flavors and styles, you can be as creative as you wish with both of these projects. Just keep in mind the tips we offer here and you should come up with an impressive beer cake.
Have you tried making a beer cake out of cans? How about baking with beer? Let us know what your experience was like in the comments below—we’d love to hear from you.