There's a complicated story behind the "party" for which I made this cake, but basically I wanted to make an out-of-the-ordinary cake to reward some of the students I work with for a fundraising job well done. This cake was delicious but not a roaring success in terms of attaining the taste I was going for, but I took pictures, so it goes up on the blog.
This "Root Beer Float Cake" didn't quite taste like a root beer float but it was still very tasty. I convinced myself that I tasted the root beer but most samplers of the cake said it just tasted like chocolate cake. For the frosting, I found several sources that said making a vanilla buttercream with vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract would make it taste like vanilla ice cream. Having tried it, I can't vouch for the truth in that idea. I did come across a few recipes that actually listed ice cream as an ingredient and I'll probably go that route if I give this concept another try.
Chocolate Root Beer Cake
One 12-oz bottle strongly flavored root beer
One Box Devil's Food Cake Mix
Mix them together with a hand mixer or by hand until well blended. Follow instructions on cake mix box for time and temperature. My batter was pretty thick and I was only able to get one round 9-inch cake out of it.
Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 T vanilla bean paste
1 T milk
Beat together softened butter and sugar, adding sugar slowly until it reaches a frosting consistency you like. Then add in the vanilla bean paste and some milk to smooth it out.