Classic lemon cake just got way better! Add a little beer to this light and citrusy dessert for a new take on a family favorite. This Lemon Beer Cake with Honey and Figs is a perfect balanced option for breakfast, snack and served as after-dinner dessert!
Cooking with beer is quite traditional in most cultures, but I just recently started to pair beer with sweet treats. When you bake with beer, the slightly bitter flavor doesn’t persist at all. Actually, this cooking method allows to fully bring out all its aromatic, fruity and refreshing taste.
This cake was the perfect little project to start my adventure in baking with beer, it’s a fantastic melting pot of some of my favorite summer ingredients: honey, lemons, figs and beer, obviously. They all come together in a pretty, spongy cake package, topped up with an easier and lighter version of my go-to ricotta cheesecake filling, and some delicious seasonal figs.
For the recipe, I borrowed and slightly adapted my mum’s lemon cake recipe, a traditional sicilian baked dessert she used to make us for breakfast, or to enjoy over merenda time. All you need is simple ingredients you most probably already have at hand, and your favorite lager beer.
Being the proud Italian that I am, Menabrea is hands down my favorite choice when it comes to drinking Italian beer. For over 160 years, this family-run label have brewed their remarkable birre using their own recipe, and only five simple ingredients: water, barley, hops, yeast & brewer’s maize. Additive free, it’s the only Italian beer still brewed using a completely natural ‘slow fermentation’ process, that makes use of pure spring water from the nearby Alps. The Bionda is a well-balanced pale lager with notable citrus, bitter tones and floral, fruity undertones giving a consistent and refined flavour.
This citrusy cake is the perfect match for a pale lager like Menabrea. The best part is, you don’t need to use the whole bottle, so you can drink what’s left while the cake bakes in the oven!
To complement this moist, airy Lemon Beer Cake, I’ve used a lighter version of my popular ricotta cream ( which I often use to make cheesecakes). But this time around, I’ve substituted part of the ricotta with quark cheese. If you haven’t heard about quark until now, it’s a Nordic dairy product made from soured milk.
Very similar in taste to Greek yogurt, the low-fat variety has a dense texture, more like a spread. I’ve been knowing this cheese all my life, but never actually use it or eaten until recently, while on holiday in Germany. Quark has double the amount of proteins compared to Greek yogurt, so it makes a super healthy substitution when making parfait, added in a bowl with fruits and granola, and in this case as a key ingredient for a delicious frosting.
This Lemon Beer Cake with Honey and Figs is a really simple but still impressive dessert, with a citrusy beer note to keep it moist and add extra flavour. It’s perfect early in the morning with coffee, or late at night after dinner with a beer, of course.
I hope you guys have fun making this amazing cake! Don’t forget to leave a comment below or on my Facebook page, and let me know how you liked it! Even better, snap a picture, tag it #thepetitecook and share it on Instagram -Looking at your pictures always makes me insanely happy :).
Lemon Beer Cake with Honey and Figs
- 225 gr plain flour
- 130 gr brown sugar I use demarara
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 3 tbs butter room temperature (I use homemade salted butter)
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1 tbsp honey
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 140 ml blonde beer I use Menabrea
- 2 tbs light olive oil
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- pinch of sea salt
For the frosting:
- 200 gr fresh ricotta cheese well drained
- 100 gr low-fat quark cheese
- 2 tbsp honey +2 tbsp demarara sugar, optional
- zest of one lemon
- 4 fresh figs halved, to decorate
- Preheat oven to 356F/180C, and grease a 8inch loose base cake tin.
- In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and a generous pinch of salt. Set aside until needed.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer add the lemon zest, brown sugar, caster sugar and butter. Beat until well combined.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating well between additions.
- The add lemon juice, beer, honey and olive oil, and continue to mix until well combined, scraping the bottom of the mixer if necessary.
- Stop the mixer and slowly add in the flour mixture, lightly stirring until just combined.
- Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin.
- Bake for about 30 mins, or until cake is golden brown and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes back clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing the cake from the tin.
- In the meantime prepare the frosting. Simply mix together ricotta, quark, lemon zest and honey, adding some extra sugar to make it sweeter if you like. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Spread the frosting over the top of the cake, decorate with halved ( or sliced) figs and a drizzle of honey.
- Serve immediately, and store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
This post is sponsored by Menabrea, and as usual all opinions are my own. I truly love the quality of their beers, and can only recommend it to all of you! Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Petite Cook.