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Layer cakes have always been my nemesis. But somehow I’m drawn to make over the top, decadent, rich layer cakes, always testing my baking abilities. Nobody cares if I can make great cakes and I’ve often been the butt of many jokes … “this cake is so dry it won’t even burn in a campfire.” Seriously, they were right.
I always over-bake my layer cakes, or they fall apart, or they’re as dense as my front door. So … are you wondering if this cake is over-baked, dry, dense and tasteless? Thank goodness it is not. It’s actually pretty fantastic! Yes it is a dense(er) cake but in a good way. Maybe it’s the beer – I just seem to bake better with beer. Finally, maybe, my days as only a “pie girl” are gone … we’ll see. This is a good start – woohoo!
I was thrilled with the Guinness Chocolate Bundt Cake made last Spring for St. Patrick’s Day so when I came across a recipe for Chocolate Stout Cake, I was hooked. After great amounts of research and investigation, I settled on a recipe posted on King Arthur Flour’s website. This recipe makes a towering, three layer 8″ round cake. It feeds a lot so be sure you have friends, lots and lots of friends. My husband was wondering why I was making a cake and I reminded him I had a birthday last month, and one of my brothers had a birthday the other day, and our son’s birthday is next month … so why not!
We love the combination of the stout beer and chocolate, they make a wonderful pair in this impressive cake. The dark chocolate buttercream frosting is also a star and a prefect compliment to the not-too-sweet layers. It’s somebody’s birthday somewhere, so celebrate with cake!
Chocolate Stout Cake with Dark Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
For the Cake:
- 2 cups stout beer I used Guinness Extra Stout
- 2 cups unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups Dutch-processed cocoa
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup sour cream
For the Frosting:
- 4 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate chopped
- 4 ounces dark semi-sweet chocolate chopped
- ½ cup dark chocolate natural cocoa powder not dutch chocolate
- 1 tablespoon strong coffee
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar divided
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans, then line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut in a circle to fit. Set aside.
- Add the beer and butter to a large, heavy bottom saucepan. Warm on medium until the butter melts then remove from the heat and gently whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk until blended and set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl beat together the eggs and sour cream.
- Gently add the cocoa mixture and blend on low until combined.
- Add the flour mixture on low speed, scraping down the sides as needed. Mix on medium for 1 minutes.
- Divide the batter between the three prepared cake pans. If you have a kitchen scale, each one should weigh a little over 2 pounds. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean, or at least not wet. Crumbs are okay. Do not over-bake.
- Cool the layers on a rack for ten minutes, then remove the cake from the pans and continuing cooling on the wire rack until no longer warm.
- Frost as desired and store leftovers in the refrigerator.
For the Frosting:
- Add the chopped chocolate to the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool, but still pourable.
- While the chocolate is melting, combine the coffee, water and cocoa in a small saucepan. Heat on low and whisk until smooth and slightly thickened. Remove and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Add the butter and 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar to a large mixing bowl. Beat until the butter is light and fluffy. Add the cooled, melted chocolate, vanilla and salt. Blend on medium until smooth. Add the cooled cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated. Gradually add the remaining 3 cups of confectioners' sugar, blending until smooth.
- Frost cake or cupcakes as desired.
- Chocolate Stout Cake adapted from King Arthur Flour.
- Dark Chocolate Buttercream Frosting adapted from a recipe published in Bon Appetit Magazine.
- Buttercream Frosting makes about 2 cups.
I hope you have a wonderful week – Thanks so much for stopping by!