This interesting cake has just a touch of root beer flavor but it comes out light and moist. Be sure to use root beer with sugar in it, not sugar-free. If you prefer, you can use 7-Up® or other lemon lime soda in place of root beer.
3/4 cup shortening
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 12-ounce can root beer, not sugar-free
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and dust with flour a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
- Cream the shortening and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat for five or six minutes so that the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla.
- In another bowl, mix the flour, spices, salt, and soda together.
- In three or four additions, add the dry ingredients and the liquids to the creamed mixture alternately starting and ending with the dry ingredients. (Each time that we made this, we added the buttermilk first then one half of the soda and finally, the rest of the soda.) Mix only until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool completely before frosting with the frosting of your choice. (Try Root Beer Butter Frosting)
Baker’s Note: When making a cake such as this, you are mixing oil (shortening) and water (soda pop and buttermilk)—which don’t mix. The egg yolks act as an emulsifier, a bonding agent between the oil and water molecules and the flour absorbs much of the water. That is why you start with the flour addition—so that the water doesn’t overload the fat mixture before the flour is there to start absorbing water. It’s also why you add the liquids in stages between the flour additions.