Root Beer Iced Vanilla Cake

My dad loooooves root beer, so for his birthday I wanted to honor his favorite treat.  In addition to serving A&W root beer floats, I decided to make a root beer iced cake.  I confess I used a boxed mix for the vanilla cake because I wanted to spend more time on the decorating, and I was short on time as it was.  So I baked a double vanilla sheet cake and spent the rest of my energy on the decorating!  Little did I know how much energy it would take!  In the end it was all worth it and my dad loooooved his root beer iced cake.  (As did everyone else at the dinner party!)

Root beer Icing (the recipe actually calls it frosting, but I found the consistency to be much more like icing):

  • 1 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons root beer

Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar to butter until well mixed.  Add the vanilla and root beer.  Add more root beer or confectioners’ sugar until you reach the desired spreading consistency.

I made the mistake of adding too much liquid and therefore had to run to the store mid-mixing to get more sugar.  Then I added too much sugar and had to add more liquid.  I went back and forth like this for a bit until I had as much as a needed at the correct consistency!  It ended up a nice light beige color.

I wanted to crush root beer barrels and sprinkle those on top–at this point little I did I know how much trouble I would have (a) finding root beer barrels and (b) crushing them.  After running around to several stores I finally found them at CVS.  They are quite a bit harder than I expected and crushing them with a meat tenderizer in a plastic bag was not an easy task.  The barrels were the consitency of marbles and when smashed, the sharp pieces poked holes in the bag allowing root beer dust to pour out and create a lovely sticky mess! I eventually did end up with enough crushed barrels to sprinkle on the top of the cake.  I then lined the edge of the cake with piped plain vanilla frosting, just to finish it off.  I also topped it off with some really cute gummy cola bottles. As I said, in the end it worked out well and this cake was a huge hit!

Icing/frosting recipe adapted from Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella.

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4 Responses

  1. […] out what I made for my dad’s birthday last year—ROOT BEER Iced Vanilla Cake!  (My dad lovvvves root beer!  When I was little he used to take me to the A&W drive-in and […]

  2. Wow, your amounts on the frosting are SO far off! It came out like soup. I had to add so much sugar that you couldn’t even taste the root beer…I had to add at least twice the sugar so I then added another 1/4 cup butter to at least add some richness to the pure sweetness.and then I beat it and beat it until it turned out the right consistency. You should check the amounts on your recipes before you post them….almost had my dinner party dessert ruined if I hadn’t known how to fix it and had the ingrefients on hand.

    • Samantha, I am sorry you had trouble with the icing! It is a loose consistency, which is why I mentioned it is more of an icing than a frosting. Often frostings and icings require adding more liquid/sugar to achieve your desired consistency. It is smart to have additional ingredients on hand. I make all of the recipes prior to posting to the site.

  3. […] is easy to please and maybe that’s why I love making his birthday cake each year!  (Check out the Root Beer Iced Vanilla Cake I made in 2008 and the Boston Cream Pie I made in […]

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