Because it’s fun for me, I’ve decided that today is the day that I will embarrass my former boss. You see, she and I are two of a very small group of girl-types in a very boy-dominated sector of publishing, and while I would normally argue that gender stereotypes are old, tiresome and played out, in our professional realm at least, they’re fairly rightly-placed. While the guys go on in great lengths about (pick one, or all of the below) the Red Sox, Giants, hockey, PlayStation, Borat, You The Man Now Dawg website, beer and where it doesn’t cost much and the Joy of Street Meat, she and I would spend an at least equal amount of time and devotion chattering about all aspects of food and cooking as, just my luck, she is as obsessed as I am.
Having excellent taste, she loves chocolate and Guinness in a near-equal ratio, thus when I happened upon this recipe many, many months ago, I bookmarked it for the express purpose of making for her birthday. In the months since, she’s moved onto bigger better things – Full-time freelancing! Breaking even! Subverting the dominant paradigm! (fine, I added that) – this recipe has drilled such a hole in my bookmarks, I was unable to ignore it any longer, busting it out for the birthday of a friend who ended up stuck in the airport from LA and didn’t make back in time for Sunday night’s dinner party and a sampling of her cake, which as it turns out, we were more than capable of enjoying without her. [Is this sentence still on? Because, really, I feel no need to stop.]
Now, I’ve explained before that I’m not a huge fan of chocolate cakes as I think all that egg, flour and baking powder dilute the inherent charm of true chocolate, leaving you with things that taste “chocolatey” but are not that bite I crave, covet and occasionally dream about. But this cake is really fantastic. The beer gives it a richer, fuller, nuttier flavor while keeping it from leaning too heavily on the sweet side; the sour cream makes it an exceedingly moist cake that is neither mushy or unstructured, without requiring any additional basting, sealing or prayer to keep it on this side of the texture of stale cornbread; and the chocolate ganache on top with a hint of coffee is like the crowning third of the flavor trifecta. This cake kicks butt.
The original recipe, at least according to the numerous, amusing comments on Epicurious, makes a stunning amount of batter. I took several writers’ advice and halved it to fit in a bundt pan, and decided to replace their sort of odd frosting suggestion with a basic, failure-free ganache, the same that I had used for the orange-chocolate chunk cake. I reduced the recipe by one-quarter, remembering that it had made way too much, but even a 75 percent, it mostly puddled beneath the cooling rack, clearly begging for a swipe from our hungry fingers.
Chocolate Stout Cake
Adapted from the Barrington Brewery in Great Barrington, MA via Bon Appetit
This recipe was originally intended to make a layer cake of 3 8-inch rounds. Upon many reviewers’ suggestions, I halved it and it fit perfectly in a bundt pan. The halved amount is below, and the icing replaced with a simple ganache.
1 cup (235 ml) stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces or 230 grams) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (65 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups (230 grams) all purpose flour
2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup (160 grams) sour cream
6 ounces (170 grams) good semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons (90 ml) heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray a bundt pan well; make sure you get in all of the nooks and crannies. (Some people even go so far as to brush the inside of their bundt pans with melted butter–you cannot be too careful!). Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cake to rack; cool completely in the pan, then turn cake out onto rack for drizzling ganache.*
For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of cooled cake.
* Update 3/25/08: Previously, the instructions suggested that you cool the cake for only 10 minutes in the pan before flipping it out onto a cooling rack and cooling it the rest of the way. After several conversations with readers/test cooks who found that their cake stuck a little, awesome reader Susan tried to cool the cake completely in the pan before releasing it and nothing stuck. I agree that this might be a better way to go.
598 comments on chocolate stout cake
Mmmmm sounds fantastic…and looks beautiful too!
Lordy woman, I am trying to lose weight and you are killing me with recipes I want to try. Put something vegetarian and low-fat up there for me. ;)
Sounds fabulous! My queue of things to bake keeps getting longer.
Me, too! Try Deb’s ‘Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions’ – it is so delicious. I’d been looking for years for a decent GBC recipe, enough with the canned goods. OMG it was so delicious. I’ll probably make it monthly! Enjoy this amazing website.
To die for and well worth the effort!
This cake looks so yum! I’m adding it to about 6 other recipes that I’m dying to try, but have yet to find the time. Do you have any recipes for roasted red pepper soup? There are a million out there, but I’m sure you have a favorite. Also, if you say it’s good, it’s gotta be good! Thanks
You have the most amazing photographs on your site!! I think I just drooled on my keyboard – but chocolate will do that. I have to try this, the one time I made a chocolate cake recipe with stout as an ingredient it was ok, but not outstanding – this one looks great.
Looks great! I’ve had this recipe saved for over 6 months now to make for my husband’s birthday in January. Your ganache sounds great!
*drooling* That looks beyond simply amazing, and I don’t like chocolate/cake that much. O.O
I second Christine and add a DAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMM.
YUMMMMM. this looks amazing. what could be better than chocolate, beer, and coffee! what are the white dots on top??
LMB815 – Thank you.
Traci – Perhaps some lentil stew? Vegetable fritters? Squash with lime vinaigrette?
Jessie – I just saw this collection of North African recipes on Food and Wine and immediately bookmarked half of them, so I know what you mean about the queue!
Suzette – I haven’t made roasted pepper soup, but I made a fresh red pepper soup last year that became a party favorite. It’s PERFECT. Recipe over here.
Joanna – I hope you like this one better – the stout makes it deliciously bittersweet.
Tammi – Hooray! I love it when I end up testing out recipes people want to make, as much as I love it when others do the same for me. I think you’ll like this cake.
Ashley – Fresh Direct, for the third time now, has sent me white chocolate pastilles when I ordered 61% ones. They credit their mistake, but I’m still stuck with them, so I’ve taken to using them for decorations.
My birthday is November 25. It’s a Saturday.
The cake looks incredible…I was an avid reader of your blog on ivillage and absolutely love your new smitten kitchen blog.
I was the person who asked about your opinion on Ina Garten last week. I also have a slight obsession with her. I find nothing more relaxing than watching her show, listening to her (somewhat endearing) slight insecurities of Jeffrey finding another woman to cook for him and hearing her say “Now, how easy was THAT?”. I made her pecan squares and they were excellent- but definitely put a sheet of foil on a lower rack in your oven. I learned that lessons that hard way. I didn’t dip the ends in chocolate, as she suggests because “Why not? Ha.Ha.Ha.”. I figured that the 9 sticks of butter used in the recipe were enough in terms of indulgence. My co-workers loved them though and I think it would be a great dessert to bring to a Thanksgiving dinner party.
I was wondering if you still have the link to the oreo cookie recipe you had posted on ivillage? I can’t seem to find it on your new site.
So, in case nobody else has asked… would this cake be delicious in cupcake form?
Yes! Follow directions for the batter and divide evenly into cupcake liners ( I was able to get 18). Bake for 16-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!
I am at a loss for words to aptly describe my reaction to that photo……yum doesn’t cover it….
And Oh.My.God. isn’t even close enough.
I do have to say I am totally diggin’ this daily blogging you are doing. Something wonderful every day! Can’t get better than that!
I’m in awe. This looks absolutely fantastic! So many of the recipes you have posted I’ve bookmarked. So, thanks for the ideas!
That looks amazing.
Oh MY! If I had known I might have gotten a piece of this cake, I might have postponed subverting the dominant paradigm for a few months! I think I’m going to have to bake one of these and bring it to the office (so the remaining folks can help me avoid eating all of it myself).
Any tips on how to get cake out of a bundt pan in one perfect, unbroken piece? For me it’s a crapshoot, would love to get consistently good results. Thanks!
I’d give up veggies for a tiny smidgin of cake like this! ; – )
Did you know that in Ireland they serve Guinniss to people to frail to chew?
This looks deelish.
Not knowing what Fresh Direct was (well, i assumed it was groceries) i peeked at their web site…. HOLY CRAP…
Deb, You gotta move to California.
WOW @ what you pay for corn and artichokes. (and tomatoes and and and and and and and and and……)
eeegadssss.. Id make my co-workers pay for all the goodies they get when you bring left-overs in.
Hi, I am reading this blog in OZ and am wondering in grams or ounces how much a stick of butter is equivalent to? thanks.
I was making this cake (the 3-layer version) the night of the NYC blackout — luckily, i was in Boston and not New York, but I’ve never wished for a cake to cook faster in my life, for fear that the darkness might spread up our way. And, insult to injury, I decided not to serve it at my sweetie’s 30th bday the next day because the ganache was all lumpy and crumb-y (user error — too impatient to wait for the layers to cool!). But we somehow managed to dispatch of it pretty well in the weeks following! Only had to give a few chunks away to friends and strangers on the street (for self-preservation, of course).
LOL, 16 years later, this sweetie is making it for Jess…..
Err, 17 years….
Jocelyn – Will you be in town? If so, put some lip gloss on, we need a party.
Michelle – I crack up about her relationship with her husband too, all Jeffrey-this and Jeffrey-that. Jeffrey, who is by the way, not exactly a nobody himself. Alas, those NINE STICKS OF BUTTER (how does she do that? I didn’t even know that amount was possible!) are what’s kept me from making those pecan bars, though I would also never cut them as large as she did – portion control! – or dip them in chocolate (somewhere, Alex is taking issue with this). I grabbed the Oreo recipe over here.
Nikki – I was wondering the same myself and while I am certain it would be, the only factor to be considered is if it will easily come off a paper wrapper, and I haven’t tested that yet. My bread-baking teacher, also a pastry professor, by the way, who was, we joked, obsessed with Pam spray, said whether it sticks should be a non-issue, if you are worried, just spritz the papers lightly with Pam before you put the batter in. I haven’t tried this yet, but I have no doubt he knows what he’s talking about. Simply buttering the pans would work fine too, if you want a paper-free experience.
Kate – I will regret saying this, no doubt, but I’m not minding the daily thing either. Oddly, the most annoying day to post was not a busy weekday but Saturday, when I was too busy with other things to sit down for a while. I wonder how long I can keep it up!
Kirs – You’re welcome!
Peabody -Thank you.
MJF – Ha. Ha. Remaining folks, indeed. Just me and the tumbleweeds some days, it seems. That said, the boys loved the cake and would certainly be happy for more.
Ella – Prayer sometimes works. I actually have a non-stick bundt, which gives it a slippery start, but after many failed attempts at greasing it (I always miss some crevice), I just use Pam now. Still, this cake lost a chunk! but instead of panicking, I released the missing chunk as carefully as I could while the cake was still hot, and managed to pat it back into it’s exactly place so it merged a bit while it cooled. You couldn’t tell at all. (Of course, the ganache helped cover it, but really – slow and steady, it will come back together).
Alanna – Why trade? Besides, you’ll need some green salad and carrot sticks after a hunk of this!
Shuna – That’s beautiful. Yet another reason to expat myself!
Cupcakes – Yeah, no joke. I don’t buy the bulk of stuff there (not that our stores are much better), but it’s great when having a big party and the prospect of carrying ten bags home and up four flights of stairs seems not worth it at all. Great price on those Guittard baking pastilles, though, only $5/pound! Also? Those artichokes at $1.99 were cheaper than anywhere around here by DOLLARS.
woodwinkedithink – I don’t have conversions up on this site yet – another item for the endless site to-do list! – but Clotilde does on Chocolate & Zucchini. Link is here.
Jess – What a story! I only wish I had been closer, and not stuck on a roof with some frat boys drinking out the contents of their beer fridges.
I don’t have a nonstick bundt pan but mine come out everytime.
Use a pastry brush and brush on softened butter or shortening. It’s best to have a dark pan because you can see exactly where you missed. Be liberal with your brushing and go all the way up the sides and middle cone.
Then dust once with flour over a larger tupperware or something like that. Once you’ve tapped out all the flour you’ll be able to see the holes you missed and go over them with the pastry brush again. Repeat the flour dusting.
TAHDAH! No more stuck bundts! Patience is the key – but if you enjoy baking you’ve already got plenty of that.
I made this one recently: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/262/750/1600/pumpkincake.jpg
I’ve found a (to date) sure way to keep cakes from sticking: after spraying/buttering and then flouring interior, put pan in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before dumping batter into it.
Maybe it’s coincidence, but since adopting this method nothing has stuck!
That ganache dribbling over the sides looks delicious.
I’ll be in town. Will you?
I made this cake last night to take to Thanksgiving dinner and it is really incredible, the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. I’m thinking about refraining from guiling the lily too much and dressing it with powdered sugar only. Thanks for posting about it! Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I failed to heed your warning about the amount of batter and ended up making two cakes! My guests this weekend will be the lucky beneficiaries. : )
Oh! I’ve had this cake – a really super baker chick made it for my boyfriend’s birthday (she was married to his best friend, so that was ok with me), and I decided to try making it myself and it ended up lighting on fire in the oven. Yes. On fire. In my electric oven. Durh. I will try your version, because I can DO bundt. Bundts are my friend. Ever done the Harvey Wallbanger cake? Super easy but not as fancy like all your gorgeous recipes – a pkg of yellow cake mix, a pkg of vanilla pudding mix, 4 eggs, however much oil the cake mix calls for, 1/4 c vodka, 1/4 c OJ, 1/4 c galliano, bake in a bundt at 350 for 45 mins, and you have squishy soft citrussy goodness. I bake it for my hot Irish neighbor, but I think he’s going to get a Guiness cake this time!! Thanks for a great site!
Do you think this 1/2 recipe would fit into a pan of mini Bundt forms? Or should I double it? This sounds absolutely fantastic – Guiness and chocolate! Love.
I made this two days ago; it is crazy good and has an incredibly moist, satisfying crumb. I spread my ganache all over it as it never ‘drizzles’ for me so beautifully (as in Deb’s picture). A MUST make. Easy and amazing. I looked for Guinness but ended up using Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. Crazy. Good.
I love this cake…in fact, I’d be hard pressed to try another chocolate cake right now. I can’t believe how moist it stays…even days later. Unbelieveable. And the best part? Taste testing beers that pass muster. Guiness is a little weak in flavor and the Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is…ICK! I ended up using a hearty microbrew…Rogue’s Chocolate Stout. It was delicious.
Your photo is positively inspired. Is that sliced almonds as a garnish?
Wow. The Guiness cake looks great. Finally, Guiness and desert have combined at last. Life is good.
I made this recipe into cupcakes – I got 16 cupcakes out of it. Baked them at 350 for about 18 minutes. They didn’t really dome up too much – they are sort of flat, but very light – so I think they raised as much as they were going to.
Used all the ganache on them – worked really well and was much less fiddly than frosting cupcakes usually is. I agree with JennyL and Traca – even in cupcake form, this cake is staying wonderfully moist. I was inteding to post a picture on my blog – but they all got eaten before I thought to take a snap!
you only got 16?? I got 24 (with a little batter left over to lick ;-P)
I made this same recipe in a 9 inch springform cake pan. Non stick with a light coating of butter. 350 for 65 minutes. Turned out perfect.
Just made this cake with the last pint of Guinness left over from our St Patty’s Day revels. And it’s delicious!
I did want to mention, however, that my cake took a full 50 minutes to bake. Maybe our oven temps are different or maybe because I used my fancy Nordicware bundt pan that looks like cathedral arches, but at 35 minutes my cake was still mostly batter. The extra bake time did the trick, though. What a moist, yummy cake. Definitely one that will make it into regular rotation at our house.
I’m delurking to say that this cake has officially set my role in family gatherings. I brought it to a family dinner and now I don’t think I’m allowed to show up to anything ever again without it or I might be disowned. Two things about my baking experience, one is I used non-dutch process cocoa because it’s what I had and it was fine, and second I used bittersweet chocolate for the frosting, also because it’s what I had in the pantry. The bittersweet ganache was fantastic, I’ll do it again that way. Paired with a good vanilla ice cream the sweetness wasn’t overpowering and the complex chocolate flavors really came through. yummy! Also, flour those bundt pans! I didn’t the first time and my trash can was the recipient of my hard work. I floured the @&%* out of it the next time and it slipped out and was still beautiful.
I made this cake on Sunday– I just happened to have all of the ingredients, so I figured, why not? It’s delicious, and I think I’m going to make another one to take to a party on Saturday.
I’m a big beer geek and I made this recipe two nights ago with a considerably darker and more aggressive stout – Victory Storm King Imperial Stout. The results were excellent – so much dark rich flavor and only 3/4 cup of cocoa!
Seriously? Maybe the most delicious cake I have ever made. I made it for my husband’s birthday. He LOVES Guinness, chocolate and cherries. In order to make it cover all of those bases I added a cup of unsweetened, dried cherries while getting the butter and stout to simmer. Then I skimmed them out and added them to the ganache for a little sweet pop. My cake took 60 minutes before the tester came clean (I have an old gas stove). I greased my pan thoroughly with Pam and didn’t have any problems getting it out of my no-stick bunt pan. Thank you for the wonderful recipe! I’ll not only use this one over and over again, but I will be back for more!
I made this last night, the first “from scratch” cake I’ve ever made. It was AMAZING. My mother said it was the best chocolate cake she’s ever tasted. I loved that the flavor was so chocolate-y, but not in a sweet way. Just really rich and delicious. I had a bit of cake stick to the bundt pan, but I just stuck the pieces back in and covered it with the ganache. Next time I’ll be a little more ruthless in my spraying. I’ll definitely be making this again – THANK YOU!
After the obligatory wait in the queue, I made this cake yesterday when I had some friends over, and they all raved (of course!). Alas, I also had a problem getting it out of the pan in one piece – I am a putz and it ended up falling all apart. BUT! I saved the cake – I just broke it up intentionally and put it in a casserole dish and then drizzled it with the ganache. It still looked pretty, and duh, it tastes the same. Oh and mine also took about 45-50 minutes. Worth every second of the wait!
I’ve had this book marked for months and just made it for a party full of doctoral candidates and professors. It won RAVES and is my new go-to party/chocolate emergency cake. Can I ask, what are the white chocolate dots in the picture? Are they melted? Can you tell me so I can replicate them? They look divine. Thanks!
Hi… this is a belated comment, but I am about the make this cake tonight. I am looking at your recipe and it says 6 tbsp sour cream. The original recipe called for 1 1/3 cup. 1 1/3 cup = 16 tbsp + (5 tbsp + 1 tsp) ~ 21 tbsp, right? Then in half that would be just over 10 tbsp. Maybe I’m making a really dumb mistake on the math – let me know!! Besides, I’m sure it would come out great either way
Hi Rachel — The original recipe was intended to yield 3 8-inch layers. I halved it to make one bundt cake. 1 cup = 16 tablespoons, so 2/3 of a cup would be 10 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon and ohmygod you are absolutely right, the recipe is shorted a few tablespoons of sour cream! Evidently, from the reviewers comments above, this made little difference in the final product (can we say “phew!”),including mine, however it would be more accurate to use 10 tablespoons (I think we can safely leave off that teaspoon, eh?). I will update the recipe accordingly. Thanks for the sharp eye!
I love this recipe x 1,000,000 – I found it on Epicurious back in early May, when I decided to bake cupcakes for my boyfriend’s birthday. The flavor of the cake is so much more complex than regular chocolate cake. In other words, I agree completely with your excellent assessment.
Unlike all the smart people, though, I made the whole recipe. Which produced 49 cupcakes. FORTY-NINE CUPCAKES. Almost all of which I filled with chocolate ganache (again, you are a smart person – I add coffee to almost every chocolate recipe and should have added it to that ganache) and topped with Bailey’s buttercream frosting. Irish Carbomb Cupcakes, minus the whiskey. Happy Birthday, baby, indeed.
(And finally, I love your writing and photography!)
This sounds absolutely delicious. I’m going to have to try it. I have a question for you. My husband loves Guinness and he has a birthday coming in December. He emailed me a picture of a mug full of guinness beer shaped cake. Does this make sense? Anyway I want to make the cake for him but I truly have no idea where to even begin. It needs to be tall and it looks like fondant was used but I’ve never used fondant. I need a delicious cake that will stand up to whatever I’m going to put it through to make it look like a mug of guinness beer. Any thoughts?
Deb, I made this cake, not once, but twice (!) this past weekend for 2 different birthday celebrations. It was so unbelievably good, it instantly made itself a place in my permanent file. Thank you so much for your wonderful website, I love every inch of it, and have been completely spoiled by your daily postings for Naplahblahblah (I may have to check my spelling on that).
You had me at “ganached guinness goodness.”
Hi, made this cake today and it was great! Family loved it and my friend said she liked the Guinness spike. Thankyou so much for this recipe! Do you think it’s okay to substitute the Guinness for Bailey’s?
OK! I’ve had this one printed out for awhile, but finally had an excuse to make it for a family gathering this weekend. I haven’t *tasted* it yet (officially, that is–unofficially, I had nibbles throughout the process), but it looks and smells fantastic. Utterly fantastic. I’ve got it in a cake-carrier now for transporting to Chicago tomorrow and I keep unlatching and lifting the lid to take a whiff. It is delicious.
Thanks for (what appears to be) another winner, Deb!!!
Will this make cupcakes? I plan to use Deschuttes ABYSS stout – it’ a limited edition brew which I tased last night and instantly thought of chocolate cake! Found this site looking for recipes!
I just made this recipe for our super bowl party, and it was fabulous! Thanks so much for converting the recipe and recommending the ganache. Also, this is hands down, the best cake batter I’ve ever eaten from the bowl!
Just found your site the other day and am amazed at the amount of recipes that you and I have both tried. Hubby loves this cake but it is true that when followed to the letter it makes on HUGE (but delicious) cake. Since so many people have liked the baking with booze, here is a great recipe from epicurious that is equally chocolaty and is already in cupcake form! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/108594
This was so good. The ganache topping was amazing!!! A co-worker is leaving here after a few years and going back to Ireland and she loves Guinness so when I found came across this site looking for Guinness recipes, I thought it would be perfect for her going away party. Of course, since I don’t bake often i had to test it first so I made it this week (the party is next week) and brought it in for some other co-workers. Everyone loved it!
The only thing i ran into was after 30 minutes in the oven, it was still moving batter so i left it in for another 20, but I think I should have taken it 5 minutes earlier than I did. Thank you so much. I will be checking back here for great recipes, already pulled off a cookie recipe I must try.
Just wanted to let you know that I made this for my husband’s 50th birthday party over the weekend. We used our homemade imperial irish stout and it was a major success!
This recipe has reached Portugal!
I made this cake yesterday, and it was a huge success!!! Not a single crumb was left :-)
Today I tried it again, but used fresh orange juice instead of the beer. It comes out as moist as the first one, different taste off course, but with this sweet aroma!…
Obrigada por partilhar!
I can’t wait to try this recipe. Does anybody know why is there only one birthday for person in a year? what a fool limitation… ;-) I think I’m going to start a new tradition in non-birthday celebrations or something. As you imagine, I can only bake for a “big reason” as a birthday or similar but I have so many recipes to try…
Well, sorry for my english and thank your very much for this recipe, Anamado told be about it and I think it’s going to be a great succes when I finally bake it (hope sooner than later).
I do NOT like chocolate cake, but this cake was delicious!!! However, I did not care for the ganache, as it was too chocolatey for my taste. The next time I make it, maybe I will do a white choclate cream cheese frosting. This cake gets my two thumbs up (says a lot from a non-chocolate cake eater!!) Thanks for the recipe.
Oh yeah, I ran into the same problem as Crystal…30 minutes was not long enough, it was wiggly jiggly in the center. I left it in prob another 10-15 and it was perfect. I had a problem getting it out neatly from the pan also, but I think I tried to do it before it cooled enough. I’m making it for a thank you gift for my neighbors tomorrow. Thanks again for the recipe!!
I’ve made this before and it has always gotten rave reviews, but I just had to tell you that I made it for my office yesterday and they are STILL complimenting me today (And I forgot to change the sour cream and it’s still ridiculously moist and delicious).
This cake has become a staple in my baking repertoire since I discovered it last year. It was how I first came to love and trust your blog. I recently tried some twists on the cake, like baking it in two round pans and using mascarpone frosting. But the twist I must share was discovered last night, St. Patrick’s Day. I made the cake bundt style and when preparing the ganache, I replaced 3 Tbps of heavy cream with a nip of Irish Cream. I also added some Irish Cream tinted whipped cream on the side to cut the chocolate intensity. It was a smash success!
I made this last night for a small get together. It was even better than the first time! I let it cool completely and it came out of the bundt pan great (last time it did not) I baked for 45 min, it came out perfect and moist. As I said before I am not a huge chocolate fan so I did not care for the ganache, so this time I made a white chocolate cream cheese frosting. I cheated for time’s sake…I used about 3/4 container of a pre-made cream cheese frosting and about 1/2 bag of white chocolate chips. I melted the 2 together in a double boiler. Once it was smooth and hot, I poured it over the guiness chocolate yumminess and it cooled hard(not sure if that’s the right adjective..not hard like a rock), not runny. It was insanely good, I was complimented left and right for it!!! YEAH! Thanks again for an incredible recipe….
I have a great story behind the first time I made this cake: My current boyfriend drinks good quality beer and so does his roommates. I made this cake thinking it would be a great “nice to meet you” gift to the 2 other fellows he lives with. That was a year ago, and I’m still getting requests to make this cake! It’s perfect, however I need to bake it a little longer with the 2/3 c. sour cream rather than the 6 tbsp. recipe.
Thanks for the great cake recipe!
I made this cake last night for a party. I made it with 2 cups whole wheat flour. I used Lindt Choolate bar for top. I used half bitter and half semi. I also used a little bit more chocolate. I topped the entire cake with crushed walnuts. Everyone loved the cake. Especially me who does not like chocolate cake.
The only thing I did not like was I could taste the carbornation of the beer. Not sure how to get rid of that. Should I use less or simmer it a little bit more?
oh my. i don’t have a bundt pan, so i used this same quantity and made two cake rounds with it. chocolate ganache and strawberries on top (and in between the layers, of course), drove everyone at our dinner party nuts! so moist, so delicious.
I have seen this on Epicurious, but I just never got around to trying it. I love that you fixed the recipe to fit the pan better!
I made this last night for my work people and they couldnt get enough. They were standing next to it eating piece after piece :)
this will be my ‘go to’ cake from now on – the ganache too!
I started making this last December for a friend’s birthday party, and I’ve become famous among all of the people I know for it. It’s the best chocolate cake anyone’s ever had, and it’s sooo easy to make! I’ll be returning to this recipe for years and years to come.
This is by far the best cake I’ve ever made… and completely gorgeous with the ganache and a few shaved chocolate curls on top. My three-year-old daughter *liberally* buttered the bundt pan for me, and the cake slid right out after cooling. It was all so easy to make, I could hardly believe how perfect the texture and taste turned out. I’ll definitely be making this again!
i make this cake for every birthday. My family loves chocolate! I sometimes add some chips to the batter to make it extra chocolately. delish.
i was wondering if this cake can be made into layers with a raspberry curd type filling in between the layers?? but what to use as a frosting…? HELP!
what are the little white circles decorating the top of the finished cake? pieces of white chocolate?
They are white chocolate discs for baking from Guittard. At the time, Fresh Direct kept sending me the wrong chocolate (white when I ordered dark) so I had a collection of them. As soon as you drape the ganache, while it is still warm, you can put the white chocolate pieces in and they’ll meld with the dark chocolate to become smooth.
i made this cake on saturday and i doubled the recipe since i was making a three layer cake. (using 3-9″ rounds) and i had extra batter for cupcakes… BUT the cupcakes came out so ugly… the middles sunk in!! and the cake middles are sunk in too. WHYYY did this happen? i can cover it with frosting and strawberries but i would like to avoid this next time. any ideas?
Hi Jeannette — There are a billion reason why a cake can sink–too much leavening, not enough flour, your baking soda could have expired, it could have been underbaked, you were at a higher altitude, something could have been measured wrong–as you can see, the possibilities are almost endless, and I can’t be sure of what happened in your kitchen. That said, I have had great success with this cake when made as directed above. Perhaps you’ll have better luck next time.
I’ve been drooling over your site for a while now (your pictures are fabulous) and this is the first thing that I’ve actually made. It didn’t live to see the next day, and there were only four of us eating it. I’ve got another one in the oven right now actually that I’m bringing to a luncheon. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!!
Deb, your website has definitely become my favorite food blog. Your witty way of writing about things never fails to amuse me, and the pictures you include with each article are amazing. You’re just great! :) I’ve never actually tried any of your recipes, but I’m sure they’re all wonderful. I love going through your archives, it’s definitely one of my favorite ways to spend a lazy day. :)
thanks for this recipe – it’s awesome. i was looking at your recent pumpkin pie recipe with only vague interest as i’m not much of a pumpkin pie person and i spied this, which you had made 2 years ago on that day. what luck! i just made it and it’s amazingly good. i used st peter cream stout and we drank the rest of the bottle with the cake. yum. oh, and we ate the cake with il laboratorio malt gelato on the side. it was still warm, so didn’t do the ganache thing. will ice the rest with the ganache in the morning!
oh, also, i don’t have a bunt pan so used a normal 9″ cake pan and it took a while to cook – an hour exactly.
This is a fantastic recipe. I made it last night, but used a mini-bundt pan instead of a full size. It took 20 minutes on the dot, and the little cakes are fantastic – perfect single servings. I used powdered sugar instead of ganache. It’s great for the flavor, though I imagine the ganache would moisten things up a bit.
Thanks so much! I’m sending people this recipe all over the place.
I made this cake for my family at Christmas and it was a huge hit- so much so that my stepdaughter asked me to make it again this week for her birthday cake!
I used Shakespeare stout, which cost about $6 PER BOTTLE!!!! but Hubs says is the best thing ever. I tasted a spoonful while measuring it into the batter and made such a face that he and my FIL about died laughing… but then stout’s never been my thing. Sure was great in the cake, though.
Um, why not use an actual chocolate stout to make it?
I’ll be trying this cake! Reminds me of great chocolate cake recipe from Judy Rosenberg’s “All-butter Fresh Cream Sugar-packed Baking Book” (one of those cook books you want to make every recipe) that uses coffee and sourcream. Another good — and EASY — chocolate cake is Wacky Cake: old recipe from Depression Era that doen’t use eggs but is really moist and chocolatey.
My fiance loves Guinness and I love chocolate. At last, a comprimise!
I just made this cake for a party last night, and it was perfect! It was unbelievably moist and chocolaty. This recipe is definitely a keeper.
I made this cake yesterday for a birthday and oh my lands… it’s amazing…I knew it was going to be good… but everyone thought it was amazing. So moist and rich… perfect!.
Yes, yes… this is one AMAZING cake! It is my most requested chocolate cake, and my personal favorite chocolate cake. I’ve made the full batter version which produces three cake layers and calls for whisking the ganache (I actually whip it).
I’ve never used all of the layers in one cake, though. I split each of the three cakes horizontally to make six layers, which I make into two three-layer cakes or one four-layer cake and then a “half cake” of the remaining layers. I make one full recipe of the whipped ganache recipe for each of the “two” cakes. Any leftover ganache is warmed up again (making it darker in color) and then drizzled down the sides of the chilled cake. It makes a fabulous presentation! If there’s still more ganache left you can pour it over ice cream, or find some other use for it – never, never let chocolate go to waste!!
BTW… If it happens to be that I don’t actually need two cakes I will still do the splitting of the cakes and freeze the unused cakes (unfrosted) to be used another time. The frozen cakes, when eventually used, are still moist and delicious. If freezing the cakes, I recommend double-wrapping each layer individually.
one of the easiest cake recipes i’ve ever encountered and it was soooooo moist and delicious. I’ve had many requests for the recipe!
Wonderful! This is so dang easy and quick, I can’t believe it. Such amazing flavor, and texture. I will TRY-TRY-TRY to wait until it cools in the pan next time….I took it out too early and it crumbled. OMG….it was so good I couldn’t wait. :) Thank you very much for sharing great and easy recipes!!!
My friends and I have a lot of dinner parties and I love to try new recipes to bring to each one. It’s always something new! A while back I ran across a Chocolate Sout recipe and found many many others as well. I’ve tried 3 other Chocolate Stout recipes and this one is by far -THE- best one!!! (This is coming from me and various others who have tried this one after i made it the first time and I’ve since made it many many times!)
Thank you for posting this… you are awesome!!!
Just made this tonight for my knitting group (group theme is hardcore knitting plus dessert). Wow. Wow. Wow. It came out really well even at altitude, and plopped perfectly out of the bundt pan onto the plate which I’d buttered massively; everyone loved it. I skipped the ganache because I’m lazy, and whipped the heavy cream to have on the side.
PS – I think this counts as my three-year-old daughter’s first beer.
Adding frozen raspberries while melting the ganache is a very, very good idea. It certainly saved my bacon after a craptacular salmon dinner. Great cake!
I made this for my husband (really for myself and didn’t tell him) for Valentine’s Day this past weekend. It is so good, I find myself trying to swipe a piece of it even early in the morning before breakfast like yesterday and today. Just don’t tell. This is such a simple, delightful and fantastic recipe. I love it! Oh yes, so did my husband!
A couple of my friends got together this weekend for dinner and I made this cake using Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. Good god, this cake is amazing- so moist and rich, with excellent chocolate flavor. I added a bunch of those white chocolate disks to the top (they are so pretty!). They ended up melting a bit because I added them before the chocolate ganache, but it actually created a pretty swirly effect at the top, and it tasted really delicious with the rich cake.
Thank you Deb!!
This is one of the best cakes I have ever made. I sort of improvised for the ganache and added some bourbon to make it more like the Irish car bomb cupcakes elsewhere on your site. I served it with vanilla ice cream. It was a fantastic birthday cake for my husband, thanks so much for the recipe!
i made this recipe as cupcakes last night for a scrabble party. i filled the cupcakes with the chocolate ganache (using the cut-out-a-cone method) and frosted them with a salted caramel buttercream frosting.
they were a Very Big Hit. a Very, Very Big Hit.
Made this cake two days ago and left it sat at room temp in a cake container … this cakes gets better on day 2 or 3. Brought it into work and it was gone within 20 minutes and everyone raved how good it was. Not a sickening sweet cake at all but so satisfying and moist. I look forward to making it again.
I love this cake! I like to serve it it with a liquor-laced black cherry sauce (a recipe I found in Deborah Madison’s “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone”) and fresh whipped cream. I may have to make this soon as I’ve been craving this like crazy lately.
do you think you could make these as cupcakes?
They have been made as cupcakes, by other commenters (#35) and also on this site.
This recipe is amazing!!! I made them into cupcakes and it makes 24 perfect cupcakes as a half recipe. I baked them for 19 minutes at 350 degrees. I used Guiness Extra Stout and the Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder and they are moist with a complex flavor.
My sister got me onto your site and this is the most amazing cake ever! I made mine in a cake tin though as I don’t have a bundt, and it took aaaaaages, but it didn’t seem to do it any harm. My boyfriend absolutely raved over it and even his British parents said it was “awesome”. It is definitely going in my book of recipes to make again!
I just made this cake today for my little brother’s 21st birthday. It worked out perfectly since we also decided to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day again, complete with corned beef, cabbage, mashed potatoes, and Guinness for drinking. This cake made an AMAZING ending to the meal. Thank you so much for the pictures, ganache and for halving the recipe. I followed it exactly as directed, and it was, for lack of a better word, perfect. I hate chocolate cakes that are too sweet; the rich chocolatey flavor of this cake is THE best. Thank you so much.
This is my new favorite chocolate cake …and I’m not even that big of a chocolate fan! For the ganache, I used a mixture of semisweet chips and some creme de menthe chips I had left over in my cupboard — delicious! I didn’t have time to let it cool completely, but didn’t have too much problem removing it from the pan. Thanks!
hey! whats the diff between using Dutch or non-Dutch processed cocoa powder? thanks!
Here you go!
I’m making this for my niece’s baby shower Saturday! You rock Deb!
Hi Deb :) I just saw this recope at Jen’s ‘use real butter’ website and would love to try it, but I am wondering whether if there is anything I could substitute for the stout? I know that’s a dumb question since the stout is the other important element of the cake aside from the chocolate, but I do not drink alcohol but I love a plain (no whipped cream, powdered sugar or ganache) chocolatey chocolate cake. I was thinking maybe using coffee instead of stout but I am worried that it will effect the texture of the cake. I was thinking the coffee will not evaporate as much as I am guessing the alcohol in the stout does when in the oven and if I sub in coffee i will get a soggier cake. I am tempted just to buy stout to use in this cake since everybody says this cake is so yummy! – but any suggestions for a substitute would be helpful. Thanks so much for sharing all you recipes and cooking experiences!
You can try using non-alcoholic beer. The idea is to get the hops-y flavor the beer imparts, not the alcohol.
Would you serve this to kids or save it for an adults only event?
I have this cake cooling in the pan on a wire rack as I type this, & it smells wonderful!
And for the person who asked if this was suitable for children? Honestly – no one is going to get a “buzz” from a cake unless it’s one of those that are soaked in raw alcohol (rum, brandy, etc.) after baking.
I would not presume that the alcohol cooks out, if that’s what you’re asking. ;)
Yes, that’s what I meant, thank you!
But unless your children are alcoholics, any amount of alcohol left in this cake isn’t going to do them any harm.
We are pretty hard and fast about alcohol in dishes we serve to kids or the whole family, but I wouldn’t presume to judge anyone else’s parenting choices about including alcohol in dishes for their children. I was simply asking the recipe author a question.
Hope it was clear that there was no judgement whatsoever in my response. I just like to clarify that contrary to what we usually read, no, alcohol doesn’t fully cook out in baked goods. Questions about whether it’s harmful or whether I think a kid can eat this are … totally out of my advice jurisdiction. ;)
Yes Deb, no doubt at all that *your* response was judgement free, informational and to-the-point, as always! Love your recipes and writing.
Hi! If I would want to make this dairy free, what would you suggest cold replace the sour cream? Thank you!
Perhaps a soy yogurt would work?
The hubs suggested adding chocolate chips to the batter. Do you think mini-chocolate chips would sink to the bottom during baking?
I came across your blog a couple months ago, and I really enjoy it. This cake is not the first recipe of yours I’ve made, but this is my first comment. My husband recently discovered that today is his 10K day- he is 10,000 days old today. He wanted me to make him a cake he had never had before to celebrate, so I immediately starting searching your blog. I knew this cake was perfect because I had a Rogue mocha porter in the fridge that I just hadn’t been in the mood for lately. We whipped up the cake, and upon tasting the first finger-full of batter I knew it would be marvelous! It’s in the ove
n right now, and it smells incredible! Thanks for being so diligent with your blog. I tried food blogging once, but it just seemed to get in the way of my cooking. Can’t wait to eat this cake! (Sorry for the split in the comment. My computer is moody and fickle.)
I made this for a friends birthday- it was a hit! The combo of chocolate with the guiness is just right. And the ganache is what makes this cake stand out. To help keep my cake from sticking to the pan, I got out a pastry brush and buttered every inch of the thing, but it was definitely worth the effort.
How do I store this cake if I make it ahead. In the fridge or room temp. Do you ever serve it with ice cream?
It can be stored at room temperature.
I made this cake last night and it was delicious. The prep was pretty easy too, but I did run into a couple problems. There was so much batter that I thought it was going to overflow in the oven, but fortunately it didn’t, although it came close. Despite brushing the entire pan with melted butter and waiting for the cake to cool completely before removing from the pan, I still had a problem with sticking. For the most part it was fine, but the tops of the decorative humps stuck, leaving the cake flat instead of with a pretty bundt top. I also apparently stink at drizzling. My drizzled ganache looked quite messy, so I ended up spreading it all over the cake like frosting. Then I made little stars of white icing in a circle like you did with the white chocolate. It ended up very pretty. Also, it took much longer in the oven than stated in the recipe, about 45-50 minutes (my oven doesn’t usually take extra long). But it came out perfectly. Very moist, rich, and chocolaty. I even noticed that my picky, dainty-eater friend finished her huge piece.
Any tips for drizzling? My drizzled ganache wasn’t anywhere near as pretty as yours.
There’s basically a small window in between the time ganache is too thin (just runs down and puddles) and too thick (must be spread). You can practice with a few spoonfuls to see if yours is ready yet as it cools. A cool cake can help combat a too-runny ganache, re-warming it slightly can help a ganache that doesn’t want to drip at all.
I originally made this cake using the Epicurious layer cake recipe, which made way too much batter for me to work with. I decided to try this recipe as cupcakes so it could be shared at work more easily, and it turned out wonderfully! I just cooked the medium sized cupcakes for 20 minutes, rather than the 35 minutes suggested for the Bundt pan. They turned out just as moist, rich, and delicious as the cake, only in individual sized servings (…it was hard to eat just one, though).
just made this one. my bake time was around 50 minutes as others mentioned. i also used the butter and flour method to prep the bundt pan, and it worked great. it slid out of the pan with amazing ease. i didn’t use guiness, and instead used a dark ale called black toad, which has a really nutty flavor. next time ill let the ganache get a little more hot, because my ganache drip doesnt look as nice as yours! great recipe!
Being a stupid european guy, how do you measure unsalted butter in cups? Cups is to me a measure of “volume”. How much is a stick then, in terms of weight. Help me :)
to Chris: 1 stick in 115 gr. so, in this recipe you will need to use 230 gr. of butter
Nigella Lawson has a version of this cake in her Feast book, she advocates a cream cheese frosting which is fun because it makes the cake look like a pint of Guinness!
I just made this cake this morning and left it to cool for several hours. I only had He*she*s Cocoa and light sour cream. Also, my stout was Guinness Extra Stout. I baked it in a stoneware bundt pan which I liberally buttered and then dusted with cocoa (I don’t like the whiteness flour leaves on a chocolate cake). All but the very crest of the crown released perfectly from the pan. The tiny part that didn’t come out can quite easily be filled in with ganache or frosting, I have yet to decide for sure which way I will go. It is certainly a beautiful cake and very easy to make. And the crest part I sampled? Gracious goodness! Thanks for another keeper for the rotation!
I just made this cake for my dad’s b-day. Of course, in my rush to get it done before he went to bed, I didn’t read past the recipe to see just how much batter was made so I ended up making 2, 2 layer cakes! It’s a LOT of cake, but I think he liked having a choice since I decorated them differently. Thanks for the suggestion! It’s a real hit for a chocolate lover!
I used this recipe to make cupcakes last night and they were amazing! I added some coffee-flavored Bailey’s to the ganache which turned out nice.
Just made this in honor of National Bundt Cake (Pan) Day! About 50 minute baking time and waited for the cake to cool before flipping it- I didn’t have any problems getting it out in one piece. Question: My ganache turned out kind of grainy-looking, not pretty and shiny. And it didn’t pour very well. I didn’t make any substitutions and used good chocolate…thoughts?
The chocolate may have gotten too warm and split. That’s usually what causes graininess in chocolate, so that’s my hunch.
how would this cake work to make a day early–would it dry out? how would you recommend storing it?
It stays pretty moist. Room temperature, keep it covered.
I was making this cake yesterday and realized that it made for a really good gift for a baker. I wrote about it here:
The smell that is pervading through my tiny apartment right now is so wonderful. I’m making a princess castle cake for my daughters birthday, using the cake recipe and the cupcake frosting, then dusting it with “sparkles” (my daughters word for sprinkles.) Yay!
This cake is, without a doubt, one of the most delicious I’ve tasted, and my taste testers last night agree unanimously. This is the cake to win hearts and minds, folks.
This is one of the best chocolate cakes EVER! It’s so Moist. I have taken to making it with Brooklyn Chocolate Stout and am onto baking my fourth one. It’s so simple as well! Thank you!
This cake looks really good but after reading all the ingredients carefully I cannot tell what the white things are on the top of the frosting. Could you please explain them?
They are white chocolate baking discs (see comment #74) that I pressed in while the ganache was still warm.
Would this work in a 9inch springform pan?
I was just about to respond “I don’t know for sure” when I checked the comments and I love that several people already have. You should be good to go:
I just wanted to pipe in and say that I use a silicon bundt pan and this cakes cooks in 35 minutes and doesn’t stick at all (I still butter the pan) the silicone pan can feel a little unwieldy but it works great and in a tiny kitchen like mine a big ornate pan you can smush and fold to fit in a drawer is a real windfall.
Also I’ve used the Bailey’s frosting from your Chocolate Whiskey and Beer cupcakes and I love it for a contrast. It looks pretty too.
Hey there! First time commenter, long time reader/recipe-participater. Just made this cake tonight, and I feel like I can bake anything now! Your recipe yielded an exquisite and enjoyable cake! Thank you for the easy-to-follow instructions, and lovely anecdotes in the beginning.
I had great sucess with this recipe at Thanksgiving, using Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder for the cake and Ghirardelli chips for the ganache. I froze half in a freezer bag and served it again last night (nearly two months later)- still delicious! Thank you Deb, for this great site, and thank you to all the commenters who make every recipe an education.
Have recently made this cake for my father and father-in-law’s birthdays, but in traditional round cake form (it yielded 3 nine inch rounds). I used 2 of the rounds as a layered cake with the chocolate ganache as both filling and cover. The 3rd round made for an elegant single layer cake, using the rest of the same batch of ganache. I still had much more ganache leftover than I needed and – aside from all the ecstatic praise this cake received – the one issue was its heaviness. This is a deliriously decadent cake, which serves better as a bundt than a traditional (double layer) cake. The single layer was much more manageable… one could consume more than an 1/8th inch sliver!
I’m so glad to stumble on this in your archives – this is my FAVORITE cake ever, but I’ve always been too scared to halve it (fearing to mess with such a good thing). Whenever I make it I fill up three 6″ rounds, all my cupcake tins, and usually some other random pan. I will say this, it freezes beautifully. But it is dangerous to have cake that is THAT good lurking in your freezer – it never lasts long. So glad to know that it CAN be done! If anyone could do it – you can!
p.s., for a change of pace, try adding some Baileys to a buttercream frosting – it lightens it up a bit and gives it a little something different.
OK, I made this over the holidays, for people who insisted on the original icing. It was probably the best chocolate cake ever, except that it was a bit dry the next day. The solution to that, of course, is to feed it to enough people so that it doesn’t have to wait around!
I’m going to try it again, now we’re back in Scotland (and can get Guinness NOT brewed in Canada!). I’ll go for the ganache, because it sounds so much better. And I’ll make it one morning before work, and they’ll simply gobble it down, I’m sure. :)
Holy moly was this GOOD. Made it for a family birthday party and even the “no chocolate cake” eaters (who are they?!) liked it. Used Guiness this time, but a great local brewer has just come out with a chocolate stout that I will definitely be trying the next time.
I made this tonight, but either i didn’t butter the pan enough, or I didn’t wait long enough to try to get it out of the mold. either way, it’s delicious. even if it’s a pile of cake, instead of a cake. =)
WONDERFUL cake, I have made for end of the year parties, St Pats parties, and just yesterday with my son for his chemistry class. FUN HOMEWORK.
Any suggestions on good chocolate for the ganache and how much to cool it before drizzling?
For the “ganache” – I prefer just to put some semi-sweet chocolate, or unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler – and simply add Bailey’s or Khalua until the consistency becomes smooth. Then simply drizzle that over the top. It also hardens a bit and give a nice texture. The Bailey’s/Khalua is a nice touch to compliment the Guinness. Enjoy!
I just pulled this cake out of the oven (smells wonderful)The tester came out clean but the middle of the cake has sunk. I do live at altitude (3,700 feet) and I know that can cause sinkage. Anything I can do to compensate for this? Add a bit more flour next time?
came out perfect! a lovely Valentines day cake for my family and I! Thank you for sharing, they all LOVED it!
Like many other readers, I have to preface the review by saying that I am NOT a chocolate cake fan. But this, this was out of this world. I loved the texture of the crumb – so rich and moist and sinful.
I followed the recipe exactly for this one addition:
Highly recommend – add rum (or beer) soaked raisins to the batter. They elevate this cake to a truly sublime level.
I soaked a cup of raisins in rum overnight. They become so soft and plump that they almost dissolve in the baked cake; but what they add is beyond magic.
My only gripe with the cake is the ganache: the 6 tablespoons of cream were not enough for me to dissolve the chocolate. But that was easily fixed by adding a couple of tablespoons more. What I do suggest, however, is a different method to add coffee flavor. This cake is so good, that it deserves real, not instant, coffee. Crush whole coffee beans, preferably mocha java, and soak them for 30 minutes in 1/3 cup scalded heavy cream. Drain the cream through a cheese cloth. Add the rest of the cream, bring to a boil; poor the cream over the finely chopped chocolate (oh, by the way, use good chocolate, not cheap chocolate chips); whisk vigorously, until chocolate is compeletely melted.
Thank you for this recipe. Definitely a keeper!
Forgot to add:
I brushed the mold with melted butter; let the cake cool in it completely; had no problem getting it out – slid right out after about 3 hours.
After 35 minutes of baking it was nowhere near done; took about 50 minutes to bake through, while remaining perfectly moist.
I used Belgian double chocolate stout – worked fine. (Would have used regular Guinness, but they only sold it in 6-packs, and there are no stout drinkers in the household at present).
This is the best freakin’ cake on earth. The original Epicurious recipe makes a ridonculous amount of batter – enough for 48 cupcakes. I love this cake! I usually halve the recipe too, and fill two 6″ round cake pans (lined with parchment) about 2/3 full, with some extra batter left over for several jumbo cupcakes.
I used Guinness Extra Stout and the cake turned out beautifully. I hate dry cakes, and am not big on oily ones, but this one was the perfect moistness. It was a hit at the party to which I took it! (Seriously, it’s a perfect 21st birthday cake.)
(Hint for college students who don’t have a double broiler: the ganache can be made in the microwave. Start with 30 secs, then stir, and go on until it’s perfect. Drizzling works best when it’s still HOT.)
I discovered your website not too long ago, courtesy of a girlfriend who served some AMAZING food at a party and gave you all the credit. I’ve already made several recipes, and both my boyfriend and myself are big fans.
I made this recipe last weekend using a chocolate stout. I ended up using 3 times the amount of sour cream called for (I was making the Chocolate-chip sour cream cake at the same time and mixed them up–oops!) and it still turned out amazing. I’m looking forward to making it correctly.
As a law student, I’m stressed out a lot of the time, and your website has provided some much needed cooking relaxation, so THANKS!
I made this cake for my birthday party last night and it is quite possibly the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted! It was a huge hit at the party and I couldn’t resist but have a piece for breakfast this morning. I think it tasted even better the next day! Thanks so much for yet another wonderful recipe. I will be making this cake often.
I also made this cake for my birthday and I want to thank you for posting it because WOW!!! I’m a dark chocolate fiend, and I can say without a doubt that this is *the best* chocolate cake I’ve ever had (even tho I’m a lousy baker). If you like deep, dark chocolate flavors then this is the cake for you!!! My 5yo has asked that I make *this* cake for his next birthday. I didn’t make the ganache for my cake, I used homemade whipped cream instead. Perfection! I can’t wait to try making it with different stouts and different frostings.
NB: I was so glad to have read the comments too, my cake took longer to bake, 50mins vs. the 35mins in the recipe (gas oven, super low elevation). Also, my little trick — via America’s Test Kitchen — for greasing the pan is 1 Tbs melted butter + 1 Tbs Dutch Processed cocoa powder (we use Hershey’s Special Dark), blend into a paste then use a pastry brush to brush onto the pan, making sure to coat every nook and cranny. Perfect release and a nice crust on the cake.
There are so many great food blogs, I hadn’t gotten around to checking this one yet but now it’ll be part of the rotation, thank you!
Just thought I’d note that I made this in a 9×13 pan and used 1.5x the recipe and it was the perfect amount.
I made this for my husbands birthday, he is a real beer geek, so I thought it would be a fun surprise… and it is really great! I used Brooklyn Brewery Chocolate Stout. Very chocolatey and dense. My kids (ages 4 and 6) would not try it because they have never seen a Bundt cake before, and they didn’t like the shape….haha, more fore the grown ups!
This cake is devious! I’ve baked it twice. Once in bread pans (baking time > 35 min.) and this past weekend in mini cupcake silicon baking liner (baking time 20 min.).
Thanks for the delicious (and easy) alternative to my usual cake-in-a-box.
Yum! I made it in a springform pan, then instead of the ganache I topped it with the Bailey’s frosting from your “beer and whiskey” cupcakes to look like the foam on top of a pint of Guiness. Really good and very easy cake. Surprisingly good chocolate flavor for a cocoa powder cake.
I made this recipe with Founders Breakfast Stout (a choclate coffee oatmeal double stout from Michigan) and it tasting mighty fine. Going to be all the rage for St. Paddy’s Day! Thanks!
I made this cake last night to bring to work today for St. Patrick’s Day/ a co-worker’s birthday. I used Guinness and baked it in two 9-inch round pans and put a green butter cream frosting in between the two layers. I still used the ganache on the top and sides- it really spread well and completely covered the cake. Then I made a giant 4-leaf clover out of more of the green butter cream to decorate the top. It was quite festive. It took about 35 minutes to bake in two layers, and I am located at sea level. The cake was delicious. It was very moist, and I thought the low-sweetness of the ganache contrasted very nicely.
I don’t know from beer (what is stout, exactly?) so I just used a can of Guinness draught that I found in my son’s room (he’s legal) I don’t know that this is ‘the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten in my life’, but it was darn good. Mine took 45 minutes in the bundt pan and I didn’t heed the cool completely warning and so lost the top on turning it out. Residual heat did help it heal itself nicely. I didn’t frost the cake either, just left it plain and served it topped it with ice cream and drizzled some of your hot fudge sauce over it Everyone was happy. The piece I tried plain, had a sort of malty finish..very nice. A nice compact, moist crumb, too.
Didn’t frost it and it was just what I wanted…the kind of cake you cut a chunk from and eat out of hand while mozy-ing about. Just right for me. Really moist – lasts for days. Not too chocolately and not too sweet. My new everyday go-to chocolate cake. Thanks for another winner!!!
I found this via one of the many backlinks on a recent post… and can’t resist saying that I have loved this recipe from Epicurious for many, many years. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t adore this cake after trying it–even those to whom I have talked it up ad nauseum beforehand, and who frankly expected that it could NOT possibly be as good as I claimed!
I use Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, which I thought you might like to try next time since you’re from NYC. (Right?) I think it’s only out at Christmastime, so I buy enough to drink fresh AND horde in the fridge for this recipe. (Yes, seriously.) And I make a plain ganache for the top of mine, too. One additional thing: If you make the full recipe and do the 8in layers, it DOES make enough batter for those layers plus 4-6 cupcakes. I highly suggest not cutting back on the recipe just so you can have some instant gratification for all of your hard baking work in the form of cupcakes that nobody else needs to know about. Yum.
This recipe was great! My husband loved it so much! I am going to make another one for some friends today. Very moist and delicious, he says. Thank You!
I made this last night in an angel food cake pan, and it was fantastic! Everyone loved it and asked for the recipe, so i’m referring them to your site, of course. :) Do you think I could use Bailey’s instead of heavy cream for the ganache? I thought it might make it a bit more ‘irish car bomb-ish’. Thoughts?
There’s what used to be called an “Irish car bomb” cupcake recipe on this site at http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/car-bomb-cupcakes/
I just made this tonight….since I don’t have a bundt pan, i made it in two regular pans (one round and one square). I also improvised on the ganache: instead of a straight-up ganache, i used the leftover sauce from this: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/04/lime-yogurt-cake-with-blackberry-sauce/ to make a blackberry ganache. It was AMAZING!
I found Smitten Kitchen while I was confined to bedrest due to a difficult pregnancy last summer. Can I say you were God sent? I couldn’t cook, which I love to do so I looked forward to what you would create next.
I made these as cupcakes tonight with baileys frosting from one of your other cupcake recipes. My Dad and Mom are here visting the grandkids and no word of a lie, as soon as I put the cupcakes on the cooling rack my dad was trying to eat one. He had to wait a couple more minutes, but said they were “excellent”. As a non-chocolate person and a very harsh critic of my own cooking, I have to say the same. So, thank you for entertaining and inspiring your followers.
I’ve made this cake a few times and I love how chocolatey it is! I’m making it for a friend’s wedding this weekend… as her chocolate option. I’m planning on doubling the recipe and using a hotel pan size (20″x 16″). I’m going to line the pan with parchment paper so it doesn’t stick, but I’m a little concerned with the cake cooking all the way through in the middle, since I’m using such a large pan. Any suggestions?
Thanks for the delicious recipes!! You rule!
Wendy — You might look into something called a heating core which helps large cake bake evenly. Some strips around the pan will help it stay flat, as will baking it at a lower temperature. You might enjoy my layer cake tips as well.
I made this cake the other day and it was TO.DIE.FOR. My mother-in-law even complemented me. For thank, my most sincere thanks. However, one question
What size pan did you use, the 6 cup or 12? My cake appeared much flatter. It doesn’t look as filled out as yours does.
It’s a 12-cup; standard classic bundt size.
Made this yet again, as one of my coworkers insisted. Fabulous cake. Thank you so much for blogging it!
I just finished piping a batch of cupcakes that I made using this recipe, and they’re absolutely delicious. Absolutely…delicious. I used Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, eschewed the ganache and went straight for a Irish Cream buttercream. I’ve seen a whipped version floating around, but I used the butter/Irish Cream/powdered sugar variety. 2 sticks of butter (whipped for a few minutes), add 4 tbsp. Irish Cream, powdered sugar until desired consistency (Ehh, 6-ish cups or so), mixed on low speed. Phenomenal. Thank you :)
Did this for the crew at work and it was enthusiastically received! I had naturally processed cocoa in the pantry so I used that (now that the hot chocolate season is over) and half-n-half for the heavy cream. I took the license of titling it “Stout Boy” and that, along with a cartoon image of a roly-poly kid, garnered chuckles among the partakers! I’ve got to get a new bundt pan, mine is one of those crazy-detailed castle molds (or whatever it is supped to be); even with the “brush melted butter” technique there was some sticking in the intricate mold.
It’s better to use softened but not melted butter to grease bundt pans. I believe I read this in one of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s cookbooks, but I don’t have my copies here right now. (The best way to grease them is with that spray stuff, but that’s not an options for my soy-allergic house. -_-)
Yum, Yum and double YUM!!! I made this cake twice this weekend for two different parties and it was a big hit! So moist and enough chocolate taste for even the worst chocolaholic! It does stick tho! I tried two different ways oil spray and crisco rub and it still stuck. But that doesn’t make any difference because dump on the ganache and no one will ever know!!! I blogged about it and put a link to your blog for the recipe! So goood! Thanks for this post! Oh and all the party guests thank you as well!
I got married in Ireland last year and recently made this cake for our first anniversary. It was hands down the best cake I’ve ever eaten and will be a yearly tradition to celebrate our special day. Thank you.
We were really disappointed with this cake. Someone said in the reviews from Bon Appetit that it was ever better than the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa box (don’t knock it until you try it!), and that’s why I decided to stray. I used Baileys for the cream in the ganache, and that improved it a little. It was okay, but just not what we were hoping for. Though I’m happy that all of the other commenters enjoyed it :)
My boyfriend and I just made this cake and we LOVED it. We used his homebrewed chocolate stout and it was just great. It’s not an overly sweet cake, which is why we both decided that it tastes so good. We are definitely going to make this again.
It’s in the oven right now, (still at 45 minutes) I’m wondering if the fact that I had a silicone bunt pan, and I had to put in on a baking sheet for the first 30 minutes (till it was solid enough to move without the pan folding in half!) is why it’s taking so darn long. I also didn’t use a hand mixer because something happened to mine and it started SMOKING when i plugged it in!! And it still mixed well.
My mom is the sour cream coffee cake extrodinare and she ALWAYS allows hers to cool COMPLETELY before removing, then she places a plate upside down on top of the bundt pan with her right hand while holding the cake underneath in her left and flips it very fast onto the plate in her right! Works like a charm. She also flours her pan in addition to butter.. Do you think that flouring the pan for this would be better?
So I have this cake in the oven and my house smells AMAZING!!! This is my second smitten recipe and I’m super excited! I am a recent reader and have read from present day back until June 2008 so far – I don’t close the window so it’s always there for me to read and I don’t lose my place! I LOVE this site and am hoping (sure) I will love this cake too!
This cake lives on! I made it last night for my boyfriend’s birthday. Looks amazing with the drizzled chocolate. I dusted it with some powdered sugar for some extra fun. I’d like to second (or third… or tenth) the extra cooking time. Mine took 55 minutes at 350 in a gas oven and an ancient bundt pan (probably 50 years old, enamel coated?). Thank you for the blog, I truly love it and am a devoted reader for as long as it lives!
Last year my birthday was kind of a sad time. My mother had an unfortunate brain injury that has now left her about mentally and physically handicapped. I was so sad that I couldn’t go home and visit for my birthday and I couldn’t have my mother around to make me feel special. I know it gave her great joy to see her children grow up and to be there for every birthday. When my birthday came around last year I was dreading knowing that it wouldn’t feel the same.
My girlfriend surprised me with this cake. I am not a huge fan of typical birthday cakes but I do love beer. This cake was absolutely incredible and I could not stop sneaking a few extra pieces! My birthday is this weekend and she is using this same recipe again. I cannot wait! She uses a creme brulee chocolate stout for the beer and it is TO DIE FOR! Thank you for this recipe because it is now a special part of my birthday and it helps me to remember that my birthday is still special even without her here or having her speak the words “Happy Birthday.”
i just baked those into muffins, and this stuff is just amazing.
such an unbelievably intensely deep chocolate flavor..
i need to distribute those asap so that i don’t end up eating them all haha.
* some minor changes i had to make : (1) no sourcream so used plain full-fat yoghurt (2) the german malt i used seemed a bit pale so i just used 2 cups and simmered longer till it was reduced to what looked like 1 cup (3) i mixed the cocoa in the egg/yoghurt mix because simmering the beer took so long
Hi. I’ve been baking chocolate Guinness cakes in various sizes and guises of late since its so damn moist, complex and goood. The idea of a bundt cake makes me fancy giving your take a whirl, especially as this flavour combo’s biggest fan is an 11year-old: mature tastes maybe, but still young enough to be excited by anything with a hole in! Plus, it does look smashing :) so ill happily break out the extra strength Guinness once again IF I can clear up one query: I’m a brit, and my fluted pan isn’t helpful as regards its volume. Would its 25cm diameter (10″) equate to 12 cups? Heeelp, please!
Claire, I just made this cake (it’s cooling now) in my standard Bundt pan which does indeed measure 25 cm (10″) It looks perfect!
Intro: Love your blog, Deb! I’ve recruited several other friends to become followers of SK by making dishes for them from your archives and telling them you are, in fact, my favorite food blogger.
GGG comment: I just made this cake last night for a friend’s birthday and it was INCREDIBLE. So moist, delicious and *easy* to make. It is immediately going into heavy rotation in our house. We didn’t have sour cream on hand, so I substituted greek yogurt – no one knew. Left the cake to cool completely before removing from pan – no problem (brushed the pan with melted butter prebaking). If people want to flour the pan for extra insurance, I suggest using cocoa powder instead – works the same, but tastier and prettier. I have half a can of Guinness left and I’m going to make cupcakes with the same recipe tonight. Thank you for all the deliciousness you have added to our table!
I’d like to bake this as a mini layer cake – two 5″x2″ layers. I think the volume will work out if I halve your halved recipe. Any suggestion for baking time? Thanks!
Made this for my husband’s b-day yesterday (he so loves his Guinness) & it was KILLER!!!
Thanks so much JJ! Now I’m almost wishing I hadn’t taken on 100-odd cupcakes for a 40th bday next week, cs I can hardly wait :) at least I know I can get straight into this one to ease withdrawal symptoms after. Feedback much appreciated
I’ve made the three layer version a few times for friends’ birthdays and was looking for a similar, smaller cake my young daughter and I could make for my husband’s birthday. Thanks for developing this — can’t wait to try it with the ganache! Glad to see it adapts well to cupcakes, too.
I’ve had this bookmarked for months and am finally going to make it for a friend’s birthday this weekend. I made the orange chocolate chunk version last winter (the thought of it still makes me salivate) so I can’t wait to try this one!
Thanks so much! I made this cake 4 times in 2 weeks for various friends. The recipe just works and it’s delicious. The ganache is strictly optional — the cake tastes great on its own.
I am obsessed with this site, regularly checking it when i cannot think of what to make for dinner, or even what to bake on a lazy afternoon… i believe my recent 2kg weight gain is likely to blame on smitten kitchen!!!
however i am finally compelled to write a wee note on this recipe as im excited as pie (ha, pun) to bake this for my boyfriend’s birthday tommorow as i will be using his personal home brewed stout which he made the other week, just to give it that extra kick! so thank you for the inspiration and thank you in advance for my delicious cake!!
Hi Deb. made the guinness cake today and must confess it was the first recipe in two years that was not an unqualified success. All seemed well until it came out of the oven. (added a pinch of espresso powder to the batter, just couldn’t help myself) waited for the cake to completely cool, inverted it over a cooling rack and waited patiently for the cake to drop. half and hour later 1/3 of the cake dropped. Took a deep breath flipped the pan back over and gave it another 30. the remainder finally dropped down in about 4 chunks. I made a double dose of ganache and cemented the cake back together with it. It is now sitting in the freezer waiting for Xmas. I am hoping that by dessert time everyone will be too distracted by it’s chocolatey decadence to notice the shape it’s in. I’m not a baking rube I promised I used a non stick bundt pan and coated it with copious amounts of butter. That sucker now weighs about 6 pounds.
I just made this for my boyfriend’s birthday – he loves Guinness and I love chocolate. What a DELICIOUS cake! So moist and a wonderful chocolate flavor. I *ahem* am one of those people who brushes melted butter in bundt pans, and I had no trouble at all with the cake sticking. It came out looking like Martha Stewart had baked it.
The only changes I made were to add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon to the flour mixture and serve with freshly made whipped cream, in addition to the chocolate ganache. I really liked the cinnamon in this. It didn’t detract from the chocolate, but added a little something extra.
Thanks for the wonderful recipe!
I’ve made this many times and I can never get it out of the pan. I have a nonstick Bundt – this time I brushed with melted butter. I have done Pam, non melted butter, butter and flour, all to no avail. Is it possible that a different Bundt pan would work better? Maybe my nonstick has lost it nostickiness?
I love this cake!! I made it 2 days ago for my boyfriend’s birthday (he loves Guinness and loved the cake) and making another one today. Thanks for the awesome recipe and great tips!
I have made this cake twice now over the course of one month. MAKE THIS CAKE. People LOVE it. I think it gets better the next day, the guinness flavor really comes out. Rich, delicious, moist. Mmmm. I think im gonna go have a piece. Your cake recipes alone have made me a legend among my friends and family. Thanks.
Hi Smitten Kitchen! I love your recipes and I LOVE this cake. We made it a few times and it was always delish, so I decided to make it into cupcakes for our annual Christmas Eve party (sometimes people are reticent to cut into a cake, so we thought cupcakes might be more inviting). Anyway, the only thing I modified with making this into cupcakes was I only baked for 20 minutes and they were perfect. I think any longer and they would have been overdone. Instead of covering the whole top with the ganache, I put a beautiful and healthy dollop of the ganache on top of the cupcakes. They were a hit! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and photos!
tried this 3 times. it is a winner recipe! thank you so much. i’ve been trying a few recipes, but i’m happiest with this moist chocolate cake! now ppl think i’m an expert cupcake maker! :) stella
I discovered your blog about 6 months ago and I LOVE it! This cake was delicious- I made it exactly as your recipe said, and while it took 50 minutes to cook, as many have said, it was perfect when it was done. I’ve not gotten the hang of ganache yet- mine was a bit thick and didn’t drizzle beautifully, but no one cared for sure. I’ll be making this again soon!
Made this cake this weekend and seriously people, MAKE THIS CAKE!!! I am not usually a huge fan of chocolate cake however I am a convert. I used Rogue Double Chocolate Stout, which I enjoy much more than Guinness and I think it made the cake even better! I have never been steered wrong with any of your recipes and you’re the first place I go to when I’m looking to bake/cook anything.
I didn’t have a Bundt pan so I used two 8-inch round pans that were almost 2 inches tall. I put exactly 2 cups of the batter in each one and then used the remaining batter to make 11 perfect sized regular cupcakes.
Put the cakes in and after 15 minutes, put the cupcakes in and they both cooked perfectly for 35 and 20 minutes, respectively.
However, my cakes would not come out after I cooled them for ten minutes. I had brushed butter in the nonstick pans but not used parchment paper or floured them. Next time I will “flour” them with cocoa powder after greasing them. Awesome to make when you do need cupcakes b/c making the ganache and dipping the cupcake top straight into it is a lot quicker than traditional frosting method.
Hi Deb. I LOVE this cake. I make it for everyone. I love it so much and I am sure there is a way to make it into a cookie for a valentine’s day gift. I am not sure actually, which is why I’m requesting your help! Is there any way to make this a successful cookie? And would there be a good alternative to the ganache? Thank you thank you!
I also doubled the recipe and used a 9 inch cake pan and a loaf pan. The 9 inch cake needed a lot more time (as a few others noted but I failed to notice until too late). I cooked the big cake for just over 50 minutes and got paranoid that i was burning it so I took it out. It sank in the middle and could probably have used another 10 minutes. The loaf pan one came out lovely after 35 minutes.
I have had this recipe bookmarked for ages and am just now getting around to baking it… so glad I did, it’s soooooo goood! I usually make my family’s top secret chocolate kahlua cake for special occasions, but I may start to switch it up with this one. Thank you!!!
I’m going to make this for my hubby’s birthday this weekend. I’ve just discovered your site, thanks to Serious Eats — can’t wait to dig in some more :) Thanks for all your hard work!
I was thrilled to find triple-hedonism in this cake, made for the chocolate loving birthday gal of a joint birthday party duo (I’ll comment on your NY cheesecake recipe about the other one).
I also reversed it back into the original recipe’s proportions- it doubled like a dream, making 3 9-inch layers & 1 rectangle for snacking (maybe 8×11?).
Because apparently 4 sticks of butter, a bottle plus of beer, & espresso ganache are NOT enough, I used the recipe off the bag of powdered sugar for chocolate icing & my friend made a coffee bean/chocolate bark for decoration.
Over-the-top? Yes! Much-loved by all & your recipe appreciate by the baker? Yes. Thank you!
I made this last night for Valentine’s Day. I made it into 24 cupcakes and they baked in 18 minutes at 350F.
I stuck to the recipe like glue except that I spiced it up ala the Spiced Up Brownie also on Smitten Kitchen. I added 3/4 teaspoon chipotle powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom. I then did a simple cream cheese frosting that I piped on top. Amazing!! Very moist cake and the spices really added something to it. I will make again, but probably halve it as 24 cupcakes is a lot for us. I actually prefer it without the cream cheese frosting myself but my husband loves the frosting.
I wish to tast this cake of yours!
i made this last weekend for my husband for valentine’s and loved it!
making it again today for my friend’s birthday!
what a recipe!
So, as suggested, I greased THE CRAP out of the bunt pan, but the damn cake still stuck and came out in a delicious, moist pile. I almost had a little meltdown, but I had an idea… and so “Chocolate Stout Mistake Cake” was born. To save this cake, I whipped up a batch of cream cheese frosting, mixed it with the cake pile, smooshed the mixture into a spring-form pan, chilled, and topped with the ganache. It looked like a fancy torte, and tasted very yummy.
Love the cake! I just made this for the third or fourth time in the past year. I use a stoneware bundt pan and it always takes 50-55 minutes for mine to cook through in my convection oven. I got overzealous this time and turned out the cake before it was completely cool. I lost one little “curve” at the bottom, but I can fix it and easily hide it. I’ll be smothering it in ganache tonight. Looking forward to celebrating with this beauty tomorrow!
Yum Yum Yum will make this one again!
I made this cake for a friend’s St. Patrick’s Day party (which also involved a whole keg of guinness, and guinness stew). It came out really well, and everyone liked it.
The only thing I would do differently next time is use less instant coffee powder in the chocolate. I used the Starbucks kind (Via Columbia) and maybe it’s stronger than regular instant coffee, because I thought the coffee flavor overpowered the chocolate. Not that it kept anyone from eating it, of course :)
Our household is dairy-free, so I modified this using soy yogurt in place of the sour cream. I also used coconut milk in place of the heavy cream in the ganache. Both turned out great.
Delicious! It also works with rum. I microwaved instead of combining liquid on stove top, threw a handful of mini chocolate chip into the liquid and I baked it in a 9.5in spring form pan. It also pairs well with chopped toasted almond on top.
Unfortunately, being the veteran of misreading directions, I put 3-4 teaspoon of grounded coffee into the cake the first time I made it. Taste like softer version of Starbucks’ expresso brownies except with booze (same excellent texture, but 3 strong flavors (rum, chocolate and coffee) are too much for me). So, I recommend you follow the original recipe.
I love this cake! I just made it with a microbrew’s barrel-aged whiskey porter instead of Guinness and it still comes out amazing!!! I also threw a handful of bittersweet chocolate chips in the batter.
Deb, your recipes never fail me. Thanks for being fantastic at what you do! :)
Such a great recipe! thanks!
Very excited about making this for my husband’s surpise 30th bday party. A couple questions 1) I only have a hand mixer, will that work ok? 2) there will be 15 of us, should i make it a layered cake? I like the bundt, but wasn’t sure it would be enough for everyone.
I am new to baking this will be my first bithday cake. So glad I came across your site, I am hooked!
I’m going to try this recipe soon myself. Although I was curious if anyone has tried Young’s Double Chocolate Stout in place of the Guiness.
Made this tonight with a local brewery’s Coffee Stout…it was so moist and delicious, and the ganache is simple and really adds a wonderful sweetness. I used cherries to decorate it, which tasted wonderful with the chocolate. Thank you, once again, for a wonderful recipe! Every time I try one of these lovely recipes I am reminded why Smitten Kitchen is bookmarked in my browser :)
LOVE this cake-great for after dinner with freshly roasted French drip coffee(yes ,i do mean freshly roasted coffee).
Made this cake for a dinner party I threw and after dinner everyone said how full they were and all the couples wanted to “share” a piece of cake. Well about an hour after we’d eaten dessert we somehow ended up back in the kitchen and everyone was just eating the cake right off the cake plate! We ended up eating most of it!! This is decadent and delicious! I used Young’s Double Chooclate Stout but I also want to try it with Guinness. Over all though, another great go-to! Thanks Deb!
Made this last night. Fantastic! Loved the ganache – made in microwave. I used a little less than the 2 cups of sugar and it still tasted great. Baked for about 43 mins. Thank you for the recipe.
Hi, can you give me an idea where I can buy stout?? Thank you!!
P.S. Love your recipes!
Ana — Usually anywhere that sells beer; it’s a type of beer that’s very dark. Guinness is the most popular of the stouts.
Third time I’ve made the cake in three weeks. Yum!!!
Hey! I’ve made this seven times now… Can’t thank you enough for this recipe! Perfect for parties!
I’d recommend going ahead and using whole sour crea
Pint. Tastes even better. Also, let it cool completely.
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I’ve made this cake three times. Once I added a little cinnamon to the cake batter, another time I did without the ganache and used instant coffee in the cake itself, but I think my favorite way (so far) is to finish this with a fine dusting of powdered sugar on top and serve it with raspberry sauce. Yum.
I have made this cake on various occasions and it’s a huge hit! I originally made it for my husband’s birthday in the shape of a Guinness glass of beer. Everyone absolutely loved it. Thanks for sharing such an awesome recipe. I’m going to have to find the white chocolate pastilles for the one I’m making this weekend.
I made this for my boyfriend’s birthday today. I cut the sugar down to 1 3/4 cup and used local Deschutes Brewery Stout instead of Guiness and topped it with blackberries from our yard. It was quite possibly the best cake I’ve ever made!
Thank you for this recipe. Huge success!
I halved your recipe and got 12 cupcakes. I really should’ve spread it out into 16 cupcakes though since they spilled over. I’ve made this recipe before from the epicurious site with Guiness and I loved it! Ever since then I’ve wanted to experiment with different beers. My favorite beer is Lindemans Lambic Beer. For those who might not know, lambic beer is a belgium fruit beer. I decided to try this recipe with the Black Currant flavor, but I think it would also be good with several of the other flavors like the raspberry.
The flavor is amazing! Yummmmm
this recipe is awesome! Going for round 3 tonight. First two times I used Sierra Nevada Stout, but tonight I got something special. 512 Pecan Porter, a local tap-only Texas brew (i got a growler to-go from a local beer shop). Gonna top the ganache with chopped pecans. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm……
Sorry if this is a repeat–didn’t read all 241 comments–BUT….I added stout beer to the chocolate ganache. It wasn’t much (can’t tell you exactly how much)–but just kept adding about a half ounce at a time until I got a good hint of stout flavor in the sauce. Great cake!
Any suggestions for whisking the melted butter, stout, and cocoa powder? I couldn’t for the life of me get the mixture to become nicely smooth. Everything else seems to be going as expected though, so hopefully it’s not a dealbreaker…
You might need to sift your cocoa powder next time first, if it arrived in the pot lumpy.
will try that next time…and there will definitely be a next time! thank you.
oh my goodness, deb, congrats. you can bet i’ll be preordering the book as soon as i can. can’t wait!
anyway, if stress-relief pudding is abnormal, then let’s just say i don’t want to be normal. this looks fantastic.
oh my goodness, deb, congrats! you can bet i’ll be preordering the book as soon as i can. i can’t wait to see it in all its glossy, hardcover glory.
anyway, if stress-relief pudding is abnormal, then i don’t want to be normal. these look fantastic.
the best chocolate cake i have ever had!
I tried your recipe today and just wanted to thank you. Its the best chocolate cake! :)
I had to borrow a bundt pan, but I made this once before and it was really great. I am going to make it into a 2 layer cake and I’m wondering if anyone has done this, how should I adjust the oven temp, and baking time? (or do I need to.)
I just love using recipes from your blog, and I use it as my first resource whenever I need to bake something! (It goes, you, then epicurious.)
Question: what are the delicious white dollops in the ganache topping, and how do I make that? (Apologies if someone already asked…going to check that now…)Vanilla ganache? White chocolate ganache? Ooh…that could work… I’m making the cake for a christmas party this weekend and it looks very christmasy.
Anyway, thanks so much for existing! Looking forward to your cookbook!
Ah got it. Nevermind! (Except about the you being awesome part. That still stands.)
Would this work as a layer cake?
I used this in one nine inch pan, and it took a little longer to bake, but it was just as good. King Arthur Flour has a similar recipe that is a layer cake. They don’t put the instant coffee in the topping which I wouldn’t skip though!
Possibly the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made! My mom and my Aunt both wanted the recipe, they couldn’t believe how simple it is to make! I added a couple extra tablespoons of cream to the glaze and got a thickly-pourable consistency that set just right, I think it would have been too thick otherwise.
OK, maybe I’m missing something (and I don’t want to read through the 200+ comments), but what are the light-colored circles on top of this cake? Peanut butter nonpareils?
This is a classic! Five years of comments don’t lie. I’ve made this two Christmasses in a row and it is PERFECT:
– easy to make with just a whisk
– bakes up to a great moist but firm texture
– comes out of the pan easily after it cools
– easy, quick and delicious ganache drizzle – no fooling with actual frosting skills
– not tooooo sweet so even the family members who don’t have a sweet tooth still love it.
Thank you Deb!! Why would I ever make a different chocolate cake :)
Courtney — See comment #74 and #137.
I made this last night, my co-workers love it! My family loves it. I had no idea Ganach was so easy to make, I think i’m ready to tackle that with other cake ideas I have!
Deb, I usually try not to ask you the kind of questions that would take “I’m not in the kitchen with you” as an answer (I’m no way saying this in a bad way, you are totally right to say that :) ), but this time I just have to: I don’t know if I misunderstood the instructions, but my melted butter/guinness/precious cocoa mixture never became smooth (I did sift the cocoa as you suggested) and there was too much liquid and no matter how long I let it simmer, it didn’t seem to reduce. It eventually (more than half an hour later) started to smell a smidge like burnt chocolate, so I gave up (I so don’t like giving up…). I added the cocoa as soon as the melted butter/guinness mixture started to simmer (don’t know if that was too soon…).
All in all, it’s late (I live in Paris) and I’m tired, but (one day, rather sooner than later) would really like to try this cake (ahem, and make it successfully, I mean I REALLY don’t like to give up!), so any help/idea/instinct would be more than welcome :)
ps: oh my, totally forgot: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Many many wishes to you and your family (and especially to that cute little guy of yours, who makes me think of my nephews and smile every single time I see his pictures) for a 2012 full of joy, health, success, love, amazing food, and lots of books. Sold ones. ;)
Hi Eliza — So sorry that you had trouble with the cake. I probably use the “not in the kitchen with you” response too much; it’s usually when I’m completely bewildered because the result is so off the mark that I cannot possibly imagine what else had gone down in the kitchen to cause it. And I imagine something else had happened. Nevertheless, as to the trouble you had, the mixture isn’t supposed to be reduced. You just melt everything together and try to whisk it smooth. When you say not smooth, do you mean there were pieces of chocolate not melted? Bits of cocoa that didn’t dissolve, just stayed in little bubble? I’ll try to help. I definitely think it’s worth trying again, though, I think you’ll have more success with it next time.
So, I brought the butter with the guinness to a simmer (at least I hope it was just a simmer, I’m having now serious doubts if I let it go past the simmer and closer to a boil) and then I sifted the cocoa directly into the saucepan, then (without removing from the heat) tried to whisk the whole thing smooth. But almost immediately, the cocoa (I suppose with a part of the liquid) formed a sort of thick-ish paste, surrounded by the rest of the liquid, clearly separated. I kept whisking over the heat, but I think the longer I did, the thicker the cocoa paste became and I seemed to have more liquid apart. Should I have removed the saucepan from the heat before adding the cocoa? Or was it just a temperature thing (from eventual closer-to-boil-instead-of-simmer) that caused the cocoa to seize?
I tried to explain everything as well as I could, I hope it makes sense!
Thanks so much for helping me out! That’s so kind of you :)
I haven’t had it seize before but it does get a bit thicker and that’s totally fine. Even if it looks separated, though I would also just heat the butter and beer together until the butter melts. Don’t keep cooking it. Just mix it all together, set it aside and continue with the recipe. I hope you enjoy the cake next time.
This looks like a fabulous cake, have to make it, looking for the halved version.
I wanted to make a half-chocolate half-vanilla cake in the same bundt pan and chose this recipe to do it with—so it was a half-chocolate-stout cake and half-vanilla-stout cake. Of course, as I should have foreseen, it didn’t look as dramatic as I’d hoped because, duh, the vanilla half was still pretty dark-colored from the stout. But the taste of both halves was great.
To make it, I held off on adding the cocoa to the beer/butter mixture; I otherwise made the recipe as listed and then separated it into two bowls, then folded cocoa into one bowl and added vanilla (and a little flour…to make up for the lost cocoa?) to the other bowl. Then I poured both bowls simultaneously into the bundt pan, one on each side, to get the half ‘n’ half cake. The chocolate side I topped with the ganache and the vanilla side with fresh whipped cream. I thought the vanilla stout cake was a really neat flavor–the batter tasted incredible—a little bittersweet and unusual. The chocolate stout cake side was also amazing, as promised by the recipe.
I make this every year for my beer-loving brother’s birthday, serving it with Guiness of course. It is everything a chocolate cake should be, and earns rave reviews every time. The ganache is a definite must.
It’s probably too late to ask this since the cake is in the oven but… I bought local organic sour cream, very full fat, and it was much thinner than commercial sour cream (which usually has some artificial thickener in it). YIkes, will this mess up the recipe?
Also I just peeked in an my cake seems to be cracking along the top. Anyone else?
Stephanie — It should be just fine.
Just to follow up– the cake seems t have set and of course the crack is not visible as it is now on the bottom (doh). Still wondering about the runny sour cream, though.
Thanks so much for the recipe and the advice.
BTW it looks AMAZING and I can hardly keep my husband from sampling it before the party tonight.
Sorry for my bad English.Pleas, I need to know how much is the amount of butter in ounces or grams.Thank you!!!
You will want to use 225 grams or 8 ounce of butter in the cake.
I made this cake for the first time last weekend (and followed the recipe exactly as written) to use up some excess beer I had in a growler, and it was ahhhhmazing. I used a Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout from a local Pittsburgh brewery, which I thought provided a perfect complement to the chocolateness of the cake.
I omitted the coffee from the ganache because my bf is a coffee hater and I was worried that there would be a slight coffee taste in the ganache. I thought it was still awesome, but being the coffee lover that I am, I think I’ll try the ganache with coffee next time. I also thought the cake might be excellent served with a dollop of coffee ice cream on top, which I think I’ll also try next time I make this cake. This will be going into my file of favorite recipes!
A 274th comment is probably overboard but I made this for Leap Year Eve and it was hands down the best chocolate cake I have ever made. Especially lovely with fresh strawberries. Any berry would be great to compliment the richness. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
omg, i absolutely <3 this cake, i made it for a b-day party and people were seriously raving over it!
I made this cake only once. One small change–I added several tablespoons of stout to the ganache to validate the name of the cake. Just a hint of the stout flavor comes through. I am making it again this weekend as a plus for a local Beijing microbrewery sponsored chili cookoff. The owner gave me a pint of his spicy stout to use for the cake. I will try to add just one more tablespoon to the ganache to squeeze a little more stout flavor into the cake. Will let you know of my results (and will take exact measurements this time). Cheers!
I made this recipe as cupcakes over the weekend and it was a disaster. :( I’m not sure why, as I’ve been baking/decorating cakes for several years. Perhaps I filled the cups too full? I usually stand by my Hershey’s perfect chocolate cake recipe, so I filled the cups to the same level as with that recipe. They fell in the middle while simulteanously oozing out the tops to the point where I had to scrape them off my cupcake tin with a knife. I’ve made countless dozens of chocolate cupcakes in the past, and I bake often enough that my stock continually gets turned over so none of my ingredients are old. I noticed that the recipe doesn’t contain baking powder… I wonder if I could get some rise out of them with a teaspoon of bp? Though I had to trash them, the flavor was wonderful and I’m not ready to give up. I don’t have a lot of time for trial and error as I want to make them for a friend’s shower this weekend, so I need to decide whether to make them again and fill the cupcakes with far less batter, or to add the tsp of baking powder. I hope one of those is the answer, as I really want them to turn out!
Often, when baked goods cave, there’s too much leaveaner, not too little. Did you use Dutched cocoa powder?
Yep, I sure did. I’m at a loss as to why they didn’t turn out. I scanned the comments and others have made it into cupcakes successfully, so I’m at a loss! I’m going to try them again and only fill them halfway. I usually put just over half in with the hersheys recipe, so maybe that’s the answer.
F… me, Ray Bradbury! I was looking for a cake for my little girl’s party, and when I saw that this had coffee and beer in it, I knew that it was just the thing for three year olds! There is no better chocolate cake. I even increased the recipe by 50% (but used 2 1/2 c. sugar instead of 3), baked it in a 9 x 12 square pan, then cut it into the shape of a fish, and made a little classic cream cheese frosting that I piped over the ganache to make scales. The tiny bit of sweet white on the bitter dark was perfect. There was a second, store-bought cake at the party with lots left over, but mine disappeared. There is no better chocolate cake.
I just made the bundt-version of your cake recipe for my mother-in-law’s birthday last night. I’m an old hand at baking layer cakes, but believe it or not this was my first time using a bundt pan. Sadly, it stuck in the pan / came out in pieces. I was pretty bummed and after many efforts (including having let it cool entirely in the pan, banging on the pan to knock it loose, running a knife along edges, and then soaking the pan in hot water (MIL’s suggestion) I eventually had to concede defeat in that department and scrape out the rest of the cake.
I ended up just using the scraped out part to “fill” the bundt hole and tried my best to level off the top of the cake to make it even.
I doubled the ganache recipe so that I’d be able to cover more surface area and poured it over the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides where it wanted to.
I was bummed that it looked so sloppy – until we TASTED it. OH. MY. GOD.
This cake was so moist, so utterly scrumptious and delicious and amazingly good…such a rich cake without being too dense, such strong chocolate and coffee flavor…holy S***. Hands-down one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve had or made, and I wasn’t the only one who thought so.
Folks who don’t normally indulge in seconds dug right in and helped themselves to another piece, and a few asked to take a piece home.
AWESOME recipe, and well worth any issues I had with the bundt pan. It makes me want to keep trying! Thanks for sharing this one!
Thank you for this amazing recipe! I made it last night for my friend’s birthday and it was simply the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. I also made it in a bundt pan and after reading previous comments, I sprayed the pan with a ton of pam and the cake came sliding out perfectly in one piece. I actually blotted the cake with a paper towel before cooling, though, to get rid of some of the pam, and in the end there was no greasiness or residue of any kind.
i also made the cake a little more adult by substituting bailey’s irish cream for the heavy cream in the ganache. it’s a little alcoholic, but quite lovely. sort off an irish car bomb in cake form :)
anyway, i’ve never commented on your site before, but this cake got me so much praise and so many compliments from my friends that I had to write and thank you for sharing your incredible talent and all your suggestions with the internet public.
I just wanted to Thank You sincerely, for posting this recipe. It was such a decadent delight and not to mention, absolutely beautiful! I did make a few touches here and there: I added around 1 tbs. of Vanilla Extract and I used Founder’s Breakfast Stout as the brew option. I want to make a recommendation; for the coffee, I used a Chocolate Truffle coffee blend by Folgers (not what I originally wanted, but it really put it over the top for the ganache). I plan on making this again, but adding a quality white chocolate as well with the ganache. Thanks for sharing! As always, love the blog, love the recipes, keep it up! Slainte!
Hi Deb, Thanks for this recipe. Mine’s in the oven, but a lick of the batter says it’s got great flavor. It’ll be perfect for my stout-loving hubby’s birthday. While making it, it was awfully tempting to use the barely-cooled beer/choc mix instead of, say, waiting a half hour for it to really cool … but I realized that it probably would have cooked the eggs you mix it into, and that may be contributing to lack of height in some cases. If they’re already cooked before baking, the eggs can’t help the batter rise. So I threw an ice bath under the beer/choc mix quickly, and my cake is almost to the top of my standard bundt pan. Now I need to go find something pretty like your white-chocolate discs …
Just made this for my husband’s birthday. It’s not the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had, but it’s very moist, has a very nice density and was incredibly easy. And while I like the hint of coffee in the ganache, I’d be tempted to try a cream cheese frosting next time, as I think the sour note would offer a good contrast to the rich chocolate. Or else skip a frosting altogether and just serve with ice cream. I followed the recipe to the letter, but needed to bake it for 45 minutes, as it was still very runny at 35. I used a well buttered silicone bundt pan and it didn’t stick at all. I sprinkled some leftover silver dragee onto the ganache and it was very pretty, though dragee’s apparently a bit controversial. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag%C3%A9e I had no idea and might chuck what I have left.
Thank you SO much for this recipe! My boyfriend is a Guinness addict and i have tried dozens of cake recipes-this one is the best by far! I replaced Guinness with a chocolate stout- it enhanced the flavor and gave it an added kick! My favorite is Young’s chocolate stout- and it actually comes in a 4pack- which is great because this gets made a lot!
This is my favorite cake in all of existence. Thank you Deb!
I LOVE your cakes. I’ve made several of them, for just about every occasion under the sun. But for some reason, I cannot, cannot, cannot get a cake to bake without it sinking. I made this last night and it sunk terrible.I follow your instructions to the T…so I have no idea what is going wrong on my end. Do you have any advice? Tips? Tricks or should I just give up all hope on ever baking a cake and stick to rice krispy treats-which, btw, also phenomenal, I’m my softball teams favorite player and it’s not because I win us any games! ;)
I’ve used a different chocolate stout cake base before but I think this one is nicer. The icing for my old recipe is heavenly though – melting 50g of butter with 110g chocolate and 2tbsp stout, then quickly whisking in 110g sifted powdered sugar. I’m looking forward to combining this cake with that icing! Thank you for the recipe!
Fantastic cake! I have made this twice and I would like to make a few suggestions. One – the first time I made this I refrigerated the cake overnight and served it about three to four hours out of the fridge. After a piece got left out for a few more hours I determined that refrigeration was a mistake. It was still a good cake but the slice that came fully to room temperature was an insanely amazing mind-blowing cake. Second time around I didn’t refrigerate after making it the day before serving and I suggest that you don’t either. Two – if you like the beer flavor, you can increase the intensity with fantastic results by using an imperial stout which has a stronger flavor. I used Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. Three – you might not want to ever make this cake because you will begin an endless quest of finding new excuses to make it again.
Love this cake in deep and meaningful way. Thanks Deb.
I made this for my first Thanksgiving (as hostess) last year to rave reviews, and again some weeks later for a friend’s dinner party, where someone who said he never liked desserts had three slices!
Making this again for my birthday tomorrow, and it will be glorious.
Made this last night for a co-workers birthday today. Baked up beautifully, although I did have a bit of trouble getting it out of the pan. I am not new to the bundt game and did let it cool completely. It took alot of cajoling to get it out, but in the end I prevailed. Used instant espresso powder instead of the coffee granules just because I keep them on hand. Not sure if you like to get photos (they pale in comparison to yours but happy to send), but I ended up putting some rainbow sprinkles on top to make it ‘birthday festive’ and it was so cute…looked like a giant glazed chocolate donut with sprinkles. Just sang and ate the cake and it is divine. What a perfect chocolate cake recipe. Rave reviews from all who ate it. Thanks!
As I was dusting off my copy of this recipe to make for a dinner party tomorrow I remembered that it is what brought me to this blog! It was featured in Elle Decor a few years back crediting the brewery and Smitten Kitchen and has been my go-to ‘bake to impress’ recipe since! I’ve been using a different stout every time, since I drink the leftovers while doing the work. I’ve had good results with most, the imperial stouts haven’t worked as well, as they seem to add too much sweetness and the added alcohol does more for me than for the cake. Belhaven Stout has been the best so far. I’ve got a 6 pack of Left Hand Milk stout waiting to be tried, that is half the fun for me!
For all your wonderful recipes, I’ve never tried to make a different chocolate cake after this one. :)
I have made this cake twice for my husband’s birthday (it really is a manly birthday cake, but everyone loves it) but every time I get ready to make it – I always wonder why I don’t make it more often. Then, I make the frosting that went along with the original BA recipe and remember that it’s a total pain in the ass! Not to mention having to frost the layers with the difficult frosting. Always delicious, but always frustrating. So, THANK YOU for adapting it as you have done. I would much rather make it in a bundt and drizzle the chocolate ganache over – genius! Will be making it this weekend for hubby’s birthday once again.
Hello Deb! Wow! I made this cake into 24 amazingly, moist, tasty cupcakes! This chocolate cake is so delicious and flavorful, it’s definitely one of my new favorites! I had no sticking to cupcake liner issues, I did lightly coat the cupcake liners with spray for the first batch and then next without! The ganache was too small a recipe to fully pipe on all cupcakes, but it was a perfect just a little dab on top, piping completely would have been too rich. Thanks again for a great recipe! Can’t wait until you’re in Seattle!
Oh! Just to share, instead of Guiness, I used Youngs Double Chocolate Stout! Sooo good!
I didn’t have sour cream so I used low fat plain yogurt instead and it’s fantastic! Also, I used half-and-half for the ganache and that was also great.
Fabulous, delicious, moist, we swooned! Did I sell it enough? Unfortunately, I’m impatient and the whole cake fell apart when I tried to take it out of the bundt pan after 10 min. We ate it in crumbs out of a bag for days and were quite content. I had to do a different emergency back-up cake for work, but it was worth it. Will try again and let it cool compeletely next time. Also, I’m going back to cooking spray. I don’t think butter works well enough after several cakes have stuck to the pan.
Very important to let it COOL IN THE PAN. Don’t be like me! Good thing we didn’t drink all of the stout…
This is an excellent recipe that I’ve made several times in the past, I think it does best in my bundt pan when I grease AND flour it. And let it cool completely…
This cake is AMAZING. I think it was my first attempt at making cake from scratch, and I see no reason to try any other recipes. It was easy and fun to make. I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday, and he requested to have it for his birthday EVERY year. This year I made it for a friend’s birthday, and now 2 other friends who were at the party have requested it for their birthdays. There are already plenty of comments here but I love this cake. Did I mention it’s super easy? I used 2 square pans and made a layer cake. The leftovers get better and better throughout the week. I am making it tonight and I am stoked. : )
I made this recipe into cupcakes for my best friend’s birthday (they baked for 20 minutes). To make them extra decadent, I then added Guinness buttercream over the ganache. Although the cupcakes were a big hit with my friend, the funniest review came from my boss after I’d taken some leftovers into work. After having a cupcake, he e-mailed our entire team: Delicious! Everyone must try them. Throw diets to the wind.
I prepared this cake for an office feast day yesterday. Definitely want to grease and flour the bundt pan to prevent any sticking. Fortunately the ganache can be used as a handy ‘glue’ to reassemble any sizable chunks that stick in the pan, and still have plenty for the top. This is the only cake I ever seriously considered keeping for myself instead of sharing. This is truly ‘The One Ring’ of cakes. 30 minutes into the feast and half the cake was gone, and not even crumbs were left by the end. I also received three question as to whether I was married or not….THIS IS A DANGEROUS CAKE. I will be making it again….and again….
I have heard such rave reviews about this cake; I’m making it for Christmas Eve and I’m really excited.
One question: Can I make it a day in advance? If so, would you recommend doing the ganache the day of? How much before it’s served should it be iced (ganached?)?
Hi Kate — Absolutely. I’d do the ganache the day of. If you do the ganache a day in advance, just keep the cake in the fridge. Otherwise, keep the cake under a dome or covered in foil or plastic at room temperature until needed. I’d do the ganache enough in advance that it can cool down and set briefly in the fridge.
Thanks Deb! Cake is in the oven right now.
I have made this cake many times and in many ways. Bundt cake, cupcake, suprise cupcake (the ones with the cream cheese and chocolate chip center) I even tried a suprise bundt cake- I didn’t nail the baking time quite right in the last one. Every time I make it I love it more. It is the best recipe for chocolate cake in the history of the world. For real. Thank you.
I’m so looking forward to trying this tomorrow for my dad’s 76th birthday. A question: what if added a little orange juice (or orange extract) and dabbled some orange zest & toasted hazelnuts on top? Should I be wary of adding too much additional liquid?
Thank you… my friend introduced me to your site via your fritters and I’m HOOKED.
I’m looking for a bundt cake recipe for my soon-to-be two year olds birthday party. Sorry if this has already been covered in the comments but with the Guinness, do little kids generally like this cake?
PS I have your brisket recipe in the slow cooker right now with the green onion slaw and onions already prepped for dinner! And everyone loved the sausage, chard and lentil soup last night!
Kylie — I would probably not make this for a 2 year-old’s party. Alcohol never fully cooks off, just mostly.
Hi, Deb, just wanted to put in my 2 cents for for the record- I’m in the middle of baking this in a bundt pan right now and it is definitely going to take all of 50 minutes, maybe more, instead of the 35 minutes given in the recipe. It smells great though!
I am a longtime lover of your site and this is my first time commenting. This cake was AMAZING!! I made it for my coworker’s birthday and everyone absolutely loved it. I am not a huge fan of chocolate cakes either (besides being a chocoholic otherwise), but this one was soo perfectly rich and not too sweet. A few changes I made: I didn’t have baking soda so I used 4.5 t baking powder instead. For the beer I used Boatswain Chocolate Stout from Trader Joe’s (and definitely enjoyed the rest of the bottle!), and I left out the coffee in the frosting (I have a coworker with an aversion to caffeine). For the frosting, I used 72% Swiss dark chocolate (also from TJ’s) instead of chips. YUMMMM!!! This was one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to make it again! Thank you for sharing!
After making this cake several times, I just have two comments:
1. It takes me longer than the 35 minutes advertised as well: more like 45 – 50 minutes.
2. It is not humanly possible to wait for it to cool off completely before taking it out of the pan and tasting it.
Amazing recipe, thank you.
I highly recommend Baker’s Joy or the Pam spray with flour in it. Anyone with a bundt pan needs this! I can get away with turning the cake out of the pan pretty quickly after it comes out of the oven with no sticking. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks!
I just made this recipe in cupcake form with my flatmates for a valentines potluck and it is so perfect. thank you so so much! happy valentines day!
I was wondering how long you let the chocolate cool before adding to egg mixture. I’m scared of scrambling!
I just made this cake on Saturday and I’m having the last slice right now. My husband has only had two normal sized slices. (What? I’m breastfeeding a newborn baby. Need lots of calories, okay?) It is absolutely the best chocolate cake I have ever had, and so easy!
I made this cake almost a year ago for my boyfriend’s birthday and I am still getting asked about it. I just checked back to see if anyone had commented on ways to make it festive for Saint Patrick’s Day and was so happy to see someone had! Thank you commenters and thank you, Deb for always making me seem like I know what I’m doing in the kitchen!!
Made the cake and sooo enjoyed it over other Guinness cake versions I’ve tried. It’s good with cream cheese frosting, but it is SOOOO amazing with the ganache. I just have two questions:
1. This may have been covered but I’m too lazy to read through the 300+ comments to find the answer:what are the white things on the cake?
2. This is the 2nd time now that I’ve made ganache and instead of being smooth and runny it is not smooth, the word curdily comes to mind although it tastes awesome, def not runny (in the ganache sort of way) and actually kind of separating a bit. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?
This is the second cake I’ve enjoyed from your site. You rock!
Just made this for St. Patrick’s day dinner tomorrow! I’m storing it at room temperature in my cake carrier. I followed the recipe to a T! It was so easy, quick and looks fabulous. Can’t wait to eat it. One thing I did different was I made Joy the Baker’s salted caramel sauce and also drizzled it over on top of the ganache. Not over the top at all… ;)
Amazing! It’s sitting on the center of my table waiting to be served! After my corned beef and veg of course…there was enough ganache to make some chocolate covered strawberries and bananas too! Waste not want not! I love your recipes Deb! Thank you!!
Like others, I thought this would be the perfect salute to St. Patrick’s Day. Having a hard time deciding between this and the stout cupcakes with Bailey’s frosting (but being too lazy for the extra effort of cupcakes), I swapped 2 of the 6 T cream for Bailey’s. Good ratio, for anyone interested in amping up the holiday aspect!
I made this cake over the weekend, for St. Patrick’s Day (well, for a pizza party the evening before St. Paddy’s day, but now we’re just splitting hairs). Not having instant coffee laying around, I opted for a Bailey’s ganache with chocolate chips, cream, and Bailey’s. It was excellent! I’m also reporting that the cake is even better the next day!
It looks good but hardly authentic in a Bundt pan. I will stick to the layers.
hopflower — I am not sure I follow. Is there something inauthentic about a Guinness bundt that’s more traditional as layers?
I just made this cake tonight for a beer themed dinner. It was a huge success! This was a very easy cake to make, and it was so moist and delicious. Thanks!
Can I substitute real coffee or espresso for the coffee granules in the ganache? I want the flavor, but don’t like the idea of having to by instant coffee when I have good coffee in the kitchen already! Thanks!
Katie — I think you could use a tablespoon or so of espresso, but I wouldn’t go over that or the topping could get too thin.
I loved this. The description is correct: I wouldn’t want to do without the frosting, because it was awesome, but the cake itself is rich, most, and delicious.
My 95 y/o grandfather, a.k.a Methuselah, is currently in hospice, in our house and hadn’t been eating well. I then made this cake. I knew it was an awesome recipe; I’ve made your stout cupcakes for years and even for my brother’s wedding. Apparently, your recipe is so magical that it makes contrary old men eat there dinner in hopes of getting some cake. He specifically demands “chocolate cake,” which is old man speak for this particular cake.
I meant “their” not “there”, we all know it.
This cake was awesome! I made it in a 9-inch springform (60 minutes) with Rogue Chocolate Stout. I substituted vanilla Greek yogurt for sour cream. Turned out fabulous. Thanks for the recipe!
I have made this cake so many times over the last 4 years that I’ve lost count (including an amazing New Year’s bash with the cupcake version). My friends used to get together for “tea and pie” once a month; my chef friends and boyfriend supplying dinner and tea while I would bring pies and/or this cake. Boyfriend is getting his black belt in Taekwon-do tomorrow and I asked him what he might want for a hypothetical celebratory dessert and he instantly replied with “beer cake!” This cake brought me to Smitten Kitchen, and your wonderful writing and recipes have been such an inspiration. So thanks for Stout Cake (and everything else, too!)
The picture of this cake almost makes me drool. I would like to make the chocolate stout cake, but I do not use alcohol. What can I use as a substitute for the stout?
My favorite chocolate cake. Double the ganache recipe.
Can this be made in a 13×9 pan? I would like to transport it..
I haven’t tried it in one but according to this guide, it should work.
So, I’ve decided to make my own wedding cake for my reception. I was hoping to make the cake the week before the event or maybe two? and freeze it until the day before the event. I know that ganache and other icings do not do well in the freezer, but that some cakes can handle being frozen, some even improve with a little time in the ice box! Does anyone know if this cake can handle a week or two frozen? I’m thinking groom’s cake!
Thanks so much for posting this recipe!
Can you make this without the sour cream or substitute it with something else? Just curious.
You could use plain yogurt or buttermilk or even creme fraiche.
made this cake tonight.. made it into cupcakes.. made about 28 of them, baked for 18 minutes. They came out great!
I used a coffee stout which really worked out well.
I didn’t have any semisweet chocolate, but I did have some heavy cream so I just made a vanilla whipped cream (using only a small amount of sugar) .. came out delicious!
If you have trouble with this or any other dark colored cake sticking to your pan, instead of trying to coat it with better and flour, try using cocoa powder. It won’t make the cake look pasty/floury when it comes out of the pan. Not a big deal if you are planning to frost the cake, but if you’re glazing, it will look much nicer.
Made this cake today, it was absolutely delicious. So moist and chocolaty. Used Guinness Extra Stout.
I’ve made this cake twice now! Once for my brother’s 21st birthday, and I just made it for my own birthday. It is an easy and delicious recipe. I especially like the ganache so you don’t have to fool with icing (for my brother’s cake, I also made a bright teal-colored vanilla drizzle to go with the ganache). I have had no problem with it sticking to a cheap bunt pan I got from the grocery store – I have been greasing it with melted butter, wiping it around with a paper towel.
Love this recipe and would totally consider making it for my wedding….thanks for the wonderful recipe!
I made this yesterday as a small cake (I used two 8″ pans) and it came out wonderfully! I put ganache between the layers. I used the Rogue Chocolate Stout for some extra chocolate flavor :) Also…I forgot to put the sugar in and nobody noticed. It’s a miracle!
I have made this cake 5 times now and it has come out amazing every time. The last time I was in such a hurry to make it that I went ahead even though I was missing major ingredients: I substituted Greek yogurt for the sour cream, and it still came out as moist and tasty and the sour cream version, and I used milk and butter (6 tablespoons of milk as and about 1.5 tablespoons butter) instead of heavy cream for the ganache, and what do you know, the ganache was great too. Such a GREAT recipe!
this cake is delicious no matter what, but definitely try it at least once with fleur du sel sprinkled on top of the ganache after it sets a bit. amazing.
Deb, I have been obsessed with your recipes and your site since my sister in law, who lives on West End Ave Sent it to me in Santa Monica, I have never been inspired to comment, though I have been inspired over and over…. although all your baked goos are spectacular, this cake is amazing. My 15 year old daughter made it on Christmas Eve and everyone in our major foodie Christmas crowd went nuts for it! Thank,you for your wonderful writing and amazing talent!
Love chocoate stout cakes; yours is the third recipe I’ve tried. My issue is that while waiting 5 or so minutes for my beer mixture to cool, I noticed it was separating (butter layer on top, of course) and rewhisking did not help. So, I hurriedly mixed it into my egg and sour cream mixture and all seemed OK.
What did I do wrong? I tried following your directions to the ‘t’ but did I over- whisk? Same thing happened to my ganache, which I had to fix using Martha Stewart’s solution of whisking in a TBS or so of water. Again, is this caused by over mixing?
Anyway, all is well in stout cake land in the end but I would appreciate your expert comments and advice. Thanks and all the best!
Hi Trainher — I don’t think it should be a big deal if it separates (from what I understand, you’re just talking about this happening in the melting stage; not the whole cake batter having separation?); it should all mix back into the cake evenly. Did you enjoy the cake’s result?
Yes, Deb, you’re correct about it happening during melting/ cooling stage.
The cake turned out beautifully for hubby’s birthday; I used a Mexican chocolate stout and loved it. Many thanks!
This is the second time I make this recipe and I have to say, the cooking time is really off. The cake is not even near done in 35 minutes. However, it is fabulous once it is fully cooked!
Yummy!! I agree with everyone else that the baking time for this cake was closer to 60 minutes – but it turned out so delicious and fudgy that I have no complaint about the extra wait! I used Sam Adams Chocolate Cherry Stout and, since I’m rubbish with ganaches, made a Bailey’s cream glaze, so it’s kind of an Irish car bomb cake. I even forgot to mix the cocoa in with the beer/butter mix (I added it with the flour/sugar mix), and it turned out just dandy. My co-workers are going crazy for the cake and I finally got to use up that undrinkable beer – thank you for this delightful recipe!!! Absolutely perfect for breakfast with some coffee ;)
Not sure if anyone has suggested this, but one way to get cake out of the bundt pan is my grandma’s trick of greasing the pan well with Crisco, then dusting it with flour. Worked like a charm for this cake!
I am baking this right now, as it’s about 10 degrees here in St. Louis, with a nice below-zero windchill and I have a snow day off from school.
Since I don’t have a bundt pan, I used a 9″ square pan, and may regret that in a half hour or so. It’s pooching out over the top, but IT SMELLS LIKE SWEET CHOCOLATEY HEAVEN in my house.
I am thinking of making this – but I am lactose intolerant. I was able to find a lactose free sour cream at Whole Foods, but alas no sub for cream. BUT I found a good recipe for Cashew Cream. Do you think it will work here or is there something with the dairy that makes the ganache perfect?
Definitely need more than just coating with melted butter! Just made it and it really stuck bad! Should have stuck to my gut and used flour also.
Made this last night with a coffee buttercream frosting (didn’t have any chocolate for the ganache) and it was a HUGE hit with my husband and my two year old, who are both picky eaters and rarely eat cake at all. Though it wasn’t quite sweet or chocolatey enough for me (I’m a chocoloholic), it will definitely be a regular at my house!
Wow — this was great. I didn’t have any idea what to expect with the Guinness infused cake, but absolutely loved it. Nice and moist and not too rich, but full of subtle nutty flavor. Glad I came across this recipe.
Hi Deb, and all,
I baked this cake at least four times so far, and it is perfection everytime. It might as well be one of the best and simple chocolate cakes a regular home cook can produce.
I just wanted to say that this morning I realized I forgot to put in the 2nd butter stick and to our suprise the cake came out as delicious as always!
Thanks for the awesome recipes :)
I wanted a moist chocolatey “something” the other day and thought “Smitten Kitchen will certainly have something to fit the bill”, and you did. I had a bottle of Guinness Extra Stout in the fridge and even Dutch processed cocoa (because of your triple chocolate banana bread) and couldn’t wait to get started. My sister ended up coming over and we planned an impromptu dessert evening, but since her husband is a recovered alcoholic, I decided to use coffee instead of stout. We were delighted with the result, so moist, such a fine crumb! I also had no instant coffee so I brewed some very dark coffee and used a tbsp. Made the ganache a bit thin, but it still fudged up beautifully. My husband who does not eat sweets often, has begged every day for several pieces. We finished it off in three days. Looks like I have to make it again. This time, I’ll use the stout! Thank you so much!!!
I don’t own a bundt pan and am planning to buy one just so that I can make this — is a 12-cup bundt pan the correct size?
Would it be possible to convert the measurements into metric measurements? I desperately want to make this for my husband’s birthday and I lived in metric-land (Israel). Thanks so much.
Sandy, if you look up on the top left of the page under ‘Resources’ Deb has included a very handy page on ‘Conversions’. I too live in metric-land, but this makes it a cinch to convert all these amazing recipes. Happy Baking!
just made this for my dad’s birthday, it’s cooling in the pan as I type :) I cut like a million corners while baking this, and misread a few of the instructions, but o. m. g. it smells amazing. it LOOKS amazing. and if the batter is any indication, it will taste amazing. can’t wait to get the ganache on and see what my dad thinks!
I don’t know what I like better.. Delicious recipes (that make me look amazing) or reading your comments. What a great bunch of peeps that post here. Your a lucky duck.
We were at the Barrington Brewery yesterday and right behind my husband sat the Chocolate Stout Cake. I must have ben 8 inches tall. And people we coming with growlers to fill to go and taking that cake home. I regretted not bringing any home so I went on line looking for a recipe. I did not put Barrington Brewery in my search, but when you recipe came of course it was first one I clicked on.This is a sign I have to make it asap! Can I use regular cocoa?
I swear this recipe never fails me. It’s become my husband’s annual birthday request, and this year I decided to turn it into cupcakes, baked at about 20 minutes, and turned out perfectly. For some reason my batter was really, really runny this time out which gave me a scare, but they still turned out just fine. I topped the cupcakes with a little circle of ganache and some colorful sprinkles and they were a huge hit. In my opinion, they taste even better after a day in the fridge — dense and fudgy and moist, what a Hostess cupcake wants to be when it grows up (and moves to Ireland?). Thanks, Deb!
I made this for a bachelorette party and it was delicious. It did take a lot longer to cook than what the directions said and then was unable to get it out of the pan. I think it took an extra 20 minutes about. Even though I buttered the hell out of the bundt mold, it would not come out. The top was ripped off, but I made a espresso whip cream frosting and just piled it on so no one could see.
Incredibly tasty, but next time I might just have to make it in regular cake pans.
I have a quick question: I made this amazing cake a few days ago. However, at 35 minutes the cake tester was definitely not clean. I kept putting it back in the oven and then thought that perhaps I overcooked the cake. But it was totally delicious anyway! I am about to make another one and my big question is …. do I take it out at 35 minutes when the tester still has crumbs on it or cook it longer???
Thanks for any insights you have!
I’ve made this cake before (granted it’s been awhile) and today when I got started in on making it I had the problem of butter-beer-chocolate separation with lumpy vs. oily battling it out in the pan. I was staring at the mixture and whisking away and trying to determine what went wrong, and it just continued to look so, so wrong. Reading comments it sounds a lot like what was happening around #234 and #260. I had enough beer (minus that I wouldn’t get to drink the remainder while baking), that I decided to give it a second go.
The second time around it all came together SO much better. I turned the heat lower for melting my beer and butter, and stirred occasionally during this step. Once the butter had melted I just turned the burner off and whisked while adding the chocolate powder – and the result was definitely a smooth happy chocolate sauce, woot! Perhaps what I describe seems obvious, but thought I’d offer up my experience in case there is anyone else out there with the separation problem – even with having made the cake previously, a good reminder to not rush.
Now if it were just time for dessert already!
THANK YOU! You just saved my husband’s birthday cake…and my nerves. Second time’s a charm.
Hello! I need some advice… I am making this for a birthday party but will not have a ton of time beforehand. I am out of town… returning late… can I make the batter early? Wednesday night if I plan to bake it Thursday night and serve it Friday night? Or is it just as good or better to actually make the cake Wednesday night, let it cool completely, and put it together on Thursday/Friday (I plan to layer this for a large birthday celebration and cover with fondant). Look forward to your advice. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!
Definitely bake in advance – it ripens beautifully.
looking forward to making this tonight for some friends! question: what are the white circular things on the top of the cake? maybe i am missing something.. please chime in if anyone knows! :)
Hi Jill — See Comment #74. I had extra white baking discs and once I poured on the ganache, dotted them around. Since the ganache was still hot, they melted in a little.
Hi there, I am making a similar cake (Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake) and I came across this one on your site. I’ve made the cake a few times and its really good, but its just cake. Blah. I’m trying to adapt it to make a tunnel of fudge appear in the center – which I thought would significantly improve it – and I thought you might have a similar recipe. I know you made this as a gift so you didnt cut into the middle.. but did yours have this effect? Do you have any suggestions on how to do this? Do I just throw some chocolate chips in the middle and hope a full tunnel appears? :) The recipe is from my Home Baked Comfort book from William Sonoma, which I highly recommend, and I am serving it Christmas Eve. Any help is greatly appreciated. And congratulations on such a wonderful site. Happy Holidays!
Hi Lillie — I’ve never made a cake with a tunnel of fudge before, so I’m not entirely sure how it’s done. I know molten cakes are usually just slightly underbaked, but not sure that would work or taste the same here. I feel like there are a lot of suggested approaches on the web, though, you might find one that applies here. And thank you; happy holidays to you too.
I am in the process of making this cake for my BF’s birthday. The cake is done (2 9″ rounds), and will be frosted tonight with an Irish Cream, Cream Cheese Frosting. The only change I made was adding 1/2 cup of really good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter. I always make sampler mini-cakes to make sure it tastes right before serving, and HOLY COW, this is a divine cake. I can’t wait to taste it with the frosting. This is going to be very hard to wait and eat until tomorrow night. THANK YOU!
You think this recipe will work with a 13×9 pan? Only thing my brother has
I haven’t made it in one but I think it would work just fine. Will need much less time to bake, I’d guess.
I love this recipe and the idea of this cake, but I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I’m following the first steps to a T, yet when I add the cocoa powder, no amount of whisking makes it smooth and silky. Instead I got chocolate-sludge with a beer slick on top. Sort of like curdled eggs. What am I doing wrong?
Just reread through all the comments and it looks like Dancing Gal (262) had the same problem. Will just forge ahead and see what happens!
Curdled eggs doesn’t sound right at all, but if it’s not perfectly smooth, I think you’ll still be fine. Are there chunky curdles?
I made it as a two-layer cake and brought it into my office- St. Patty’s love all around!
Made this for St. Patty’s Day this year. WOWZA!!! Sooooo good. Soooo moist (eew, hate that word)! Thanks for the recipe.
Anyone know if I can substitute a dark lager for the stout? I’m not a beer drinker and have a ton leftover from a BBQ that I’d love to use up… I looked online and couldn’t find an answer.
Sara — Yes, you should be just fine with whatever beer you have around.
Update: I tried the recipe with the dark lager (Goldstar beer) and it came out great!
I think some clarification needs to be made in the recipe when doing the beer/butter/cocoa powder step to prevent it from being clumpy.
I made the cupcake version of this the other day and I added the cocoa to the liquid mix WHILE it was still heating on the stove top. (Recipe didNOT say to remove from heat until after all ingredients had been mixed).
Like someone said above, no amount of stirring made it smooth. It was an oily clumpy mess.
Further research shows that after the guinness and butter has melted – take it off the heat THEN whisk in the cocoa powder. I added a few tablespoons at a time while whisking the whole time and I had a much smoother batter.
Adding chocolate to butter while on heat apparently causes the oil and cream in the butter to separate quickly, thus the clumpy mess. Treat it like a rue.
Whoops, I meant to say that the recipe says to mix all ingredients THEN allow to cool, which meant to me that you THEN remove it from the heat.
Hi Deb, will this be a good base/shell for black forest cake? If not, do you have any suggestion as to what will be a good base cake for black forest cake? Thank you.
Melisa — I’ve never made a black forest cake but I think this would be a wonderful foundation for one.
Has anyone tried this with greek yogurt, instead of sour cream?
never mind – just searched the page for greek yogurt and got my answer!
Hi Deb! I am wondering if I could substitute an IPA in place of the Guinness? My BF loves this particular IPA and I’d like to make it for him. But not if the IPA bitterness would ruin the cake. What do you think? Maybe a test batch…
All the best,
Kate — No reason why not. FWIW, IPAs are usually more bitter than stouts, but I find Guinness to be on the bitter end of stouts. But, if you MUST test, well, nothing bad can come of that either.
I just made this for the third time. It is just delicious. Thank you!
To prevent sticking; I used shortening first, and greased my bundt pan liberally before setting aside to mix all of the cake ingredients. Just before pouring the batter into the pan I sprayed with cooking spray, and I also allowed the pan to cool for four hours before flipping onto a plate covered with parchment. It literally popped out of the pan with no problems whatsoever! Will frost and take to a holiday party tomorrow. Hooray!
Hi Deb, I made this cake for Christmas dinner and it was amazing. I used a nonstick Nordic Ware bundt pan and I added 1/4 cup of canola oil to make sure it stayed moist and boy it did the trick! I find that oil really keeps it moist! Also want to add that I love your blog and all your recipes are foolproof. Your website is a goldmine!! Thank you!
I’ve been making this cake for several years. I always make a double batch, in two bundt pans or one bundt and one angel cake pan (lined with parchment). I wrap tightly and freeze the second.
But it is most interesting to me that for all the discussion on which stout to use, there is almost no discussion on what chocolate to use. Do use Dutch process. If your cocoa doesn’t blend properly, that is why.
And if you use a really good chocolate such as Valhrona (if it’s good enough for David Lebovitz, it’s good enough for me) you will elevate your finished product almost immeasurably.
OMG. Best bundt cake I’ve ever made or had. I’m not sure I can avoid eating it all at once.
made this and it was delicious! I subbed coconut yogurt for the sour cream and it had the same moist effect. also in response to commenters about “globby” ganache I used to always have that problem so I add a tablespoon of coconut oil and it smooths out nicely.
This is now my #1 and only chocolate cake that I make. BEST EVER. You owe it to yourself to make this.
It completely fell apart while taking out of the pan. I know I buttered the pan completely and it was a non-stick pan.
And the ganache looks all curdled. Other than these, no problems :-(
Hi Deb, I really want to make this cake but I have trouble with converting this to grams. In the link you posted in one of the comments it’s says that 1 cup of cocoa powder is 120 grams, but in one of your other recipe you wrote that is much less than that. Can you please help me with that? Also, I just want to say that me and my mom adore you, your blog and your cookbook (we each have a copy). Thank you!!
Yael — For some reason, cocoa powder seems to be one of those ingredients that really vary by brand. That said, these days I use 80/85 grams per cup as a measurement, which was true of both Hershey’s in a tin and also a King Arthur cocoa. You should be pretty safe using 65 grams for 3/4 cup. Adding the rest of the weights now.
I’ve skimmed your answers to the previous comments and don’t see this directly addressed. Two quick questions:
1. You say “Dutch process cocoa preferred” but since regular and DP are so different I don’t know why you wouldn’t specify.
2. I’ve made the King Arthur Flour version of this, as cupcakes, and they’ve turned out fine but a little sunken in the middle. They call for baking powder, you call for baking soda. I know that b.s. is for acidic ingredients and b.p. for non. The beer and the sour cream are acidic and called for in both recipes. I’m very confused! Why do you and KAF call for totally different leaveners? (I’ve e-mailed them, too.) Their recipe is at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/chocolate-stout-cake-recipe, with the scaled-down version under the “tips from our bakers” section.
I’m trying to perfect this recipe, so any help you can give will be great!
Debi — Just because they’re different (in alkalinity) doesn’t mean they both won’t work here. I think we all (me too!) get way too hung up on the small differences between the cocoa powders. Baking soda needs an acid somewhere in the batter to activate. Because Dutched cocoa doesn’t contain that (but natural cocoa does), there’s a fear that baking soda won’t activate. But there are many other ingredients with acidity here, and in most recipes. Thus, nothing to worry about. Personally, I used Dutched cocoa almost exclusively; I think it tastes way better in baked goods.
I grew up in Great Barrington, MA and live just half an hour north now. I always get the stout cake when I go to the Brewery!
I am sure this is a very moist cake but would it be better or no difference if I used cake flour instead of AP flour?
This was my birthday cake today, and my husband has declared it is the only cake he will make from now on. Minimal fuss, maximal deliciousness (and I enjoyed drinking the leftover Guinness from the can!) It did bake up very delicate, but there was minimal sticking in the pan and when covered with ganache it was invisible. I wouldn’t recommend it for situations where you need to move the cake a lot, but we plopped it in a cake carrier and it was fine in there.
i make this regularly b/c it’s my hubby’s fav, and its always a hit for get togethers. you can make it a one pot, one bowl cake if you whisk the eggs, sour cream and sugar in a large bowl, beat in the cooled cocoa/butter/stout mix, and then sift in the flour/baking soda/ salt directly over the big bowl.
and i forgot to add that i make it with regular, natural cocoa all the time and it turns out fine with no modifications needed!
This is the best (and probably only decent) thing that I have ever baked, so I now make it every St. Patricks Day (and sometimes other random days of the year) to convince people that I can bake.
I make this regularly. As a bundt cake, as a layer cake, as cupcakes. I’m actually bored of making it, but it’s the only cake ever requested by my friends and family. So delicious, and has worked as written every time. But beware, if you ever want to make anything else :)
I made this exactly as direct. Some thoughts:
1) I got it to release from the bundt pan perfectly with nary a crumb behind by (a) brushing the inside of the pan with a mix of cocoa powder and melted butter and (b) letting it sit in the pan for 90 minutes before trying to flip it out
2) I got uniformly rave reviews about the texture (so moist!) but I found the flavor to be a bit muted. I used a chocolate stout from Trader Joe’s as my beer. Next time I’d perhaps amp up the flavor with spices (cardamom, cinnamon and maybe some cayenne a la mexican hot chocolate?) or use a more aggressively flavored beer.
3) I added a bit more heavy cream to the ganache to get it to drip correctly. It was fantastic but the coffee flavor was really muted … I might skip it altogether next time or, alternatively, dial it up.
Usually, when coffee is added to chocolate……it’s there because folks have found that it helps accent the chocolate-ness of it all. In other words not intended to be really tasted.
To achieve Mocha flavor, yes it’d take more coffee.
After reading the comments I doubled the recipe because I needed 2 dozen cupcakes (a fellow commenter noted that they only got 16 cupcakes). The recipe as Deb has it above is more than sufficient for 2 dozen cupcakes! When I doubled the posted amounts I yielded over 5 dozen cupcakes. I used a local brew, and this is my first chocolate stout cake.
Deb, you NEVER let me down. These are delicious!
Do you think this cake would work in a 9×13 (for easy transport purposes)?
Yes, should be just fine.
Thank you!! Planning to make it for my husbands 50th bday get together at a brewery
I can NEVER get this cleanly out of the bundt pan. Any magic suggestions?
My most recent success with this — my bundt, too, has lost some of its nonstick magic over the years — is to let it completely cool in the pan. It’s risky, I know, but I got it out with only the smallest speck or two still in the pan and nothing you could see once coated. Let me know how it goes for you!
Hi – has anyone made this with NON Dutch process cocoa powder? Is it just as good? That’s all I can get. Thank you!
I haven’t made it with non-Dutched cocoa but these four commenters have and report successes.
yes i always use regular cocoa and it tastes really good. but gets hopelessly stuck in the pan!
Hi, this looks amazing! But, do you have a substitute for the sour cream?
You can use yogurt.
warning: consider carefully before making this cake. I’ve now made it 3 times (because the taste is really wonderful and its moist and not too sweet) but all 3 times it has gotten completely stuck in the pan despite me loading it up with spray/flour (first time), brushing melted butter on it (second time) and now covering with butter spray and then steaming it in a sink full of boiling water covered by a towel (came out worse than ever). won’t be making it again which sucks because it tastes so good. but not worth it to have to make so many apologies to guests and friends when serving it plus all the stress and time wasting. have not had a similar problem when using other recipes in this pan.
i will add that the cook time was spot on for me at 35 minutes all 3 times.
I’m sorry it’s giving you so much trouble. Three things I’ve learned about cakes and this bundt since:
1. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always put my nonstick bundt in the dishwasher. I heard from the company that you’re not supposed to do this, that it wears away at the finish. Now I know! But I’m probably stuck with a stickier one until I replace it, which I am far too stubborn to do right now.
2. Some people swear by using fine breadcrumbs or almond meal with butter instead of flour to keep bundts from sticking. See this, which I read yesterday. They’re pretty smart over there so I trust the advice implicitly.
3. With this cake specifically, I know this sounds insane, but I have heard from a bunch of people who say that if they let it cool 100% in the pan, it comes out. The last time I made it — because it sticks for me these days too, just not when my bundt pan was newer 10 years ago and I published this — I let it cool 95% in the pan and only lost the tiniest piece, not even noticeable. I wonder if I’d gone the last 5% if it would have been just fine.
I just made this cake and after buttering the pan with soft butter really well, I dusted it with cocoa powder instead of flour. I let it cool 15 min. in the pan and it came right out, no sticking. My pan is a very old “nonstick”.
King Arthur’s web tips on preventing Bundt pans from sticking has changed location. It’s now here and is a great list of tips: https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/blog/2017/01/22/prevent-bundt-cakes-sticking
Try making it as a layer cake lining the cake pans with parchment
I utilize several different Bundt pans with all sorts of ridges, etc., and have found if I prep the pan by brushing soft butter and utilizing unflavored breadcrumbs and cooling they all pop out unblemished!…..hope this helps!
The cake was everything and more . Foolproof and tasty.my family loved it. Carla you rock
I made this yesterday for a game night with all my friends. It was a big hit with everyone. And I will be making it again for my friend’s birthday. I coated the pan with butter and cocoa powder, and let it cool in the pan for 90 minutes. It came out perfectly. ( I love Bundy cakes) I did cook it longer than 35 minutes til the tester came clean but will back this off a little next time so the cake is moister.
I have take your chocolate cake recipe from the chocolat peanut butter cake and tweaked it to my taste and have been using it for years. It’s the BEST chocolate cake EVER….at least it was until yesterday when I substituted Guiness for the water…ridiculous. so cut the oil by 1/4 cup and added instant espresso powder. Seriously…..it’s a must
I’ve been reading that a lot of people have issues with getting their bundt out of the pan in one piece. This was my first time making this recipe as well as making a bundt cake in general and I thought I would just share my experience. First of all this recipe is very yummy! I looked at a number of different recipes regarding a stout cake, one recipe had mentioned putting cocoa powder before pouring batter into the pan. I over sprayed my pan with cooking spray and then used a paper towel to make sure all the nooks and crannies were covered. I then sprinkled a good amount of cocoa powder on top of the cooking spray. Mine did take a little longer to cook. More like 38 minutes. I let the cake cool for about an hour and then used a butter knife to unstick any of the flat or rounded portions. My cake came out in one perfect piece! I also added some powdered sugar to the top and sliced strawberries. I am waiting to take to a St Patty’s shindig before I can try it, but it smells wonderful!
I made this for St. Pat’s day & it was a big hit all around. A new favorite. After reading your tip I left the cake in the bundt to cool & indeed it came out completely unscathed (I sprayed with Baker’s Joy as I am too lazy to butter bundt pans as carefully as necessary!).
Made this as two 9-inch rounds for a birthday layer cake. It disappeared faster than we could slice and serve it! What a wonderful recipe. It came out tender and light but so chocolaty. Almost like a sponge, but no dryness. I used Guinness extra stout (not nitro) and Hershey’s cocoa. This might be my go-to chocolate cake in future!
Turned out delicious!
Should it be kept in the refrigerator?
Like many others, mine refused to come out of the pan. When it finally did, the top part was left behind in the pan. I noticed that the cake was really damp, leading me to suspect I had underbaked it. My bundt pan is labeled 12 cups. Could that have been the problem? Perhaps a larger pan needs longer in the oven. In any case, the cake tasted spectacular. I patched it back together then glazed it with white and chocolate ganache. It was made with a coffee stout I found at Trader Joes. Everyone raved about it. I want to make it again ASAP, and was wondering if it would work as cupcakes. If so, how long would they bake? If anyone has tried it as cupcakes, please share your experience. Thank you Deb!!
This turned out so well!! Perfect moist crumb, without being overly dense. A couple notes:
– highly recommend using melted butter to grease the pan, my cake slipped out with no problem after
– I used the Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout, which does an excellent job of bringing out the chocolate flavor without imparting any noticeable taste of beer on the finished product
– I risked orange zest instead of coffee for the ganache, and it ended up being such a lovely, citrusy contrast to the rich chocolate flavor (no clash at all with the stout)
This cake is delish!! So rich and moist. Even though I thoroughly buttered the bundt pan, which is intricate, let cool, etc, it still got stuck. Would also dusting the buttered pan with cocoa powder help it release? I hesitate to flour it because it’s a dark cake. Thx!
When I made this, I dusted the pan with cocoa powder and after an hour or so I turned the cake out of the pan and nothing stuck. So maybe the cocoa powder helped.
I made this cake a few months ago and it was basically the perfect chocolate cake. I liked that it has a really deep and chocolatey flavor, which I find is often lacking in a standard chocolate cake. But it’s also not too sweet. Texture is perfect. I think it’s my new go-to chocolate cake recipe.
I made this for my husband’s birthday yesterday. I let the cake sit for an hour or so and it came right out of the pan. Everybody at the party raved about it. Thank you so much! Every cake that I make from this site is DELICIOUS.
I’ve just read through *all* the comments and haven’t seen this addressed yet when folks mention the cooking time. I’ve made this in two different homes, seven cakes (7!) in one year, and it is never done, not even close, at 35 minutes. I follow the recipe to a T, but no dice on the cooking time. Once baked anywhere from 45-60 minutes, it comes out fine (when it comes out of the bundt pan, but that’s just a pan issue, I think!). Everyone LOVES this cake, including non-dessert people. Thank you! But–
Last year, I made 5 of these in a span of 24 hours for my MIL’s birthday. I’d made one for my husband’s birthday and it came out great (after baking for almost an hour). Two in bundt pans–they took almost an hour to bake, apiece. They crumbled badly when inverted (let them cool, thought I greased enough–but maybe not– bundt pans are always a crapshoot for me!) and were not presentable for this new bride to take to MIL’s birthday.
I finally resorted to 3 round cake pans, lined with parchment. They came out generally fine (with increased baking time, of course). I waited a year to make another cake. Enter today.
I understand ovens vary, but so many of us have this issue. It seems worth revisiting the advisable cooking time at some point (or not– not a new recipe–I understand!) My racks were all on the second lowest setting in my oven. ANd I’ve made this in two kitchens.
As I write this, cake #7 is cooling. I’m letting it cool completely before inverting, and greased the dickens out of it (melted butter, plus warm butter, PLUS Pam with flour) and have enough ingredients to make round cakes if needed. The recipe is that tasty that it’s worth making again if it doesn’t invert well. :) I maintain inversion/bundt is luck for me. Not the recipe.
Your recipes are great–I’ve made many quite successfully. I have never commented, but the temperature issue has caused so much stress (“What am I doing WRONG?!”) I wanted to bring it up. (I loved your response that things coming out of a bundt pan involve prayer. So true! Here’s hoping the Baking Gods hear my prayer!) Thanks again for a wonderful website, wonderful recipes, and most importantly, a wonderful sense of humor. All best wishes to you. Maybe some of us have dud ovens.
Wow, thank you for your comment and all the feedback. I am thrilled this cake is such a hit. I have seen the comments about baking times. When I retested it, mine was done at 40 minutes. Because of this, I didn’t bother updating the time as it’s within a range. I’d rather someone check too soon than too late, of course. I can check again next time, though, it’s been a while.
Thanks for replying–you’re awesome! Mine was done at 50ish this time around and my maniacal pan greasing worked–one happy mother-in-law. (Trust me. This. Is. HUGE.)
Thank you again for all your work and wonderful recipes and humanity!
I have made this cake several times myself. I am going to make tonight for my husband’s birthday tomorrow. I could have written your comments as they are so similar to my experience. You definitely baked a few more than I did, though :). I have COMPLETELY given up on the bundt pan and will be doing two 9 inch layers tonight. It just is not worth the heartache. Mine also took in the 50-60 minute range to bake. I hate my oven, but I do use an oven thermometer (regularly buy new ones) and know it’s quirks by now. Wish me luck!
Perfect chocolate cake. I skipped the ganache and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Sprayed my Bundt pan with Bakers Joy. Cooled completely in the pan, loosened slightly around the edges with a knife and it came out of the pan perfectly. I live at 4500 feet elevation. I used 1 T more flour, a smidge less baking soda, and baked at 360. It was done in 40 minutes.
This cake is amazingly delicious! Like everyone else, mine stuck like crazy. It was like it got decapitated. Unfortunately I hadn’t read the “made” comments so I didn’t try the cocoa powder trick. I’ll try that next. Mine also took 40 minutes to cook. That said, I’ve never seen my boyfriend so excited to eat cake. He sat with the stuck Bundt pan and joyously picked out all the little chunks. I used regular Guinness and put a vanilla buttercream frosting on top instead of the ganache. Decapitation is now hidden. The flavor is incredible. And it looks more like a stout. :)
I discovered this recipe of yours eons ago and after all these years it is still my go-to cake recipe. I don’t actually like cake, but I love this one! I only make it about once a year since my husband discovered he has a wheat intolerance. I have never attempted this cake “gluten-free” til today. It is in the oven right now and so I have no idea how it will turn out but I am very hopeful. The batter tasted just like it does with regular flour. That’s huge! I was actually licking the spoon, lol! (The key is using a good quality gluten-free flour. In my opinion, most don’t work.) Fingers crossed that this one does work and my husband will again be able to enjoy this recipe. :)
Wow, this cake looks insanely good! Can the stout be subbed with another liquid?
Thank you kindly!
I just made this for my coworkers and it was simply amazing. I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten free flour with no issues – it was absolutely decadent. I even accidentally used half the sugar I was supposed to (whoops, was looking tat the flour weight when weighing my sugar). and it still turned out great! My coworkers were in heaven.
I’ve made this before and it is so so wonderful. Hoping to make this for my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday to bring to his grandma’s and wondering what I can replace the stout with as there will be children (yes, I know the alcohol will bake out but these are not the sort of parents that will accept that answer- and I don’t want to be the jerk who brings a chocolate cake children can’t eat).
Really any liquid will work instead; grape juice? apple juice?
This cake is amazing. I made if for my son’s birthday and he loved it. He brews his own beer and loved the flavor of the cake. It only gets better when it sits so don’t be afraid to make it a few days ahead, the flavor just gets stronger. One thing I have found with bundt cakes I always use the baker’s spray that contains flour and the cakes always come out with ease. I love your blog and have made many of your recipes….they never disappoint.
Made this for my 38th birthday today…was not disappointed. Some of the top did stick in the pad, but the imperfections were easily covered with the ganache. Great, easy showstopper!
I made this for my boyfriend and it was a HUGE hit. It’s such an easy cake to throw together as well. In fact, I also made in for a friend’s birthday and she declared it “one of the best cakes” she had ever tried. Great recipe! Thanks, Deb!
I don’t have any instant coffee – can I substitute real coffee?
(I have made and LOVE a lot of your recipes.)
It’s mostly for extra depth in the ganache, you’ll be fine without it but if you want, you could add a tablespoon of super-strong coffee to the ganache.
If I were to cupcake-ify this recipe, how long should I bake them for?
Here are a few comments (there are dozens more throughout, just word-search for “cupcakes”) from people who have made them as cupcakes with suggestions:
I just made this tonight and it’s a win! I didn’t add the ganache: the cake is so flavorful that a dollop of whipped cream and a little Guinness to wash it down was great!
Made this cake last night for my husband’s birthday- it was amazing! So chocolatey, so moist, so delicious. And it took about 15 minutes to put together, which was so helpful. I cut down to 5 oz of chocolate and 1/3 cup cream for ganache and it was more than enough to glaze the cake. Needed 40 minutes to bake through in my oven. Served with fresh raspberries. I can’t wait for dinner tonight so we can have leftovers!
How do you think this recipe would do if I wanted to bake it in a loaf pan? I get grumpy faces when I make a cake that’s “too big”.
For a loaf, I would halve it. It’s not going to be a full, full loaf (tall one) but it’s definitely a loaf.
Thanks! That was my thought but I didn’t want to risk it and have it look sad and stunted.
This cake is great. I like it better with Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout beer than with Guinness. I do not add chocolate chips.
I made this today and ended up using Coke because I didn’t have any stout on hand. It turned out great!
I made this as cupcakes and they were fantastic. Just in case anyone else with nothing but a muffin tin and a dream is reading this.
How long did you bake the cupcakes? Did you use the same oven temp as specified in the recipe?
On an impulse I made this for a dinner party I was having on St. Patrick’s day and I’m glad I did! I got nervous as my Guinness/butter/cocoa powder cooled because it separated out a bit, but I soldiered on and the cake turned out delicious. To ensure I could get it out of the pan, I dusted the pan with cocoa powder after buttering it and let it cool completely once it came out of the oven. It slide right out!
I didn’t have the ingredients in the house to make the ganache, so I just sprinkled the cake with powdered sugar and had a hit on my hands!
I made this recipe into mini cupcakes for a St. Patricks Day party. They stuck horribly to the pan even though I had read every ones comments and tried two different pan greasing techniques. However, I salvaged what I could and then made the rest into cake pops (because I couldn’t throw out delicious cake even if in that state). They were terrific!! I received so many compliments on the cupcakes and the cake pops were out of this world. So, would I made them again? Yes! I will risk the stick because they are just that good!
I’m obsessed with this recipe and my friends are too – so much so that someone has requested that I make this cake for their wedding!
My question is though – what would you recommend for the best wedding cake presentation for this recipe? Make a tiered cake and pour the ganache on top?
I have made this as a sheet cake before and it really doesn’t look as cute as the version that comes out of the bundt pan, and I’ve never attempted it as a tiered situation. Would appreciate any advice you might have!
How many people? Are they looking for a sheet cake or a more classic tiered cake?
Have to say I’m a bit star struck you responded to my comment so quickly! I’m such a fan. ANYWAYS, I was leaning towards tiered because of the fancy factor, but I don’t know that they have a preference. I think they have 150 guests. Am very open to making a “show cake” and a sheet cake for the guests? It wont be the only dessert available, but I want each to look as nice as possible!
Not this recipe, of course, but check out the cake I made last summer and see if it gets you started. Similar party size. I didn’t use a sheet cake but it forced the tiered cake to be *much* larger, which is much more cumbersome to make at home (basically 12-inch pans or larger are always going to be problematic in some ovens or fridges etc). Even a 9×13-inch cake takes a lot of the volume pressure off the tiers (maybe you can just then do a 12″, 9″, and 6″ and the couple can keep the 6), so they can be charming but not difficult.
Thanks so much! I will do.
Making this the day prior to when it’s needed and wondering if it is best kept in a cake serving dish or stored in the fridge overnight?
I usually keep it in the fridge once I put the gananche on.
I would love to know what the white dots are on the top of this cake? Dollops of whip cream, perhaps – ?
Off the top of my head (memory being what it is), I think in the early comments Deb indicates they are white chocolate “ornaments” that she had left over from an earlier project.
For anyone who wants to turn this recipe into cupcakes. I wanted to do this to sell them on my food truck. I sprayed a cupcake pan well with cooking spray, used cupcake liners and filled with batter almost to the very top of the paper liner because there isn’t that much rise. I baked them just until the center didn’t shake and a toothpick came out clean. Transferred to a wire rack to cool and topped with a layer of the chocolate ganache and then flaked Maldon salt. I’ve been really happy with the adaptation they make wonderful moist cupcakes and I love the crunch the Maldon adds.
Today I realized that I have been coming to your blog to check this recipe every year for the past decade! I made this cake for my husband the first year we were married and in our own home and each year he looks forward to choosing which stout he wants me to put into it so he can drink the other half of the bottle! It is always a hit with any guests we have over and every year people request this recipe from me. Last year our super picky 7 year old even decided he wanted to try a piece and loved it! I am just about to pick him up from school so we can make this cake together and start our birthday weekend festivities. Thank you for posting such a delicious recipe that is now a part of our family’s birthday tradition!
What can be used to replace the Stout in the Chocolate Stout Cake?
Made this cake for a birthday a few years ago and it was fantastic. So moist and not too sweet! I’m making it again tomorrow!
What can be substituted for the stout in the Stout Chocolate Cake?
Thanks, Joanne Braun
Non-alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic apple cider, or another liquid.
Thank you, Deb, for the quick reply. I will use either non-alcoholic apple cider or brewed coffee in the Chocolate Stout Cake. Can’t wait to try the cake. Happy New Year to you and your family!
Love Your Cookbooks!
This cake is by far my favorite of yours so far Deb! I served it at a dinner party and every guest cleaned their plate and asked for more. I substituted full fat yogurt for the sour cream, and used about 50g less sugar. It was still plenty sweet. I thought I put enough butter in my Bundt pan, but still had some sticking even after cooling completely before turning out. It’s a very moist cake, so you probably can’t overdo the greasing. It took probably 50 min of baking instead of 35. And 2-3 oz of chocolate would have sufficed, but the coffee was a fantastic addition to the ganache. Bravo!!
Just made it for a friend’s karaoke pub birthday gathering and received “11/10” reviews. I probably went a LITTLE aggressive with the buttering and flouring of the bundt pan, but it popped right out of the pan really easily! Thanks, all!
*PRO TIP* I used spare wooden shish kebab skewers to test the cake for doneness.
I love this recipe and have made it many, many times as cupcakes but it took some heavy trial and error on my part because they would ALWAYS come out with sunken tops (which didn’t always matter, because I would core them and stuff them with other deliciousness.)
I live pretty high up, around 1000m (~3400ft) and have finally figured out that I need quite a bit more flour than this recipe calls for to have them come out as rounded top cupcakes, like…another ~3/4 cup of flour above the weighted measure. The batter thickens significantly and rises nicely and the cupcakes still come out moist and delicious.
I’ve had this earmarked for some chocolate stout we had in the house (tasted like tootsie rolls, baking was obviously best use) and today’s snow day was the perfect excuse. It’s in the oven now, and my freezing house will make sure it cools rapidly.
When I read the directions on melting the butter with the beer and then adding the cocoa, I thought there might be trouble, so instead, I sifted the cocoa into the pot, and slowly whisked the beer in. Then I added the butter and put it on the heat only long enough to melt the butter. It worked perfectly! Also, I cooled the cake completely before removing it in the pan. Again, perfect! Finally, instead of boiling all the ingredients for the ganache together, I do what I usually do when I make ganache: I put the cream in a glass measuring cup and heated it in the microwave just until it started to bubble. Then, I whisked in the chocolate until smith, then stirred in the instant coffee granules. This made the ganache the correct consistency to pour thickly over the cooled cake. This was a real winner, and I would make it again in a heartbeat!
I’ve been making this cake for a few years after finding this recipe on Allrecipes.com. I love Guinness as much as anyone, but what I find really makes this cake great is using Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, or if you can’t find Young’s, Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout is also wonderful.
This recipe also makes two 9-inch round layers. You can fit a lot of ganache between the layers and what is left to put on top the cake stays there better than on a bundt cake.
Can’t wait to make this. I don’t see any reference to the sweet dots on the top? Cream cheese something? I read all the “i made this” comments and “Questions” but no one else has asked. Do tell!
Thanks for all your great recipes. I have your books and go to you first when looking for a recipe.
You totally rock.
It’s been a while, but I believe Deb said she had some of those left over from another baking project and decided to put them on the cake.
Edible candy dots, but someone else will have to provide the maker cause that part I don’t remember.
If you pore through the comments, that’s where You’ll find it. Good luck
Great cake, isn’t it????
Awww, I will look no further. Thanks for your help!
Thanks and yes — I had white chocolate baking discs that the grocery delivery service I was using had sent me by accident. So, you can pour the ganache on and nestle the white dots in while it’s still warm and they’ll merge.
The chocolate stout cake is beyond awesome.
This st pats im indulging in a Guinness jameson float.
Guinness Jameson’s with vanilla ice crea
For St Pat’s Day 2019 I made this cake two times and it is fantastic! I followed the recipe precisely and can’t say enough about how good it is. I used Guinness extra stout. I made one for my local (Irish) police chief and the other I shared with neighbors and everyone raved. I rarely save recipes to make again because I love to try new things but this will be my new, go-to chocolate cake recipe! It is truly exceptional and if you have not yet made this, I urge you to do so and enjoy!
This cake is so small. I should know better than to make a new recipe when I need a reliable dessert but the reviews were so good and so many were about how very much cake this makes. I think that some missing info is the size of bundt pan this is intended to fill. I used my grandmother’s old 12-cup pan and it’s risen to only 1.5 inches below the top of the pan. A 10-cup pan would have been much closer. The cake smells great and I’m sure will be tasty. I think a rich chocolate cake like this deserves to be much bigger, and 1.5 times this recipe is probably ideal for my pan. I can’t wait to do that Or even the original double version some other day, but today I’m in a lurch with a cake that is too small for my number of guests so I have to whip up a second dessert. Posting in case this helps someone know what pan to use and how much cake you’ll have.
The cooling-it-completely worked. I have a Bundt pan with lots of points and crannies, so de-panning is always an adventure. My chocolate stout turned out to be an espresso chocolate stout, so I umphed the chocolate by splitting the cocoa 50/50 with dark. My gods it’s the bomb! Can’t wait to make it the real way.
Made this for St. Patrick’s Day dinner with the fam a couple of weeks ago and is already requested again for BIL’s birthday next weekend. Used Baker’s Joy in the bundt pan, let it completely cool in the pan, and it slid out with no sticking whatever. I used a whiskey caramel glaze/drippy frosting instead of the chocolate ganache and people (ahem, the aforementioned BIL) were dragging their fingers through it on the cake plate like 4-year-olds. Huge success once again Deb!
PSA: It’s INCREDIBLY important to dust the heck out of the bundt pan with cocoa powder + flour. I learned that the hard way (by hard way I mean the way that gives me yummy cake scrap snacks!) and had to do it all over again. I also think the bake time may be a bit off- I needed closer to 40 min. Second time was the charm!!
I made this for a party yesterday. It was awesome. I have a real deep dislike of coffee in chocolate cakes for those who are caffeine-sensitive (like myself! even a little bit in cake will keep me up all night!). So I left it out. I bet it’s tasty in there but I really hate the trend of putting coffee in chocolate cakes, ESPECIALLY when it isn’t disclosed to guests! I always find out later if it was in there. Or use decaf, people!
I also made the ganache in the microwave but it takes getting the timing right not to overdo it.
I’m at altitude and only adjusted with the usual (a pinch less baking soda, an extra Tbsp cream, an extra Tbsp flour) and it was perfect.
This was DEE-licious!! Great texture, nice depth of chocolate-y flavor. I only had a few Tablespoons of heavy cream for the ganache so I scooped in some sour cream to supplement – and it was killer! I’d use that again next time, for sure.
I thought a cake with some stout would be fitting for my son’s 21st birthday and it was a hit!! So much so that my friend has requested it for her birthday a week later.
Note: the first one I made was a disaster and went into trash (luckily I made it day before his bday). It completely stuck to my bundt pan even though I generously buttered pan and dusted with flour. So my next try was in my 9” springform pan and that worked out great.
I love this cake and have made it many times, but it seems like every time I make it, it sticks more! I’ve tried all the various tricks shared, I think, and even bought a new bundt pan, but …. argh!
I generally dislike chocolate cakes because they are almost always dry and bland. This cake knocks it out of the park! I made it for my father-in-law’s birthday and it was a huge hit here in Milan. I used my old 6-cup bundt pan and with the leftover batter I made cupcakes. They were then frozen for a decadent breakfast treat for overnight guests. Even with the glaze, they were another huge hit! Deb — your recipes are amazing! Thanks for making me look so good.
This is seriously, hands-down, the best tasting chocolate cake that I’ve ever made. The stout really elevates the flavour of this cake to a new level, and despite the reduction in sugar down to 300g, the cake was still moist (I’m guessing due to the sour cream).
The cake is sitting in the fridge as we speak, waiting for the whipped peppermint chocolate ganache that it’s been pelted with to firm up… I’m incredibly excited to see how this cake holds up when cold/refrigerated, fingers crossed! If all goes superbly, I may have just found my holy grail chocolate cake recipe!
After trying this out a few years ago for a birthday, I’ve been asked to make this cake for the past two Thanksgivings and was just asked to make it again this year… a huge hit in our family for all occasions. Instead of using ganache, I make a simple Bailey’s glaze and pour it over the top. Thanks Deb!
This cake is outstanding! I substituted plain greek yogurt for the sour cream because that’s what I had on hand and I cut the sugar a bit (by 1/4 cup) because that’s what I do. Moist and delicious and will definitely make it again.
What should I do if I make this a day in advance? Can I complete the cake and leave it covered on the counter? Or should I add the ganache the morning after I make it? Or, will it not be as good the second day? Thank you!
My experience is this cake improves overnight. That is why if I am making this for company I always make it the day before.
I made this to use up some stout leftover from my Guinness phase. Now I am buying Guinness to make this cake. I cannot stop making this. It is fabulous. And it calls for just one cup of stout leaving a wee glass for mama to sip while the cake bakes.
Hi, love the recipe, thank you for the gram weights. Grams make everything more accurate and successful.
I did not mix beer, butter, and coco over heat, (too much bother) I mixed as one does, eggs sugar butter than dry ingredients and lastly beer.
I adjusted the cooking time to 50 minutes as my Bundt pan is a light weight white colored pan. What a wonderful moist Bundt! Thank you!
We covered it with ganache, which the boyfriend loves, but (in my opinion) it was unnecessary. I liked the plain cake much better. : )
The post is very nice. I just shared on my Facebook Account.
Can leftover Guiness Stout be saved for another baking day?
( I’m thinking of the Grammercy Tavern cake as well as this.)
It will be flat, but will it change how the stout works in the recipe?
i know this was posted 16 years ago and as type this i’m questioning why i’m leaving a comment, but all bundt pans are not the same size. i’m about to make this and can’t tell the size of the one used in the recipe.
Hi, See Linda’s comment above dated March 23, 2019 at 1:54pm. She writes: “I used my grandmother’s old 12-cup pan and it’s risen to only 1.5 inches below the top of the pan. A 10-cup pan would have been much closer. “
Yes, bundts are generally 10-cup or 12-cup, but this one, the 12-cup is usually considered the original/standard. However! I’m remembering that this cake actually doesn’t fully fill the bundt so I’m fairly confident you’d also be fine in a 10-cup. Happy baking!
Would it be possible to substitute half and half for the heavy cream? If so, would other adjustments need to be made?
Thank you in advance
In general, I have much more success with ganaches with heavy cream.
Hey all! Am I crazy or is the chocolate/whiskey/stout cupcake recipe mot available? I know the cake batter must have been close to this one, but just wondering if it disappeared or I am just coocooforcocoacoapuffs??? (…both may be true!)
It looks like it’s been scrubbed (I assume because of the obvious-in-2021-offensive original name). You can find it from the recipes page on earlier archive.org capture. (I, too, thought I was going a bit nuts!)
The cake batter is identical :)
Shoot me an email and I’ll send it along — deb @ smittenkitchen.com
Hi Deb: Could you send me that cupcake recipe that you mentioned? I’m intrigued by this combination of ingredients. Thanks so much!
I’ve been making the 3 layered version of this cake since 06, it is a dynamite chocolate cake. So happy to have an alternative so I don’t have to make such a big cake that easily serves 16, and I can make it more often!
It freezes REALLY well! In fact, my husband thinks it’s even better after slices have been frozen, then warmed in the ‘wave. It’s heresy but I made this last night and frosted it with German chocolate coconut pecan frosting. Lethal.
I’ve been making this cake on St. Patrick’s day for several years now. I didn’t last year because of the pandemic, but I am so excited to make this tomorrow! It is so incredibly rich and one of the best cakes I’ve ever had in my entire life! I’m probably going to eat about half of it myself and not feel bad in the slightest! :)
These quantities seem off – the flour and sugar are the same quantity in cups but very different in grams – Deb/anyone who has baked this – please can you clarify? Thanks!
Thanks in advance for the help!
Volumetric measurements of different ingredients will yield different weights, if you measure one cup of flour and weight it, it will weigh less than a cup of sugar. Measuring by weight is more precise, which is why bakers generally prefer to use weights.
Flour weighs less per cup (about 130 grams) than sugar (200 grams).
Yes, but the recipe says 230 g flour, not 260, and I needed about 275g. I added extra and it worked, but you might need to fix that… delicious cake with a friend’s homemade stout!
I am looking for the chocolate whiskey and beer cupcake recipe and I can see it come up under chocolate when I search, but it doesn’t actually pop up on the list when I click on chocolate. Is it hiding somewhere?
Oops I see the above comment now
LOVE this cake. The Dutch-processed cocoa powder is definitely worth it. Something I’ve tried with this as a Bundt cake is to prep the pan generously with butter, let it cool completely after baking, and if it still sticks pop it in a warm oven for a minute or two until the pan is warm to the touch. The butter on the pan remelts a bit allowing the cake to slide out. I can’t guarantee it works every time, but I’ve had pretty good luck with it.
Has anyone made this with gluten free substitutions?
Oh my goodness, this is one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten! SO moist, and the chocolate-y Guinness flavor was even more intense the next day! I have someone in my family who currently can’t eat dairy, so I used vegan butter and sour cream in the cake, and made the ganache with dairy free chocolate chips and coconut cream instead of the heavy cream. Seriously amazing!
Guess who forgot to add the cocoa. After checking I did have some in the cupboard.
However, I made it in cupcake form, unfrosted, with chocolate stout and apparently that was enough because my husband said they were great as is, don’t add cocoa next time. I wonder if I could try adding cocoa at the end to half the batter.
This is a wonderful, rich, moist chocolate cake. Since the can of Guinness was large enough for 2 cakes, I made a 2nd cake only this time, I used my small bundt pan and mini bundt cake pans. It made one small cake and 24 bundt cupcakes. The cupcakes freeze beautifully and were a big hit at the summit with all my friends as we celebrated one person’s completions of the NH Winter 48 list.
Super moist (even on day 3), and not too sweet.
Gave away most to my workout group; all of them loved it.
I want to make this as a 2 layer 6″ cake. Should I halve the recipe? Or make it fully as written?
Please state what size of bundt pan. I had a pan I thought was large enough, but the cake rose and overflowed the pan, creating a mess. No problems with sticking to the pan though!
I’m using a 12-cup bundt here, but it didn’t fill it out.
It says 2 cups flour (230 grams) and 2 cups sugar (400 grams) but the gram measurements are different. Should I follow grams or cups?
Flour and sugar have different weights — flour is much lighter.
Love this cake. Made it twice and the subtle flavor that comes out from the beer — almost nutty? — is great. However, I think your ratios of diary to chocolate is off. Have you considered something closer to 1 part chocolate to 2 parts cream? what you have now is so thick, almost like a filling for layer cakes.
Made this around St. Pat’s when we had Guiness on hand. My boyfriend (who claims to not be a big sweets fan) enjoyed it so much he requested it today for his birthday. Can’t wait to dig in, again.
Best chocolate cake ever! For so many reasons. Super moise. Great texture. Rich complex flavor. Easy to make. Very tolerant of substitutions & variations. Does not need frosting of any kind. I just dust mine with powdered sugar. Make it a day ahead of time if you can; the flavor and texture improve dramatically overnight.
I use a Nordicware bundt pan, coated GENEROUSLY with half a stick of melted butter, then dusted THOROUGHLY with hot cocoa mix or cocoa powder. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until it starts pulling away from the edges of the pan. Then cool COMPLETELY, 1 hour minimum, before inverting.
Emergency substitutions I have made that have worked out FINE:
– whole milk greek yogurt + 1 tsp oil for the sour cream
– Equal Exchange extra dark hot chocolate mix for half the cocoa powder
– mulled wine for the stout (I think a high quality root beer or ginger beer would be a good substitution as well! So would port or dessert wine, or Fentiman’s Cola. Any acidic liquid with complex flavors that is not overly sweet. I really want to try one with Sprecher or Bundaberg Root Beer)
Hi, what is the additional decoration on top of the cake, that looks like white dots?
Looks wonderful & am planning on making this for St. Pat’s Day. One question – what are the white garnishes on the cake in the photo? I’m guessing maybe blanched almonds? But they look a bit too large & round for that.
They’re white chocolate discs. I pressed them onto the dark chocolate ganache right after I poured it, while it was still warm.
Do you think it would work to swap the hot water/coffee for stout in your chocolate olive oil cake to make this a vegan version? Thanks so much for all your amazing recipes!
I think it’s worth trying for sure! But I am not sure about baking it into a bundt, which can require more structural integrity than that cake has.
Hey, you almost scared me hahaha but I love the new format and those scones are great and thanks for the swap out on the wholemeal flour. Perfect as always!
Purim, go wild :)
When is the sugar added? I see it in the ingredient list but not in the instructions?
The recipe clearly states that the sugar is whisked in with the flour.
I made this cake today & all I did was thoroughly & liberally spray my bundt pan with Pam baking spray (which has flour in it). I cooled the cake in the pan completely, & it turned out cleanly & perfectly. No problems whatsoever.
I made 18 cupcakes out of this recipe, taking 25 minutes of baking time at the stated temperature. It’s a really rich cake so if you’re trying to squeeze into that Speedo, this might set you back a week or 6. They’re still cooling, so can’t wait to add the ganache icing. Thanks Deb, for making the world a better, well-fed place. If you won’t be my spouse, will you be my mom?
Made this again as I do every year for my husband’s birthday. Hasn’t failed me yet. I have yet to make a Bundt cake successfully, so I am a chicken and make it as a 9×13 and I always top it with your bailey’s frosting from your other cupcake recipe. It’s so delicious. And weirdly only more delicious the second day? Thanks for these great recipes!
You say the original recipe had an “odd frosting” -I’m just curious what it was…when I googled the Epicurious chocolate cake recipe, it appeared to use a ganache.
Thanks in advance.
I always find ganache frostings like that a little spackle-y, but it might just be personal taste.
Has anyone tried this with Swerve instead of sugar? My husband is prediabetic, loves chocolate. This looks like a possibility because of the use of cocoa power. I wonder if it would work with a sugar substitute?
Excellent cake! Made it today for a party I had tonight. Everyone loved it and several people took seconds. I’ll definitely make it again. It took mine about 44 minutes in my Bundt…and it stuck and crumbled a bit despite plenty of pam. Oh well, tasted amazing!
I also made a Chocolate Stout Cake for St. Pat’s yesterday (not this recipe, but one from the Real Simple site) & I had an excellent pain-free release from my bundt pan by spraying the pan more than liberally with “baking” Pam (which has flour in the spray) plus then sprinkling the pan with some unsweetened dark cocoa powder.
I made this today for an Irish, St. Paddy’s day potluck and Ceilidh, and it was a huge hit! It will certainly be repeated for another special event. Folks were trying to describe the cake–cloud-like, moist, impactful, delicious. Yes, all of the above.Thanks, it was a great ending to a merry meal!
I do not bake cakes often but immediately wanted to make this one based on Deb’s perfect description and the Instagram photograph. It is one of the best cakes I have ever tasted. It is surprisingly light in texture with a tender, moist, perfect crumb. It is not overly sweet and completely satisfying without being cloying. For unsophisticated cake bakers, like me, it comes together easily. I baked it for about 42 minutes (every oven is a little different). I will definitely be making this one again. It could easily have qualified for the Keepers book.
Well, I missed making this for St. Paddy’s Day but it is currently in the oven. Can I just say, the smell of the butter, Guinness and cocoa powder… WOW! Just about blew my socks off! My family is currently drooling over what they are smelling as this chocolate wonder bakes. Not sure there will be anything left to go with my coffee in the morning. Now we wait…15 minutes and counting till it comes out of the oven. Will finish this comment after it cools and gets frosted with the ganache, if it lasts that long!
Follow up: O!M!G! The entire family agrees – Best chocolate cake ever! Equal parts dense, moist and delicate. It did stick to the pan in one small area but it went back together and was able to cover it with the ganache so no one even noticed. Hooray for chocolate cake!
Excellent recipe! I made this for St. Patty’s day and topped with chopped pistachios to add some green 🍀. It’s the first recipe I’ve made where the bundt retained it’s shape and didn’t stick!