Spiced Beer Cake with Cherries and Pecans


Spiced Beer Cake with Dried Cherries and Pecans


During the holidays to say there’s an abundance of baked good recipes floating around on the internet is quite the understatement. And, yep, here I go adding another one to the mix. But this recipe for Beer Cake, practically jumped off the page of one of my Aunt Carole’s cookbook begging me to give it a go. So, I had to do it. I just had to.

After reading the ingredients, a melange of warm spices with nuts and fruit, it sounded like the perfect introduction to fall. But with our crazy schedule, Beer Cake didn’t make the baking list until two weeks ago. I wasn’t sure what to expect, except that I thought the beer would add some kinda oomph to the flavor, as well as moisture. I was quite surprised that there was no prominent beer or “hoppy-ness” flavor. In fact, there were no hints of beer whatsoever. I did use a pale ale, so maybe if you chose a dark beer, the flavor would be more distinct.

But moisture? Definitely a moist cake. A dense moist cake that reminded me of gingerbread without the ginger. It was quite addictive, and I think a perfect addition to the holiday dessert spread to balance out all the real super sweet stuff.

The original recipe called for nuts and dates. I chose pecans and substituted dried cherries for dates. You could easily substitute other nuts and fruit in place of those or delete them altogether if needed. The original recipe also had a cream cheese icing along for the ride, but I decided to pass on the sweet topping. The cake had just enough sweetness to go solo, and was perfect with warm cup of coffee.

Another note, I baked the full recipe in a tube pan, but I think next time I will be splitting it into two loaf pans – one for me, one for sharing.

To get started you’ll need brown sugar, butter, eggs, flour, baking soda, salt, dried cherries (or dried fruit of choice), chopped nuts, and beer, of course.



Accompanied by a comforting blend of ground cloves, allspice, and cinnamon.



Using a whisk, mix all the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, salt, ground cloves, allspice and cinnamon, together and set aside.


Spiced Beer Cake with Dried Cherries and Pecans


Next cream the butter and brown sugar together, add eggs and beat well. Alternate adding in the dry ingredients and beer. Mix until just combines. Add the nuts and cherries, and fold them into the batter.



Pour into a greased tube pan and bake for about one hour at 350°F, or until toothpick, wooden skewer or cake tester comes out clean.



Slice a piece, find a good book, and comfy blanket, then relax and enjoy.


Spiced Beer Cake with Dried Cherries and Pecans



Beer Cake
Adapted from “Hospitality Southern Style” by my sweet aunt, Carole Radford.
Serves: Makes 1 tube cake (at least 12 servings).
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt (pinch)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups beer
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped (or nut of choice)
  • 1 cup dried cherries, chopped (or dried fruit of choice)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Using a whisk, mix all the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, salt, ground cloves, allspice and cinnamon, together and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and brown sugar together, add eggs and beat well.
  4. Alternate adding dry ingredients and beer. Mix until just combined.
  5. Add nuts and cherries and fold into batter.
  6. Pour into a well greased tube pan and bake for one hour at 350°F, or until toothpick, wooden skewer or cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for about 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack, then carefully invert on cake plate.


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  1. 6

    SMITH BITES says

    my oh my oh my . . . this is really something i must try – just looks so moist and with all the spices plus dried fruit and nuts . . . my oh my oh my . . .

  2. 7

    Jennifer (Savor) says

    As soon as I saw the title of the recipe/post I tohught ‘This is a man’s dream come true’

  3. 12


    This reminds me of a Christmas pudding made with beer I saw the other day, except Christmas pudding really doesn’t appeal to me and this is screaming my name.

  4. 14

    Wenderly says

    Mmmmmm, so unusual and FESTIVE!! Can’t wait to try it! Thanks Amy (and sweet Aunt Carole)

  5. 16

    Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food says

    What an intriguing and delicious sounding change of pace from the usual holiday fruit cake, loaded down with candied fruit and brandy! And how lucky you are to have such an inventive Aunt Carole. I’m totally on board with this recipe and the options you’ve given us for the dried fruit used here. BTW I wonder if apple cider would also work here. Might be interesting.

  6. 17


    Oh yes. This is so relevant to my interests.

    Ommegang makes a beer called Three Philosopher’s that is a blend of a malty, caramel-y, figgy dark ale and a cherry lambic. I cannot wait to try this cake using that beer.

  7. 19


    Sounds delicious. I’ve never seen a recipe for a beer cake before.

    I’ll find a good book, a comfy blanket, but I don’t think I’ll chill. Have you ever been so cold in your life? I can’t get over the windchill out there! I think I’ll go get a cup of coffee right now.

  8. 24


    I’ve never had a cake with beer in it. It looks good!

    Would love for you to come by and link up at my recipe party!

  9. 25


    This caught my eye when I saw beer and cake in the same sentence! How interesting! This looks fabulous!

  10. 26

    Sheri says

    Wow – this looks like it would taste great! It is definitely on my holiday baking “to do” list! Thanks for sharing!

  11. 29

    Paula - bell'alimento says

    Now that’s the best looking beer cake I’ve ever seen! Yum! Merry Christmas Amy!

  12. 31


    Oh …sooooo sweet a website !!
    loving the beer cake , can see how beautifully moist ie!
    And me too have those super cuteeeeee eared mini ramekins , arent they cute or what??
    Loveeee them!
    Looking forward to hear from u too!
    ☆♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.♪♫•*¨*•♫♪ ░M░E░R░R░Y░ (¯”•.¸*♥♥♥* ¸.•”¯) ░C░H░R░I░S░T░M░A░S░(¯”•.¸ *♥♥♥* ¸.•”¯) ! ♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪☆

  13. 33

    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective says

    Amy, I can just imagine the incredible flavor coming from each tender slice. I don’t think this cake would make it very long in my house.

  14. 34

    Lisette Silva says

    Hello, I was wondering if I could make this cake using regular sugar instead of brown sugar. Where I live we can’t really get brown sugar 😐 and if yes, would it still be 2 cups? Thanks, and btw it looks delicious.

  15. 36

    Conni Nogas says

    Made this last year using The Blue Moon’s molasses seasonal. I used Sam Adams’s Old Fezziwig Ale this year… equally outstanding and I had to make 3 because it was such a success, I promised to share!!
    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe… this is a holiday favorite here!

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