Sauerkraut & Beer Cake

I made my first Sauerkraut & Beer Chocolate Cake the other day. It doesn’t sound appetizing, does it? Think again!

Even though sauerkraut, chocolate and beer do not sound like a tasty trio, they make a surprisingly moist, rich, chocolate-y cake. Contrary to what many of you fear (based on some of the comments I received when I announced that I was going to make this unusual cake), sauerkraut and beer cake does not taste one bit like sauerkraut or beer. In fact, I believe that something in the sauerkraut and beer enhances the flavor and intensity of the chocolate.

Both sets of my great grandparents came to America from Germany in the late 1800’s. They were hardworking farm folk (homesteaders, actually) with simple tastes and needs. Perhaps that explains my odd passion for cake made with sauerkraut and beer. Or, maybe my curiosity got the best of me when I discovered this intriguing recipe in Grandma Ruth Baumgart’s tin recipe box several years ago. I can’t believe I just now got around to trying it! Not only is it delicious, it’s extremely easy to make because it uses boxed cake mix. Typically, my grandma baked everything from scratch. Not this time! Thanks Grandma :-)  If you are a glutton for punishment, go ahead and make the entire cake from scratch… or just pretend that you did. I won’t tell.

I urge you to get over your fear of sauerkraut and give this sinfully delicious cake a try. You will not be sorry!

IMPORTANT:
Follow the baking instructions on the box, but DO NOT add the liquid ingredients listed on the box. Use the dry mix only. The only liquid you will need comes from the sauerkraut, beer and eggs.



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20 thoughts on “Sauerkraut & Beer Cake

  1. Which type of sauerkraut did you use, the refrigerated or canned? I know there is usually more sodium in the canned variety.

    I made kraut in a large stoneware crock in my basement many years ago. I had to lift the cheesecloth that was covering the kraut and remove any “bad” cabbage. I believe I did that daily or every few days. When the kraut had reached the allotted fermentation time, I was afraid to taste it to see if it was ready. The Raleigh’s saleslady stopped by one day and I mentioned it to her. She volunteered to taste it for me. I was quite surprised when she excitedly said, “This is really GOOD sauerkraut!”

    • Canned… in a jar. My parents attempted kraut in a stoneware crock in our basement when I was a kid. I remember peeking under the lid with my mom one time. NASTY! GAG! YUCK! EWWW! UGLY COLORS! I think cabbage fermentation is best left to the pros. That kraut was most likely (I hope) dumped in the ditch… far, far, FAR down the road. If not, that explains the “stomach flu” our entire family experienced one year during the mid 70′s during Christmas.

  2. Ha ha… That’s why I was afraid to taste my own kraut. The whole thing was rather gross, although mine was never as you described. Keeping that top layer mold-free was an important step in the process, as was salting between the layers of cabbage during assembly. I’m sure that it was also important to use the right amount of salt since that works as a preservative.

  3. Wow!! I just made this cake and it is unbelievably awesome!
    I’ll be taking it to work tomorrow to watch the skeptics rave over it. Thanks for sharing the recipe Julie!

  4. I just found your blog and I can’t wait to try this cake. My husband always buys excess sauerkraut and I never know what to do with it…..Thank you!

    • Thanks for visiting my blog, Maria! Yes… definitely try the cake. You will be surprised by it’s moist, chocolate-y goodness!

  5. This is wonderful, thank you SO much! God bless your grandma for keepin’ it real. Of all the Sauerkraut cake recipes out there I know this is the one to try – if for no other reason than MY grandmother’s last name was Baumgardner!

      • Oh, and the other reason she’s so great is she says to CUT UP the Sauerkraut. I made Sauerkraut chocolate cake once from a recipe that didn’t suggest that – and my guests nearly threw up when they started pulling the long strings out of their mouths… eeewww! Getting back on the horse after ten years…

  6. Can you use a white cake mix? Or do you think its the chocolate that masks the sauerkraut flavor? Let me know what you suggest.

    • Hmm… good question. I have a feeling that the flavor of white cake mix isn’t robust enough for sauerkraut. I’m guessing the chocolate does tone down the kraut flavor… which is not noticeable at all.

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