Ginger beer is a delicious ingredient in summer drinks and cocktails, but did you know that you can use it to make other tasty treats? There are actually a surprising number of recipes out there that call for soda as an ingredient because the sweet, fizzy drinks have pronounced flavor that can add a lot to both sweet and savory dishes. Ginger beer has a particularly distinct flavor, with the hot spice of fresh ginger, and that makes it a fun ingredient to work with in this Blueberry Ginger Beer Pound Cake!
You will start out by creaming together butter and sugar for this recipe, just as you would for most pound cakes. I added some vegetable oil to ensure that that cake stays exceptionally moist. The ginger beer is poured into the batter where you might normally use milk, buttermilk or another dairy product. It may fizz up a bit as you mix it in, but just keep stirring until the batter has come together.
I folded in fresh blueberries just before pouring the batter into the pan. If you are using frozen berries, toss them in flour first to keep them from bleeding into the cake as you mix them in.
The flavor of your cake will vary a bit depending on the brand of ginger beer that you use; some brands are spicier than others. The cake recipe will work with all brands of ginger beer, however I do recommend sticking with non-diet sodas (made with real sugar and not with other sweeteners) for best results. I added a bit of ground ginger to supplement the flavor of the ginger beer, which adds a subtle flavor, but you can omit it if you want to test how strong your ginger beer is on its own.
The cake is buttery, with a tight and tender crumb. There is a zing of ginger to the cake, but the jammy blueberries take center stage when you get a bite with a few of them in it. It’s delicious and very summery. You don’t need any frosting, though a dusting of confectioners’ sugar can give the cake a nice finish. The cake is best within a day or two of baking, as the berries tend to leak extra juices into the cake after that point, so slice it up and dig in as soon as it has cooled!
Blueberry Ginger Beer Pound Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup ginger beer
16-oz fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ground ginger and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, vegetable oil and sugar until very creamy. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the ginger beer. Stir in another 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining ginger beer. Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients, stirring until no streaks of flour remain. Fold in blueberries.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached and the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Allow cake to cool in the pan for at least 25 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 cake; serves 12