While I have never been a fan of green beer on St. Patrick’s day, I am 100% down for putting some Irish stout in a chocolate cake. Whoever originally decided to try that idea out deserves all the rainbows and pots of gold. I’ve made plenty of chocolate stout cakes over the years, but I have to tell you, I think this one is my favorite. I basically took my favorite chocolate cake recipe, the famous Hershey’s Black Magic Cake, ditched the brewed coffee and buttermilk, and replaced it with beer. Can’t be that bad, right?
As usual, there’s a lot going on with this cake. So if you’d like to break it up a bit, I’d say you can definitely make the caramel sauce in advance. You could also do the cake layers the day before you plan to serve this, and then frost and decorate the day of!
Sweet & Salty Chocolate Stout Cake
chocolate stout cake
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup veg/canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 11.2-oz bottle guinness stout beer, need 1 cup
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 6 Tbsp cold butter cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup stout beer most of the remaining guinness
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 8-oz block shortening (crisco)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coco powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- shaved chocolate/chocolate curls
- 1 cup pretzel crumbs
- whole mini pretzels
for the chocolate stout cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray three 6-inch (or two 8-inch) cake pans with nonstick spray.
- Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Combine sugar, eggs, oil, and villa in a large bowl. Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until just combined.
- Add half of flour mixture and half of the beer. Mix until just combined. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and beer. Mix until completely combined.
- Divide batter evenly among cake pans and bake for 25-28 minutes (23-25 min if using 8-inch pans), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake layer comes out clean.
- Let cakes cool in pans for 5-10 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
for the beer caramel
- Heat sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat; stir constantly as sugar begins to form small clumps. Continue stirring as sugar melts and turns golden brown.
- Once sugar has completely melted, add butter gradually, while continuously stirring. (I find it helpful to stir with one hand and add pieces of butter with the other.) The melted sugar will bubbly angrily at you when you add the butter (because it's cold and the sugar is hot), but just keep stirring!
- Once all the butter has been added, stir constantly with one hand and slowly pour in the beer with the other. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat. Let caramel cool completely before using. (Caramel with thicken as it cools.)
for the chocolate frosting
- Cream butter on medium speed with an electric mixer. Add shortening. (I like to slice the shortening and add in pieces while the mixer is running.)
- Add cocoa powder and vanilla; mix until completely incorporated.
- Add half of the powdered sugar; mix on low speed until just combined, and then medium-high speed until completely combined. Repeat with remaining powdered sugar.
- (If frosting is too thick, add 1-2 tbsp milk and mix well.)
- Place one cooled cake layer on a plate or cake stand. Cover with frosting, drizzle with caramel, and add a nice even layer of pretzel crumbs. Repeat with the second layer.
- Top third layer with frosting and spread all over cake. Drip caramel down the sides and drizzle all over the top. Pipe swirls with any remaining frosting and decorate with whole mini pretzels.