Beer Mug Cake

Originally I wanted to share a beer mug cake for Father’s Day, but I wasn’t able to edit the footage in time!

Luckily, beer never goes out of style, and this cake is also perfect for summertime bbqs / cook outs!

The ultimate summer cake idea - a beer mug cake!!

Adding Beer Into This Cake Recipe

I couldn’t resist using some beer in the actual cake recipe. It felt wrong making the cake layers without it. Plus, now it’s truly a beer cake recipe!!

I swapped out some of the buttermilk for beer in my go-to vanilla layer cake recipe, and frosted the cake with a vanilla buttercream. It’s almost like a cream ale, right?! 

The fun part is that you can use your favorite beer. I used a Founders All-Day IPA, but the options are really limitless.

I’d love to hear what your favorite beer is, and what types you’ve used in this recipe!

Beer Frosting??

When I began to think about adding beer to the cake layers, my brain naturally progressed to day dreaming about a beer buttercream.

Originally I did plan to use a beer flavored frosting on this cake. I figured if I could cook down the beer a bit, I could incorporate it into my buttercream recipe.

But that idea quickly faded as I tried to make an IPA reduction. While the concept seemed great in my mind, the smell of the reduction told me otherwise!!

Smoothing the sides of my beer mug cake

Instead, I chose to color the frosting into what I decided was a “beer-colored” frosting.

I used a combination of brown and yellow gel food coloring to create this tan shade.

It Isn’t A Beer Mug Without A Handle

While I generally don’t work with fondant and gum paste, it’s hard to avoid with this beer mug cake design.

Without a handle, it’s really a beer glass cake. And that just doesn’t have the same ring to it!!

adding the handle to my beer mug cake

Be sure you make the handle for this cake at least a few hours in advance.

This will give it time to try, and make it easier to insert onto the side of your cake. If it’s still soft, it can crack or break.

A Foamy Finishing Touch

The finishing touch on this cake is the buttercream foam piped on top! It’s ironic, because in real life you don’t want a ton of foam on top of your beer.

Piping bubbles onto my beer mug cake

However, I love the cartoonish look that the piped foam gives this cake. It makes it feel like it’s right out of an episode of the Simpsons!!

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the rest of the IPA while decorating this cake! As a huge beer fan myself, I had way too much fun decorating this cake.

Chelsey White with IPA Beer Mug Cake

Share Your Creations With Me!

If you try this beer cake recipe, please tag me @chelsweets. Also use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations!

Nothing makes me happier than when I get emails or DMs with photos of your amazing cakes. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your triumphs, or questions <3

Yield: 24 servings

Beer Mug Cake

Beer Mug Cake

This beer mug cake is perfect for anyone who loves beer!! It's decorated to look like frosty mug of beer, and the recipe actually uses a bit of beer!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 32 minutes


Beer Cake Recipe

  • 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (410 grams)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar (600 grams)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder (10 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226 grams) - 2 sticks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (8 grams)
  • 1 cup pasteurized egg whites from a carton (or about 7 egg whites) (235 grams)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (237 grams)
  • 1/2 cup your favorite beer (about 120 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (14 grams)
  • Yellow and brown gel food coloring (if desired)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (434 grams)
  • 8 cups powdered sugar (907 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream (or whipping cream) (30 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (12 grams)
  • Yellow and brown gel food coloring

Additional Decorations

  • 1 cup white gum paste
  • 2 toothpicks


Beer Handle Decoration:

  1. Prepare the beer handle the night before so that it can dry! To accelerate the drying process, use either white gum paste or fondant with tylose powder.
  2. Mold the handle to be roughly 6 inches tall, and insert toothpicks into the tips of the handle. Set aside to fully firm up overnight.

Beer Cake Layers:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line six, 6-inch pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
  3. Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
  4. Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk, then the beer, on a low speed.
  5. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on low speed for about 15 seconds. 
  6. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans, and ensure they all have the same amount of batter. This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
  7. Bake for 30-32 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the pans to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  8. Place cake layers into the freezer for 30 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers from the pans.
  9. Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers, and then frost as desired.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  1. While the cake layers bake and cool, make the vanilla buttercream frosting.
  2. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.
  3. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. 
  4. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
  5. Place two cups of white buttercream into a large piping bag, and cut a small opening (about 1 cm wide)
  6. Color the remaining buttercream a tan color using a couple drops of yellow gel food coloring, and a tiny drop of brown gel food coloring. Start off with only a tiny bit of food coloring, and add more as needed until you reach the desired color.

To Assemble The Cake:

  1. Stack and frost cake layers on a greaseproof cake board, using a dab of frosting to help stick the first cake layer to the board.
  2. Add an even layer of tan buttercream between each cake layer.
  3. If your layers seem unstable, insert a wooden dowel through the center of the cake for stability while you crumb coat.
  4. Cover the cake in a thin coat of frosting, to fully seal off the cake layers. Smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake in the fridge (30 minutes) or freezer (5 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.
  5. Add a second, thicker layer of frosting to the cake. Pipe a line of white buttercream around the base of the cake, then covered the rest of the cake with the tan buttercream. Smooth using a bench scraper.
  6. Use the bench scraper to make vertical lines up the cake, to look like the indentations on a beer mug.
  7. Pipe some foam on top of the cake, and over some of the sides using the white buttercream.
  8. Insert the beer mug handle, and enjoy!


These cake layers can be made in advance!! Learn more about how far in advance they can be made, and how to properly wrap them in my post on how to make cake layers ahead of time.

Since this frosting will be used to decorate a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on the lowest speed at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process.

You can also stir the frosting in a bowl with a rubber spatula, pushing it from side to side, to get rid of any air bubbles.This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 562 Total Fat 24g Saturated Fat 15g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 8g Cholesterol 63mg Sodium 238mg Carbohydrates 85g Fiber 1g Sugar 68g Protein 3g

36 thoughts on “Beer Mug Cake

    1. I would think so! I used a mixture of yellow and warm brown, but i think that should work too! just start by adding a little bit, so that you can adjust with other colors if needed 🙂

  1. Hi Chelsweets – I tried a test run of the cake this weekend and had it sit overnight but the frosting kind of bulged out of the sides and started leaning a little. Any ideas on how to stop that from happening? Should I have put the bubble straws in to give the cake more stability?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. Hi Chelsea I made this and used fondant for the mug handle and toothpicks but it didn’t stay firm it fell Luckily it was a cake I made for a cousin What can I use so it will stay firm and in place I have to make another one

  3. Hi chelsweet…. Love ur recipes and cake decorations, u are my inspiration for me to do more baking.
    I have a question, can I use liquor instead of beer??

  4. Hi, was wanting to know how’s big did you make the handle , I am going to attempt to make this for my son since he turns 21 this week but have never used fondant and don’t know how big to make it .

    1. I think my handle was about 6 inches tall, but it can really vary based on how tall you make your cake / how much frosting to put between the layers! I’d say somewhere around 6 inches should be a safe bet! 🙂

  5. Hi Chelsweets
    I have to make a 3D beer Mug cake for 50 people can you tell me what size pans and how many layers i would have to do or is that to large to make
    I really would appreciate your thoughts on this
    Thank you

  6. Hi CHELSEA I was wondering if you are receiving my question about the 3d beer mug cake for 50 people.
    I was wondering what size pans I would need to make it or would it be to big
    Thank You

    1. Definitely! but it only makes 3, 8-inch cake layers, or 4, thinner 8-inch cake layers. Hope that helps Nastasha <3

  7. Hi chelsweets! Wonderful recipe I am so glad I found this for my husbands 30th! I was able to make the layers ahead of them and freeze them according to your instructions but I was wondering I could make the frosting ahead of time as well. Thank you!

Let me know what you think!