PREP TIME: 2 hours
Serves: 10-12 Servings

When Emile Zatarain began his company in 1889, his first product was root beer. Today, Zatarain’s still packages root beer extract. As any good Louisianian would, I have paired it with the local Abita root beer.


  • 3½ tsps Abita® root beer
  • 1 tbsp Zatarain’s® root beer extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ tbsps baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper for easy removal of cake. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter then add sugar and continue mixing until light and fluffy. In a separate mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt. With a mixer on low speed, slowly add root beer and eggs to butter mixture until well blended. Mix in root beer extract and vanilla extract. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to create a smooth batter. Pour into prepared pans and bake 30–40 minutes or until just set. Let cool in pans 5 minutes before inverting onto cooling racks. Let cool completely before icing.

7½ cups powdered sugar
2½ cups butter
4 tbsps heavy whipping cream
3 tsps pure vanilla extract

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine powdered sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until blended then increase to medium. Mix 3 additional minutes. Add cream and vanilla, continuing to mix on medium 1 minute. Additional cream may be added if necessary to achieve spreading consistency. Place 1 cooled cake layer on cake stand, spread icing on top surface and chill 10 minutes. Add top layer, inverting it to create a flat top, and push down on it slightly. Spread sides and top with a thin layer of icing to hold in crumbs. Chill 25 minutes. Apply a second layer of icing to cake, making swirls on top for decoration. If desired, add bendable straws to each slice of cake to make it resemble a root beer float.

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