Chocolate Stout Cake

About two weeks ago my younger brother, Jared sent me a text me stating he had pink eye. I’m quite the germophobe, so I was immediately curious how he contracted it; he had no clue. Once I found out about his funky eye, I decided that I would make him a big, decadent, chocolate, layer cake…with chocolate stout. Jared often complains that he doesn’t get enough “play” on My Baking Addiction, so this Chocolate Stout Cake post is devoted to him and his unfortunate encounter with pink eye. His cake also kicks off an entire week of recipes featuring Stout beer as the star ingredient.

Although I have expressed my dislike for alcohol in general, I am always compelled to purchase alcoholic libations that pique my interest for use in recipes. One of those random purchases included a couple of bottles of chocolate stout beer that I knew would lend itself quite well to a chocolatey cake, and thus this Chocolate Stout Cake was born.

After posting the photo of this Chocolate Stout Cake on the My Baking Addiction Facebook page, it affectionately became known as the Pink Eye Cake, which is all kinds of hilarious and repulsive at the same time.

If you take one look at Jared, there is truly no doubt we are related, but if you get to know him for longer than five minutes, our personalities become even more similar than our physical characteristics. For starters, we are both kind of social introverts and definitely prefer a small circle of friends as opposed to being the life of the social scenes. Neither of us particularly enjoys alcohol, but we both have a serious issue with candy and sleeping in. We both use excessive sarcasm and choice words to get our points across and we are amazingly calm until you push the wrong button. Of course our parallel personalities make for some undoubtedly hilarious conversations and I truly couldn’t ask for better brother or friend.

Chocolate Stout Cake

Yield: about 12 servings


For the Cake

1 ½ cups Chocolate Stout (you can also use regular stout, like Guinness)
½ cup strong black coffee
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably *Dutch-process)

4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups sour cream

For the Icing

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped


For the Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides and line with parchment paper. Butter paper.

2. In heavy large saucepan over medium heat, bring stout, coffee and butter to a simmer. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

3. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. In large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat eggs, vanilla and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.

4. Add stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat until just combined, taking care the stout mixture is cool enough that it will not cook the eggs. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.

For the icing

1. Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours.

2. Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake. Top with chocolate curls.


- Cake is best served the day it is made, but will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for up to two days. Bring cake to room temperature for about an hour before you plan to serve.
- If you cannot find Dutch-process cocoa powder, I recommend using Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder
- The cakes was topped using homemade chocolate curls, you can find the recipe and tutorial here.
- Adapted from

115 Responses to “Chocolate Stout Cake”

  1. Donally — March 22, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Yum..Yum.. The cake looks delicious. Nice Job.


  2. Amely — March 22, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Yummie! I saw it and fell immediatley in love with it and the immagination of its taste.
    I will try it on my german colleagues, who are addicted to goooooood chocolate cakes.


  3. Ailsa — April 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I baked this last night and it is unbelievably awesome, so moist, so rich, so delicious – I look forward to trying more of your recipes



  4. katie — April 11, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    This cake looks so delicious, I am definitely going to try this recipe. Thanks!!!. I’ll also be using the food processor I got at my site. Check it out, it makes baking so easy.


  5. Danae (The Busty Baker) — April 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I’ve been sitting at home, quarantined, all day because, yep. I have pink eye too. And like your brother, I have no idea how I got it. But the only thing I could think about as soon as I realized I had it–“Who’s going to bake me a pink eye cake?” I would absolutely kill for this right now because Chocolate Stout is literally my favorite kind of cake! But I’ll have to settle for my boyfriend bringing me eye drops and a candy bar.


  6. Gwenevere — May 3, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    but how do I “chocolate curl”?


  7. Maiko — June 8, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Wow, this cake was amazing. I did it for an birthdayparty! Everyone was amazed! I garnished it with strawberrys. It was so pretty and tasty too!


    • Jamie — June 8, 2011 at 11:46 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! The strawberry garnish sounds perfect!

  8. shondra — July 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    i made this cake with a friend and it turned out AMAZING! i used espresso and half in half instead of the fresh coffee. and it turned out just as good. this cake definently takes time but is well worth it. thanks for sharing this recipe!!! :):):):)


  9. BK — August 24, 2011 at 1:33 am






  10. Jessie — September 18, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Per your recommendation, I made this cake. It was fabulous, my friend even commented that it was the best cake he had ever had (with the notable exception of his wedding cake). I also burned almost as many calories as are in one bite of this cake carrying it from my car to work…


  11. Ema — October 11, 2011 at 8:17 am

    can’t wait to make it… mouth watering!!


  12. Toni — November 13, 2011 at 1:00 am

    My boyfriend asked me to make a dessert to impress the guys at the firehouse. After having my mother buy me the alcohol (I’m 18), I made this decadent cake. The guys asked my boyfriend if he was dating Martha Stewart. It was a proud moment. So thank you for your delicious recipe, making me look good, which made him look good!


  13. Meghan Horvath — December 17, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    If you haven’t made this cake yet, you absolutely need to get off of this computer right now and BAKE IT!!! I am not exaggerating when I tell you that this is the absolute best cake I’ve ever had. It is soooo perfect in every aspect: flavor, texture, aesthetic….


  14. Claudia — February 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I am planning to make this for my husband on Valentine’s Day; he LOVES stouts!
    I might have a dumb question, but how do you ‘cook’ the coffee in the mix w/out getting the crunchy grounds? Cheese cloth?


  15. Susan M. — March 8, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I currently *have pinkeye*. Also, St. Patrick’s Day is coming up. I believe these two things mean I am fated to make this cake (with extremely clean hands, never touching my face at all) and enjoy it! Yup. Done deal. :)


  16. — March 23, 2012 at 3:02 am

    This cake looks gorgeous! I haven’t had any experience with stout before, though more and more recipes I encounter has it as a key ingredient! Should stock up on some Guiness I guess! Well Done!


  17. Cris — May 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Oh my good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That’s a perfect chocolate cake!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love it!!
    I love your blog too!
    I follow you ;)
    If you want my blog is:


  18. Shilpa — July 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Fabulous cake!! I baked it recently and added some whipped cream and fresh strawberries between the layers.. Next time I’ll try it with some homemade raspberry and mint jam! Thanks a ton for this heavenly recipe!


  19. Elizabeth — July 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Hello my name is Elizabeth and I work for a small library in Wyoming. We are currently putting together a recipie book for our annual Death By Chocolate Fundraiser. We’re using the recipies from the event, but we need pictures for the dividers, and I just love the picture at the top of this post (your Chocolate Stout Cake). If you would be interested in talking to me about what we could do to use your photo, please email me. Thank you for your time.


  20. Rach — October 3, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I made this cake for my friends birthday. Absolutely the best chocolate cake I have ever made. Perfectly moist without being heavy, great chocolate taste without being over powering and the simple frosting was delicious. I will be making more of your recipes for sure! Thank you.


    • Jamie — October 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the cake! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback on the recipe. Have a great day.

  21. Holly — November 25, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks for the killer recipie!! My husband loved it!


    • MBA — November 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for stopping by and providing your feedback- have a great day!

  22. Julia — November 28, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I just finished making this cake for my husbands birthday and somehow I ended up with extra batter so also made a dozen of cupcakes. They are so delicious and light. I am completely in love. I couldn’t master the chocolate curls, unfortunately. They seem too thin and brittle.


  23. mg — April 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    This is one of my favourite recipes – thank you for posting this! A definite hit among family members and an easy go-to cake that always tastes great. I’ve served it with whipped cream and raspberries in lieu of the icing, which is a delicious alternative.


  24. Taz — November 3, 2013 at 5:13 am

    I was wondering if there is a substitute for the alcohol used? If somehow we could replace it.
    Thanks and regards


  25. Hayley — November 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    This looks absolutely divine! Almost too pretty to eat…..almost… ;)


    • Jamie — November 20, 2013 at 11:53 am


      Thank you so much, and thanks for following MBA!


  26. Ayush — December 13, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Hi Jamie,
    I am totally new to baking.
    For how much time should i preheat the oven?



    • Jamie — January 10, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Just until it comes to temperature. The oven should tell you when it’s reached the desired temperature.
      – Jamie

  27. Toni — August 8, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    This recipe is a keeper!!! The consistency on the cake is perfect!!! This cake just melts in you mouth. Everyone who loves to bake I highly recommend this recipe.


  28. Lisa — November 2, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I have made this cake numerous times and it is always a hit! This weekend I found what I believe will be the absolute BEST beer to use in this recipe. For all of your followers on the Mississippi gulf coast, go get Crooked Letter Brewery’s Mystery Romp (it’s located in Ocean Springs Ms.). It’s a chocolate coffee porter and is beyond good!


    • Jamie — November 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Thanks so much for the tips. I appreciate you stopping by.


  29. Noelle — November 2, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    I made cupcakes and they were an absolute hit. Best chocolate cake I have had and made. Thank you


    • Jamie — November 4, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      I’m so glad the recipe was a success for you. Thanks for stopping by.


  30. Stephanie — November 20, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    i am wondering about the frosting. You said to melt the chocolate in the heavy cream. Doesnt it need to be whipped at some point? How would this work as frosting if you just melt the the chocolate in & refridgerate. Please help so I can make this with sucess


    • Jamie — November 22, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Stir the frosting often while you refrigerate it and it will become the right consistency for spreading. I hope this helps.


  31. Jenna — March 15, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    This cake is really good. But couldn’t taste the stout. It’s a good chocolate cake though


    • Jamie — March 16, 2015 at 9:09 am

      I’m glad you got the chance to try it. Thanks for stopping by.


  32. Connie — April 2, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    this is my families favorite!


  33. Connie — April 2, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    this is my family’s favorite cake for birthdays!


  34. jeanne — October 2, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    I’ve tried to make a chocolatey chocolate cake roll, to no avail. I’ve tried every recipe in the book. If I can get it to roll, it has no taste. If I can get a rich chocolately flavor, it won’t roll.


  35. shafi — March 3, 2016 at 11:25 am

    it sounds good and delicious but one thing I did not understand never heard of it what is chocolate stuet


    • Jamie — March 3, 2016 at 11:49 am

      Stout is a type of beer. I hope this helps!

  36. Mary Lou — March 7, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Was the ganache whipped in that photo to get the creamy appearance in the photo?


    • Jamie — March 7, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Hi, Mary Lou! The ganache was whisked every so often while it was cooling in the refrigerator. It should be pretty smooth when spreading on the cake. I hope you enjoy it!

  37. Jackie — April 16, 2016 at 3:05 am

    Hi,   I’m thinking of using this recipe for a wedding cake (top tier only) obviously as I have to ice and decorate it I will need to make it a few days before the wedding.  Will this cake keep long enough to do this, or will it dry out?  Thanks


    • Jamie — April 16, 2016 at 9:16 am

      Hi, Jackie! You can definitely make this a few days ahead, and I would suggest freezing the unfrosted layers until you need them. I hope you and the guests enjoy it!

  38. Dua — June 21, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Jamie, the recipe sounds absolutely delicious! But could you tell me a substitute for the stout, thanks!


    • Jamie — June 21, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Hi, Dua! Unfortunately it’s a bit difficult to find a substitute for stout. I think you might like my recipe for The Best Chocolate Cake. Let me know what you think!

  39. Anna — July 8, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    I was wondering what your elevation is there as I’m currently baking this and can I just say it’s overflowing all 3 cake pans and not done – and that is with me also making a dozen cupcakes – what the heck?


    • Jamie — July 10, 2016 at 10:38 am

      I’m sorry to hear that, Anna! How high are the sides of your cake pans? I’ve had cake overflow as well, and it’s incredibly frustrating. Let me know if I can help any further.

  40. Manjinder — March 11, 2017 at 8:51 am

    What should we use to replace eggs??


    • Jamie — March 13, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Hi, Manjinder! You can use one mashed banana or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce for every egg. Enjoy!

  41. Paula McCloskey — March 16, 2017 at 2:21 am

    My daughter and I made this cake yesterday. Wow!! It really is fabulous. I have a question about the beer: what exactly is it’s purpose? I am not a beer fan, but I found that I barely tasted it. I know that coffee enhances chocolate, but what does the beer do? Would the cake be very different without it? Again, fabulous!!!


    • Jamie — March 16, 2017 at 11:06 am

      I’m so glad you and your daughter enjoyed it, Paula! I have to say that stout and chocolate are an amazing pairing. Stout adds more depth to the chocolate, as well as moisture to the overall cake. Stout also cuts back on the sweetness, making the cake rich. I hope this answers your question!

  42. Cynthia G. — March 16, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    This is the second time I am making this cake. The cake itself is AMAZING,  but there is an abundance of batter to fit into (3) 8″ rounds. I learned my lesson the first time after they spilt out all over my oven. I had the exact same problem that Anna from above had. It took well over the estimated 35 minutes to bake these cakes. Are you sure you did not use (3) 9″ cake rounds to make yours? 


    • Jamie — March 18, 2017 at 11:39 am

      Hi, Cynthia! I used 8 inch pans, but you could definitely use 9 inch if you like. I’m so glad you like the cake…it’s one of my favorites as well!

  43. Mary — May 14, 2017 at 6:41 am

    Can I use baking margarine instead of butter?


    • Jamie — May 16, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      Hi, Mary! Yes, I believe you can. Let me know how you like it!

  44. gina — August 9, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Can this be made in 9″ pans?


  45. Gina — August 24, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    This cake was so nice, I made it twice! Literally. I made it last Saturday for my BFF’s hubby 50th birthday. Huge hit! I was told he tried very hard not to share the leftovers. My hubs love it so much, he requested I make another the very next day. I did. He pretty much ate the WHOLE cake!!!!! Seriously, this cake is fantastic.


    • Jamie — August 29, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Gina! Thanks so much for stopping by!


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