As I’ve mentioned several times, I make cakes for birthdays at work. The company has grown significantly since the beginning of the year so I’ve started doing monthly birthday celebrations with generally 2 cakes (or some sort of sweet items). Well, August is one of the few months there is only one birthday, one of our admin guys.
As usual, I asked what kind of cake he wanted and he said anything. Asked if there were any restrictions and he said no. As much as I love this, it almost makes it hard to have unlimited options. I bugged him again about it and he finally told me white cake. Okay, I can work with that. With such a simple cake, I figured I could get a little more creative with the decorations. I had a few other ideas, then remember seeing this on Pinterest.
I’m not the most amazing cake decorator in the world, but I do okay, so I figured I could probably handle this one. I think it turned out pretty great:
Pouring Beer Mug Cake
- 4 6″ Vanilla cake layers (I used this recipe and it was delicious!)*
- Vanilla frosting (I used this recipe and, again, it was delicious)**
- White chocolate chips (how much you need depends on how big you want your handle to be; I think I melted about half a bag and had plenty left over)
- Coupler (I did not use a tip, I just used the coupler by itself to do the “head” on the beer and to pipe the white chocolate for the handle)
- Pastry bag (one if you want to wash it out, two if you don’t)
- 1 Skewer
- 1 Empty beer can
- 12 Toothpicks
- Yellow food coloring
- Orange or red food coloring
- Spatula for spreading the frosting
- Melt your white chocolate chips (I did it in the microwave), put in a pastry bag with a coupler and no tip and pipe a handle onto wax paper. Let sit to dry. I let mine sit overnight just to make sure it was completely set.
- Use a serrated knife to even out the tops of three of your layers so they will lay evenly.
- Lay the first layer on a plate (I put it cut side down so that I don’t have to worry about making a mess trying to spread frosting over the crumbs). Add a dollop of frosting and spread it almost to the edge. You don’t want it going all the way to the edge because you don’t want it squeezing out the sides.
- Place 4 toothpicks into the first layer. I did kind of a square about half way between the edge of the cake and the center. I would err on the side of putting them closer to the outside rather than the inside just to be safe. My cake also ended up being slightly crooked and you know who cared?! No one. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
- Add your second and third layer and repeat steps 3 and 4.
- When adding the 4th layer, I did not cut the top off to even it out because I wanted the little mound for the top of the beer. This is completely up to you.
- Tint your frosting. I tinted just under half of the frosting for the “beer” and had to make a little extra for the pouring part.. which I then forgot at home! (I’m still frustrated with myself for doing that!) I used yellow and orange food coloring to get the correct color. Lots of yellow and a little orange. If you don’t have orange and need to use red, I would do it a drop at a time to make sure your “beer” doesn’t end up some weird color.
- Frost the edges of the cake with your beer-colored frosting. I used my spatula to make indentions in the frosting to make it look more like a mug. I didn’t measure it out or anything, just started doing them every so often and was pretty pleased with the results. I frosted just about all the way to the top of the cake.
- For the “head” of the beer, I put my white frosting in a pastry bag with just the coupler. To create the look of foam, I just did little “U”s and circles all over, and even frosted some a little down the sides like some of the foam was spilling over the edge of the mug. While I was frosting, a drop of frosting fell and landed at the bottom of the cake, which I left because it actually kind of worked. Sometimes beer spills all the way down the mug.
- I put my beer can on my skewer before putting the skewer into the cake. This is a personal preference. The “ring” end of my skewer was slightly larger than the mouth of the can so I had to kind of jab mine in there. I would much rather do that before the skewer is in the cake.
- Stick the skewer into the cake. You can pretty much but it wherever you want, but I would worry that if you put it to close to the edge and your cake is really moist, it may fall out.
- Frost the skewer. This does NOT need to be pretty, you want it to look like it’s pouring and generally, you don’t have a perfect pour out of a can. I also added a bit of frosting onto the mouth of the can: partially to hide the skewer, partially to get the full effect of “beer” coming out of it.
- Use a bit of leftover frosting to attach the handle to the mug. It might be a good idea to have the handle rest on something until the frosting dries.
That’s it! You’re done! Okay, it’s kind of a lot of steps, but if you break it down, it’s not that hard. Most of the steps are things you would do when frosting a plain ‘ol layer cake anyway, I’m just adding a handful of extra steps.
*A quick note on the cake: because I’m at a high altitude (about 5200ft above sea level), I always add an extra quarter cup of flour and liquid to my recipes. With this recipe, it made the cake a little denser, which was great since I was stacking four layers. Even if you are add a lower elevation, it would probably be a good idea to add a little extra flour and liquid so your cake isn’t too moist and won’t stack well.
**A note about the frosting as well. Don’t cheat and used canned frosting. Let me repeat: Don’t cheat and used canned frosting! I
was an idiot and forgot my homemade frosting at home to put together the “pouring” part of it at work. (I’m also not a big beer drinker so I had to ask one of my coworkers to bring in an empty beer can.) Luckily, we had some canned frosting in the office that I could use. Problem was, it was not nearly thick enough to not run down the skewer. Pretty much I ended up with a giant mound of frosting at the bottom of the skewer. Don’t be stupid like me. If you are assembling it somewhere else… make sure you remember your frosting!! I might also do 1.5 times the recipe, just to make sure I had enough. I was running low towards the end.
I hope you enjoy this cake as much as me and my co-workers did!