Michigan Beer Cake

This isn’t really a cake but rather an unusual egg dish with lots of surprises. The recipe was given to me years ago by Jeanne Burhop from Michigan. In her state, this “cake” is traditionally served with beer, hence the name. It’s a wonderful party choice because all the ingredients of a sandwich are contained in one densely textured slice.

For a vegetarian version, see the variations.


12 ounces lean bacon
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
12 large eggs
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
cayenne pepper
salt (optional)
1/4 pound Genoa salami, finely chopped (optional)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Muenster cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons minced parsley



Ham: Substitute 1 cup chopped ham for the bacon and salami. Sauté in 2 tablespoons butter and proceed as above.

Vegetarian: Omit the meat. Add a green bell pepper and ½ cup chopped celery or zucchini. Cook the vegetables in 3 tablespoons butter and proceed as above.

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Place the bacon on a cutting board and dice into small pieces. Cook in a large frying pan over medium heat, stirring to separate the pieces, for about 5 minutes, until the bacon has rendered its fat but is not yet browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, reserving the fat.

Add the onion and pepper to the pan and sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Add the mushrooms, turn up the heat, and sauté, stirring constantly, until the mushrooms are cooked and have released their juices.

Place the mixture in a colander over a bowl to drain off the fat and extra moisture.

Beat the eggs for 2 minutes, add the flour, and beat for 1 minute longer, until thoroughly combined. Beat in the mustard, and season with a generous grating of black pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper. Add salt if you wish.

Stir in the bacon and drained vegetable mixture along with the salami, cheeses, and parsley.

Spoon the mixture into a buttered 10-inch pan with a removable tube insert. (The cake tends to stick; if you don’t have this type of pan, use a standard tube pan or two 9x5-inch loaf pans lined with greased waxed paper.) Bang the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.

Place in the center of the oven and bake for 1-¼ to 1-½ hours, or until cooked through. Unmold while still warm. If any fat appears on the surface, blot it off with a paper towel.

Wrap the cooked, unmolded beer cake in aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator, where it will stay in good condition for several days. Cut into ¼-inch slices to serve.

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