Thursday, March 17, 2011

Celebrating with Beer

I've been meaning to make this Chocolate Stout Cake for years. I remember seeing it with a white frosting which simulated the frothy head of a Guinness beer but all the recipes for Chocolate Stout Cake seem to have a chocolate frosting instead. In the end I mixed two recipes to get what I wanted and I'd say it was a success.

Getting the cake out of it's Bundt pan was a disaster but then it gave me an excuse to whip up some chocolate ganache to mend the cracks and I ended up filling the hole with more cake crumbs, chocolate ganache and frosting. No one in the office seemed to mind one bit.

Chocolate Stout Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


  • 1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
Chocolate Ganache
  • 4 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream


  • 8oz of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a bundt pan VERY WELL. I coated mine in Pam and it was a disaster. Next time I might use melted butter.

In a medium saucepan combine butter and stout. Bring to a simmer and add cocoa powder, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Whisk to incorporate. In the bowl of a mixer, combine eggs and sour cream. Making sure the mixture isn't still hot, add the chocolate-stout mixture to the beaten eggs and mix to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly to combine and finish folding using a spatula.

Bake in oven for about 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let sit in pan for 10-minutes to several hours (jury's out on which is best). Invert onto a cooling rack and let cool.

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the sugar (sifted in you're feeling fancy) and mix until combined. Add the heavy cream and mix until it thickens a bit.

For the chocolate ganache, combine the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over medium low heat and mix until melted and combined.

To assemble the cake, pool the ganache over the cooled cake and let the ganache cool or set. Add the frosting on top, manipulating it to resemble the frothy head of a stout beer.

Happy St. Patrick's Day 

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